This is a cutaway of a nose cap, which was at the tip of the nose fairing of the U.S. Navy's Poseidon C-3 submarine-launched ballistic missile. Made from Sitka spruce wood and cork, the nose cap is bonded to an aluminum interior shell. During launch, the nose fairing and nose cap protected the reentry vehicle and its nuclear warheads housed inside from air friction temperatures approaching 1000 degrees. Explosive devices blew the nose fairing and nose cap off shortly after the missile entered space. Poseidon C-3s were deployed from 1971 into the early 1990s. Lockheed Missiles & Space Company made and donated this object to NASM.
Gift of Lockheed Missiles & Space Company