March 5: The Museum in Washington, DC will open today. Due to weather, the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA is closed.
This is a model of the U.S. Air Force's Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL), a project started in 1963 with the purpose of developing a military operations capability in space. The MOL was to incorporate a modified Gemini capsule attached to a cylindrical laboratory and launched as one unit by a Titan IIIC rocket. The modified Gemini capsule was to return to Earth with its crew of two after several weeks, and the laboratory itself would remain in orbit. Another modified Gemini capsule would be launched to take a new crew to the laboratory. Although a great deal of development work was done on the MOL, the project was cancelled in 1969. The manufacturer of this model is not known.
It was donated by John and Cynthia Heyde in the late 1980s.
Gift of John S. and Cynthia H. Heyde.