Junction Box, Reentry Capsule, Datasphere

This is the junction box used for electrical connections onboard the Datasphere, the first instrumented package to be recovered from space by the United States. Launched by a U.S. Air Force Thor ballistic missile on 13 June 1958 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, it transmitted and recorded information such as temperatures, pressures, and stresses critical to progress in the nation's spaceflight programs. The Datasphere reached an altitude of over 200 miles, reentered the atmosphere at more than 10,000 miles an hour, and was recovered intact in the South Atlantic. The manufacturer of this junction box is unknown. The Air Force donated it to NASM in 1959.