Collection Item Summary:
In the event of a landing outside the primary landing area, Mercury astronauts carried a variety of survival equipment aboard their spacecraft. These included food, water, knives, rope, matches, medical supplies, a radio transceiver, a compass, a rescue beacon, a radar reflector, a life vest, and a life raft similar to this one. This sea shark chaser was part of the survival kit in Freedom 7, the first Mercury mission, in which Alan Shepard became the first American in space. If the astronaut releases the powder into the sea, it repels sharks. This object was not flown, and was inserted into the spacecraft afterward to complete the kit.
NASA transferred Freedom 7 to the Smithsonian in 1962. This object was found inside the spacecraft in 1977.