This inflatable delta wing was part of a test program in the early 1960s to develop a controllable system for landing two-person Gemini capsules on land, rather than parachuting into the ocean. It was used by North American Aviation, the prime contractor to NASA for the paraglider, in conjunction with the Tow Test Vehicles 1 and 2 (TTV-1 and 2), to conduct a series of experiments in gliding and landing at the Edwards Air Force Base in California. Due to technical difficulties and a tight schedule for the Gemini program, the concept never became operational.
Francis Rogallo, an engineer at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, invented the "Rogallo wing" concept in the 1950s. Later it was primarily used for hang gliders. North American Aviation gave this wing to the Smithsonian in 1967 on behalf of NASA.
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration