GEMINI 4: Flown $2 Bill
Launch Date: June 3, 1965 | Splashdown Date: June 7, 1965
About the Provenance
Purchased at auction directly from the private space collection of Astronaut James McDivitt, who kept this bill since his flight. McDivitt has signed and flight certified the bill in his signature green ink. Also comes with a certificate from McDivitt attesting to the bill’s flight status on Gemini 4.
About the Bill
This bill is one of five $2 bills that astronaut and mission Commander James McDivitt took with him in his Pilot’s Preference Kit (PPK) bag as a personal memento of his flight. Each bill taken by McDivitt has been signed and certified by him in Green ink on the bill’s face, and each bill is accompanied by a Novaspace certificate of authenticity (also signed by McDivitt) attesting to its flight status. This bill, along with its other four flown exemplars, are the first US currency to ever be exposed to the vacuum of space, as Astronaut Ed White made America's first space walk on this mission.
At SpaceFest in Pasadena, California, in 2014, I had the opportunity to ask Jim McDivitt why he flew these $2 bills. He spoke briefly about the short snorter tradition, but said that the real reason he flew them was because the bills themselves are unique, and small and lightweight, and made the a perfect memento for the flight. I asked why he only flew so few bills, and he responded that he only had the four because they were not that common or easy to come by.