An original Gemini Boiler Plate Capsule, standing approximately 9.5 feet tall and weighing an impressive 2 tons. All of the panels are stamped Manned Space Center stamp-numbered “MSC 312” with exception of one replaced crew access door which is “MSC 206.” The cradle is stamped “MSC 503.” The windowless empty interior has two weights attached to the ceiling, with five additional weights on the floor to reproduce the weight distribution of the control panels and positioning. A central column is also present in the interior which would have held a Rogallo wing at one point before it was re-purposed and reconfigured. This particular example was rescued as a ‘barn find’ in the late 2000s after having been originally purchased from surplus auctions at the Rockwell Downey facility in the late 1970s. Capsule has had some cosmetic restoration, with the addition of new paint and lettering. In overall very good condition, with aforementioned painting, as well as some scattered areas of cosmetic pitting and rust-through, none of which affects the structural stability of the capsule.
Boilerplates were first used during the early stages of the Mercury Project. Constructed at a fraction of the cost of a fully functional capsule, these boilerplates were an economical way to test various load and handling characteristics that would be encountered during the mission. This boilerplate would have been used primarily for testing watertightness, flotation collars, and egress procedures. Most boilerplates are on display in various museums, bases, and schools, with only two known in private hands. Note: Winning bidder is responsible for cost of shipping capsule from origin to destination. Please call RRAuction for more information. RR Auction COA.
Bidding for the Space and Aviation Auction opens Nov 13, 2014 & ends Nov 20, 2014