This is a 1:30 scale model of the Manned Orbital Laboratory (MOL), a U.S. Air Force space-based reconnaissance platform. After being launched into Earth orbit onboard a Gemini capsule by a Titan rocket, the crew of two astronauts would enter the attached laboratory module. Missions would last two to four weeks. The Gemini capsule with crew would then detach from the MOL and return to Earth, while the laboratory module would remain in orbit. When it became clear that automated reconnaissance satellites like Corona could do the same job at less cost and without hazard to humans, Project MOL was cancelled in the late 1960s. This model was made and donated by McDonnell Douglas in 1972.
Transferred from the United States Air Force.