The Hermes A-1 missile was an American version of the German Wasserfall missile of World War II. The development of the Hermes A-1 by the General Electric Company was begun in 1946 and was part of the larger Hermes program that took advantage of German wartime technology.
Beginning in 1947, components of the A-1 were successfully tested at the White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico and at GE's Malta Test Station in New York. Five A-1 rockets were successfully launched at White Sands between May 1950 and April 1951. The Hermes A-1 had a maximum range of 38 miles and altitude of 15 miles. The Hermes A-1 and other Hermes missiles never became operational, but did provide invaluable experience in the design, construction, and handling of large-scale missiles and rocket engines.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority donated this Hermes A-1 to the Smithsonian in 1980.
Gift of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority