Gus Grissom’s Space Suit Subject of Youngster’s Website Petition
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Amanda Meyer is a girl with a mission. And we’re not just talking any mission, we’re talking about the Mercury mission, and more specifically Gus Grissom, one of the astronauts on the early Mercury mission. To get more specific still, the Wisconsin teenager has made it her mission to help Grissom’s family have the space suit which Grissom wore during the Mercury mission returned to them so that they can display it in their Gus Grissom Memorial Museum. Or, at least, loaned to them by the United States government.

Perhaps Amanda has taken a page from another plucky youngster, eleven-year old Thomas Adams, who this summer dedicated his own website to a petition drive to take on Warner Brothers and their new Loonatics. Or perhaps she just decided it was a good idea on her own.


In any case, Amanda Meyer, who by all accounts has always been both a space buff, and a go-getter, was appalled when she learned that the family of one of her space heros, Gus Grissom, was unable to get the United States government to return the space suit which Grissom wore during the 1961 Mercury mission, after Nasa acquired the suit when it took over the Astronaut Hall of Fame. The Astronaut Hall of Fame had previously been privately run, during which time Grissom’s widow, Betty, had loaned the space suit to the Hall of Fame. Once Nasa took over running the Astronaut Hall of Fame, they deemed the suit to be government property which, they said, should never have left government offices in the first place. Betty Grissom said that Gus had brought it home after the mission, claiming he had found it in the garbage.

All of the Grissom’s family’s efforts to have the space suit returned to them have been, so far, for naught, and so this summer Amanda Meyer pledged to help them. In addition to the website and petition drive, she has been tirelessly calling and lobbying anyone she can think of, including Nasa, the Smithsonian, and Congress.

Why is Amanda Meyer spending her summer trying to wrest a 44-year-old space suit from the government when other teens her age are more likely to be found at the beach or the mall?

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“It just seems fair,” she says. “It should be in his museum because that’s where he would want it,” and adding that “Gus Grissom is my hero. I’d like to see his memory commemorated the way it should be.”

Said NASA spokesperson George Diller of the plucky teen, “She’s persistent.”

If you are interested in how this story unfolds, visit [Page no longer available – we have linked to the archive.org version instead] site.

 

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2 thoughts on “Gus Grissom’s Space Suit Subject of Youngster’s Website Petition
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  1. As a Grissom, I wish you all the luck for this mission in 2007. My father, Ted L. Grissom, was also career Air Force officer during the same period. What a great cause!

    I found you because I’m starting a MySpace blog and was trying to find my lost username.

  2. God save us all from mindless bureaucrats. (Yes, I know. I’m being redundant.)

    Maybe he found it in the trash. Maybe he stole it. He died in the service of his country. What jerk would deny his widow the small measure of comfort that she may derive from having it?

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