Earth Path Indicator, Mercury 4

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This object is on display in the Time and Navigation exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

The Mercury space capsule carried this device, designed by the Honeywell Corporation, which allowed the astronaut to see his orbital track and heading. For example, it indicated when the spacecraft was passing over a ground station or a landing site. The device was a simple globe, driven by a clockwork mechanism. Once in a stable orbit, the astronaut would wind up the clockwork, and set the position of a tiny scale model of the Mercury capsule, under which the globe would rotate.

This specimen was flown aboard MA-4, an unmanned Mercury flight that preceeded the manned flights.

Transferred from NASA to the Museum in 1972.