March 5: The Museum in Washington, DC will open today. Due to weather, the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA is closed.
This is the battery used to furnish power in the Datasphere, the first instrumented package to be recovered from space by the United States. Launched by a U.S. Air Force Thor ballistic missile on 13 June 1958 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, it recorded information such as temperatures, pressures, and stresses critical to progress in the nation's spaceflight programs. The Datasphere reached an altitude of over 200 miles, reentered the atmosphere at more than 10,000 miles an hour, and was recovered intact in the South Atlantic. The manufacturer of this battery is unknown. It was donated by the Air Force to NASM in 1959.
Transferred from the United States Air Force.