This is a 1:4 scale model of the Gemini spacecraft as it appeared in orbit. The black reentry module with two hatches had the pressurized crew cabin and the heat shield. Unlike the Mercury and Apollo spacecraft, Gemini did not have an escape tower to pull it away from the booster during a launch emergency. Instead the astronauts had ejection seats. The forward part of the nose section contained the parachutes and other equipment and was jettisoned before landing in the ocean.
Behind the reentry module is the white adapter module, which had two parts. Nearest the cabin was the retrograde section, with four solid-fuel rockets to bring the Gemini back to Earth. Farthest from the cabin was the equipment section containing propellants for the maneuvering thrusters, fuel cells for electric power, and life-support equipment for the cabin. Each section was jettisoned in turn before reentry. The manufacturer of this model is unknown.
NASA gave it to the Smithsonian in 1972.