This is a single ply of Sitka spruce wood used in the nine-ply sections that formed the nose fairing for the U.S. Navy's Poseidon C-3 submarine-launched ballistic missile. During the missile's launch, the nose fairing and nose cap at its tip protected the reentry vehicle and its nuclear warheads from air friction temperatures approaching 1000 degrees. Explosive devices blew the nose fairing 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