Boilerplate, Capsule, Mercury, Drop Test Vehicle

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Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This artifact was used in 50 drop tests to qualify the Mercury capsule for recovery on land and sea. A boilerplate is a mockup of the same external weight and size as a flight production model, but usually made out of steel. The design and function of a spacecraft can be evaluated without endangering human life or incurring the expense associated with a real spacecraft. In September 1967 NASA transferred this drop test vehicle to the Smithsonian Institution.

Project Mercury was the United States' first human spaceflight program, with a goal of launching a series of one-man capsules into space. Six astronauts flew in Mercury capsules from 1961-63, the first two were lofted into suborbital trajectories by the Redstone rocket, the last four into orbit by the Atlas ICBM.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Materials

Steel

Dimensions

Overall: 68 in. tall x 78 in. wide (172.7 x 198.1cm)

Country of Origin

United States of America

Type

SPACECRAFT-Manned-Test Vehicles

Inventory Number

A19680250000