March 5: The Museum in Washington, DC will open today. Due to weather, the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA is closed.
This is a model of unknown scale of the Mercury-Redstone, the launch vehicle for the initial missions in the nation's first manned spaceflight program, Project Mercury. NASA modified the Army's Redstone medium-range ballistic missile to develop the Mercury-Redstone. It launched America's first astronaut in space on May 5, 1961. Alan Shepard, Jr., and the Freedom 7 capsule were lifted to a height of nearly 140 miles and a range of almost 600 miles in a flight lasting a little less than 16 minutes. The rocket was then used for the last time in the program when on July 21, 1961, it launched Virgil Grissom on another suborbital flight. Chrysler Corporation made this model and donated it to NASM in 1963.
Gift of Chrysler