This device was proposed to NASA as an emergency system, which would help astronauts navigate through space in the event of a malfunction of the primary navigation system. The device used a plastic globe, a set of lights, and a special lens, called "Foster's Eye," to allow astronauts to get a fix on their position. NASA chose not to install a mechanical backup of this type on Apollo, although it is worth noting that the Soviet space program used a device similar to this one for its Soyuz capsules.
Edwin Collen, its inventor, gave this device to the Museum.
Gift of Edwin G. Collen