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Spectrograph, V-2, Film Holder


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar room at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Spectrograph, V-2, Film Holder

Collection Item Summary:

Original film holder from a spectrograph flown on a V-2 rocket at the White Sands Proving Grounds in April 1947. Very early in the space age, Jesse Greenstein of the Yerkes Observatory designed and built a spectrograph to obtain high-dispersion solar spectra from above the earth's atmosphere. The instrument was installed in the mid-section of a V-2. The need to survive the impact from its return to earth led to the very rugged design, especially for this film holder, which held a single photographic plate . The rocket, launched on April 1, 1947 reached an altitude of 80 miles. The film holder survived the impact and was brought back to Yerkes for development of the photographic plate. The plate however failed to give usable data. Apparently the rotating shutter was sprung and the plate was never exposed to sunlight. The film holder was donated to NASM by the Yerkes Observatory in 1989.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


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

Credit Line

Gift of the Yerkes Observatory




Overall: 17 in. tall x 6 in. wide x 5 in. deep (43.2 x 15.2 x 12.7cm)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number


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