Original mockup model of a Ranger lunar capsule in the shape of a sphere with a diameter of 24″, which opens to reveal the 12″ diameter instrument cluster with each part labeled: "Electronics," "Seismometer," "Antenna Block," "Battery," "Puncturing Device," "H2O Chamber," and "Pre-Impact Caging Pin." In very good condition, with toning and scratching to outside of sphere. This was given to veteran space journalist Mary Bubb by a Ford Aerospace public relations director, who said it was 'the last piece of Ranger capsule-related hardware in existence within our company.' Accompanied by an assortment of related materials, including nine original vintage glossy press photos related to the Ranger, five early 1960s press releases about the Ranger program, a 1962 packet entitled "Story of the Lunar Capsule" by Ford's Aeronutronic Division, magazine article clippings about Ranger 7, two press teletypes, and a telegram about Ranger technical difficulties, all from Bubb's personal collection. From the collection of aerospace memorabilia specialist Ken Havekotte, who notes that this is the only known such mockup of the Ranger lunar capsule.
The capsule was designed with a balsa wood exterior to absorb the impact with the lunar surface, protecting the delicate instrument cluster inside. After multiple launch failures, the Ranger lunar capsule finally landed on the moon on the Ranger 4 mission in 1962, becoming the first American-made capsule to touch the moon's surface. The mission, however, was not a success—a problem with the onboard computer resulted in no telemetry data being returned from the probe. Still, NASA officials tried to put a positive spin on the Ranger, noting that it was the first time an American spacecraft had reached the surface of another celestial body. This interesting model represents a historic first for the American space program, and, originating from the collection of Mary Bubb, boasts excellent provenance.
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