Gemini TTV-1 Paraglider Capsule


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Human Spaceflight exhibition at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

At the start of the Gemini program in 1961, NASA considered having the two-man Gemini capsule land on a runway after its return from space, rather than parachute into the ocean. This controlled descent and landing was to be accomplished by deploying an inflatable paraglider wing of the type invented by Francis Rogallo and NASA's Langley Research Center. Although never used to recover a manned spacecraft, the Paraglider Landing System Program proved useful in developing alternate landing techniques.

This full-scale, manned Test Tow Vehicle (TTV) was built to train Gemini astronauts for flight. It served as the first of two TTVs flown to perfect maneuvering, control, and landing techniques. Eight times a helicopter released the TTV, wings deployed, over the dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, where it landed.

Transferred from NASA to the Museum in 1975.

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

Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration




  • Overall: 115 × 92 3/8 in., 4300lb., 304.8cm (292.1 × 234.6cm, 1950.5kg, 10 ft.)
  • Other (wheel to wheel): 92 in. (233.7cm)
  • Other (capsule): 103 7/8 in. (263.8cm)

Country of Origin

United States of America


SPACECRAFT-Manned-Test Vehicles

Inventory Number