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 the Redstone missile, shown in its modified form as the launch vehicle for the one-man Project Mercury spacecreft launched in 1961. The spacecraft on top the vehicle is a mockup.

Development of the Redstone began in 1950 and in June 1958 it became the U.S.'s first large-scale operational liquid-propellant missile. Earlier, on 31 January 1958, a modified version of the Redstone called the Jupiter-C, placed the U.S.'s first artificial satellite, Explorer 1, into orbit. On 5 May 1961, another modied version, the Mercury-Redstone rocket, launched the first American into space, Alan B. Shepard, into a sub-orbital flight.

Transferred to the Museum from the Chrysler Corporation in 1970.

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 Chrysler Corporation


Mainly aluminum (Reynolds Metal Co.) and alloy steel


Overall: 756 in. long x 70 in. diameter (1920.24 x 177.8cm)

Country of Origin

United States of America


ca. 1958-1964



Inventory Number