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Life Raft, Self-inflating, Freedom 7


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Apollo to the Moon exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

In the event of a landing outside the primary landing area, Mercury astronauts carried a variety of survival equipment aboard their spacecraft. These included food, water, knives, rope, matches, medical supplies, a radio transceiver, a compass, a rescue beacon, a radar reflector, a life vest, and a life raft similar to this one. This self-inflating life raft was part of the survival kit in Freedom 7, the first Mercury mission, in which Alan Shepard became the first American in space.

NASA transferred Freedom 7 to the Smithsonian in 1962. This object was found inside the spacecraft in 1977.

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

Credit Line

Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Exterior pouch: plastic covered textile, aluminum hooks, velcro, and polyester


3-D: 34.3 x 22.9 x 11.4cm (13 1/2 x 9 x 4 1/2 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number