Collection Item Summary:
This launch table supports the German V-2 exhibited at the National Air and Space Museum, an example of the world's first ballistic missile. The table is a tubular steel structure which was transported with the mobile launch convoy that fired operational missiles. Launch crews found that the table could be set up on any firm surface such as a road. Supported on four adjustable legs, the table could be rotated so that the proper axis of the missile is pointed in the firing direction. A separate pyramidal blast deflector is part of the launch stand.
The NASM launch was a gift of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in 1975 and likely was captured by the U.S. Army in 1945. It has all the major structural elements, but lacks the cable mast, electrical connectors and vacuum tube electronics box of an operational launch stand.