Collection Item Summary:
At the start of the Gemini program in 1961, NASA considered having the two-man Gemini capsule land on a runway after its return from space, rather than parachute into the ocean. This controlled descent and landing was to be accomplished by deploying an inflatable paraglider wing of the type invented by Francis Rogallo and NASA's Langley Research Center. Although never used to recover a manned spacecraft, the Paraglider Landing System Program proved useful in developing alternate landing techniques.
This full-scale, manned Test Tow Vehicle (TTV) was built to test the Gemini paraglider wing in flight. It served as the first of two TTVs flown to perfect maneuvering, control, and landing techniques. Eight times a helicopter released the TTV, wings deployed, over the dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, where it landed.
NASA transferred the TTV-1 to the Smithsonian in 1975.