This is the flown RVX 1-5 reentry vehicle, built by General Electric for the U.S. Air Force and the first reentry vehicle recovered by the United States after an intercontinental-range flight. Launched on 8 April 1959 atop a Thor-Able rocket from Cape Canaveral, it was recovered in the South Atlantic after a down-range flight of 10,180 km (6,325 miles), during which it reached temperatures above 12,000 F. Instruments within the RVX 1-5 and the nose cap, which was protected by special Avcoite heat-shielding material, provided valuable scientific data to the Air Force. The nose cap at the tip of the vehicle is a mock-up, as the flown one was removed for testing and was acquired separately by NASM in 1963. This RVX 1-5 was donated by the Air Force in 1960.
Transferred from the United States Air Force.