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Detector, Radiation, Geiger, Viking


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar room at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

Experimental Geiger tube similar to those flown on Viking sounding rockets. The pillbox-like shape was designed to allow these detectors to be stacked and flown as an array. These counters comprise a gas filled tube with a outer cathode and a short wire anode in the middle, hidden by the opaque entrance window, probably aluminum, that was designed to filter out all radiation less energetic than x-rays. Photons of energetic radiation that enter the tube will ionize the filling gas making it electrically conductive. This will cause a discharge to flow bewteen the anode and the cathode. This results in a countable electrical signal. This artifact is part of a collection of high energy detectors from the Naval Research Laboratory (see Catalogue#s 19880001000-19880017000). It was transferred to NASM in 1987.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


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


Naval Research Laboratory

Credit Line

Transferred from the Naval Research Laboratory


  • Cover - aluminum
  • Geiger tube - glass
  • Tube - chrome iron


3-D: 4.1 x 1.9cm (1 5/8 x 3/4 in.)

See more items in

National Air and Space Museum Collection

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number