This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.
Collection Item Summary:
When the Smithsonian received this artifact from NASA in 1967, it was the structural framework of a Mercury capsule only, without inner or outer skin or a forward recovery section. NASA had used it for instrumentation and wiring tests. The Michigan Space Center later converted the framework into a mockup of a Mercury capsule mounted atop a Redstone booster.
Project Mercury was the United States' first human spaceflight program, with a goal of launching a series of one-man capsules into space. Six astronauts flew in Mercury capsules from 1961-63, the first two were lofted into suborbital trajectories by the Redstone rocket, the last four into orbit by the Atlas ICBM.