This is a 1:48 scale model of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Mercury-Redstone rocket, which employed modified Army Redstone medium-range ballistic missiles. After several launches of unmanned Mercury spacecraft in late 1960 and early 1961, a Mercury-Redstone launched America's first astronaut in space on May 5, 1961. Alan Shepard, Jr., and the Freedom 7 capsule were lifted to a height of nearly 140 miles and a range of almost 600 miles in a flight lasting a little less than 16 minutes. The rocket was then used for the last time in the program when on July 21, 1961, it launched Virgil Grissom on another suborbital flight. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center built this model and transferred it to NASM in 1977.