Extraordinary 1:3 scale contractor's model of a Mercury-Redstone capsule from the early 1960s. The model measures approximately 50″ tall and 25″ in diameter, and is constructed of heavy steel and fiberglass, with the sturdy steel heat shield panels bearing white text, “United States,” and two Plexiglas windows allowing an interior view of controls and a seated Mercury astronaut; when model is plugged in, the interior of the cabin is fully illuminated. The model sits on its striped chrome three retrograde rocket base. In very good to fine condition, with scattered wear and scuffs to paint, and dings and chips to lower ring and upper nose section. A remarkably robust and early contractor’s model, examples of which are rarely available for private ownership, as they are usually only exhibited in Air & Space museums.
NASA describes the Mercury spacecraft: 'The first U.S. spaceship was a cone-shaped one-man capsule with a cylinder mounted on top. Two meters (6 ft, 10 in) long, 1.9 meters (6 ft, 2 1/2 in) in diameter, a 5.8 meter (19 ft, 2 in) escape tower was fastened to the cylinder of the capsule. The blunt end was covered with an ablative heat shield to protect it against the 3,000 degree heat of entry into the atmosphere.
The Mercury program used two launch vehicles: A Redstone for the suborbital and an Atlas for the four orbital flights. Prior to the manned flights, unmanned tests of the booster and the capsule, carrying a chimpanzee, were made. Each astronaut named his capsule and added the numeral 7 to denote the teamwork of the original astronauts.'
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Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.