Model, Rocket, Thor Able, 1:16


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This is a 1:16 scale model of the Thor Able rocket that launched the RVX 1-5 reentry vehicle on 8 April 1959, the first reentry vehicle recovered by the United States after an intercontinental-range flight. The first stage Thor was a modified U.S. Air Force intermediate-range ballistic missile and the Able was the second stage.

Launched from Cape Canaveral, the RVX 1-5 was recovered in the South Atlantic after a down-range flight of 10,180 km (6,325 miles), during which it reached temperatures above 6650 C (12,000 F). Instruments within the RVX 1-5, along with the nose cone which was removed after recovery and had holes drilled in it for testing, provided valuable scientific data to the Air Force.

This model's manufacturer is unknown. Kenneth Newland donated it to the museum in 1960.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Credit Line

Gift of the U.S. Air Force


  • Wood
  • Paint
  • Plastic
  • Adhesive
  • Brass


Overall: 131.45 x 13.97 x 13.97cm (4ft 3 3/4in. x 5 1/2in. x 5 1/2in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America


MODELS-Missiles & Rockets

Inventory Number


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