This is the Redstone missile, shown in its modified form as the launch vehicle for the one-man Project Mercury spacecreft launched in 1961. The spacecraft on top the vehicle is a mockup.
Development of the Redstone began in 1950 and in June 1958 it became the U.S.'s first large-scale operational liquid-propellant missile. Earlier, on 31 January 1958, a modified version of the Redstone called the Jupiter-C, placed the U.S.'s first artificial satellite, Explorer 1, into orbit. On 5 May 1961, another modied version, the Mercury-Redstone rocket, launched the first American into space, Alan B. Shepard, into a sub-orbital flight.
Transferred to the Museum from the Chrysler Corporation in 1970.
Gift of Chrysler Corporation