Ablative nose cone tip, Aerobee

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This object is on display in the Rockets & Missiles at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Rockets & Missiles

Ablative nosecone tip from a retrieved Aerobee rocket that carried an instrument that detected the first non-solar x-ray source in the sky. Recovered after the June 18, 1962 flight from White Sands, New Mexico, it was presented to Riccardo Giacconi, the team leader of the American Science & Engineering that built the x-ray telescope payload and pushed to detect x-ray radiation from celestial sources. This solid nosecone tip, assumed to be part of a typical payload shroud system built by Space-General Corporation, formerly a part of Aerojet-General (the original manufacturer of the Aerobee family), was donated to NASM in August 2000 by Riccardo and Mirella Giacconi.