Liberty Bell 7

21 July 1961. Mercury-Redstone 4 (nicknamed Liberty Bell 7 by the pilot because of the bell-shape), launches into space. It is the United States’ second manned space flight. Inside was astronaut Virgil Grissom on his first ever flight. Before launch, there was found to be a misaligned bolt on the hatch, but engineers said that the 69 bolts that remained were enough, and the bolt wasn’t replaced.

The flight went according to plan, until Grissom came in for the splashdown. The hatch blew too early, and water began to flood into the capsule. Grissom was rescued just in time. The helicopter that was supposed to carry it to solid ground struggled to hold onto the capsule, as the water pouring in was making it too heavy.

Eventually, the tether snapped from the extra weight, and Liberty Bell 7 fell into the water, sinking to the bottom.

Although an investigation attempted to blame Grissom for the loss of the capsule, he went on to further flights. On 27 January 1967, Grissom was killed when a fire broke out in the Apollo 1 capsule, ironically because of the faulty hatch.

In 1999, a crew went out to seach for the Liberty Bell 7 capsule and attempt to raise it from the ocean. The following is the documentary of their journey.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10


About Trevor Boot

I’ve been officially writing since 2004, when I was 15, but I started writing for fun now and then in 2001, when I was 12. I mostly wrote short stories and poems, but then in 2008, I wrote my first novel, titled Xangsburgh. Before this, my writing never really had any direction. I would just write independent stories that had no connection with each other, so I always had to start over from scratch. With Xangsburgh, I had a fictional city I could base all my stories in, with the stories building on each other. For me, that made writing easier, because now I don’t have to start from scratch every time. I could use Sheriff Brock without having to introduce him every time. In 2011, I realized I really enjoyed taking pictures. Several of my friends would comment that my pictures were near-professional quality. So on top of my writing, I’m also an amateur photographer. In 2014, I published Xangsburgh, as well as a photo book with some of my favourite photos I have taken, and a book of poems I’ve written between 2001 and 2013.
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