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Astronavigator, Binocular Viewer, Prototype

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This object is on display in the Time and Navigation exhibition at the National Mall building.


Manufacturer: Edwin G. Collen

Designer: Edwin G. Collen

Country of Origin: United States of America

Dimensions: 3-D: 33 x 43.2 x 33cm (13 x 17 x 13 in.)

Materials: Wood, Plastic, Nylon, Aluminum, Paper, Glass, Rubber (Silicone), Paint

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

Inventory number: A19930078000

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