Flown René 41 outer shell and insulation fragments from the Mercury-Atlas 1 space capsule, measuring approximately .75″ x .5″, matted with images to an overall size of 11 x 14. In very good to fine condition, with slight bends to the matted presentation.
Less than a minute after the launch of the unmanned Mercury-Atlas 1 on July 29, 1960, both its rocket and capsule sank into the Atlantic Ocean following a structural failure in the craft’s Atlas rocket. Successful recovery of the capsule and portions of the rocket showed that the vent valve and a still-attached segment of piping had noticeable fatigue cracks, leading engineers to conclude that reinforced skin structure and shallower launch trajectories need be implemented for future Mercury-Atlas launches.
Provenance: The Spaceflight America Museum and Science Center in Prince Frederick, MD, and accompanied by the museum's display placard.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.