1961-07-21 USA Mercury MR-4

Mercury-Redstone 4 (Liberty Bell 7) Signed Launch Cover. A Space Craft printed cachet cover with a 4¢ stamp affixed, bearing a Patrick Air Force Base cancellation dated July 21, 1961, the launch day of MR-4 mission. It features a "Man-in-Space/ Mission of Project Mercury" illustrated cachet. Signed by Virgil I. Grissom and Hermann Oberth.
Postal cover with a USS Randolph, July 21, 1961 postmark, the recovery ship and date of the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft, signed neatly in black ballpoint by Virgil I. Grissom. From the collection of aerospace memorabilia specialist Ken Havekotte. Ken included a note that describes this cover:
"MR-4/Liberty Bell 7 Prime Recovery Ship Cover. One of the rarest (perhaps "the rarest") U.S. manned spaceflight postal cover! Only an extremely limited number of MR-4 USS Randolph splashdown-recovery ship covers from the suborbital manned Mercury spaceflight on July 21, 1961, making Gus Grissom the 2nd American in space. What makes the prime ship cover more amazing and valuable is Grissom's full signature on the cover itself! It may very well be the only known (that I know of) splashdown/PRS cover from MR-4 signed by the pilot-astronaut himself--"Virgil I. Grissom" in ball point pen! THIS IS NOT A RISE FAKE cover production. It came from the early space cover collection of Dr. E. V. Smith (though the cover has a type-written address of another space collector on it). I had purchased the cover from Dr. Smith decades ago along with a bunch of his other classic early space cover issues." - RRAuction
This cover has an autopen signature of "Gus Grissom", it has a postmark variation with "RANDOLPH (CVS-15)" at the bottom that is not often seen.