Gemini GT-3 Heat-Shield Fragment



Item Description:

This is a heat-shield fragment from the Gemini 3 capsule unofficially nick named the Molly Brown.   This 1.4 inch long by 1/2 inch wide by 2 inches high artifact is encased in a lucite puck measuring 2.8 inches inches in diameter and 2.2 inches high.  The vintage lucite does show some very light wear with some very minor scratching.   A unique, rare and genuine Gemini 3 space artifact.

Gemini 3 Capsule

The Gemini 3 Molly Brown capsule is on permanent loan from the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum and is displayed at the Grissom Memorial of Spring Mill State Park close to Gus Grissom’s hometown of Mitchell, Indiana.


GT-3 Clouds

The heat shield which protected the Gemini spacecraft against the tremendous friction and heat of reentry into the atmosphere at a velocity of more than 17,000 miles per hour, was designed to actually slowly melt away.  The dish-shaped shield created a shock wave just ahead of the space capsules surface keeping the majority of the heat energy slightly away from the heat-shield.      The rest of the heat dissipated away from the capsule by ablation: the charring and evaporation of the shield's surface.  

The ablative substance of the Gemini heat shield is a paste-like silicone elastomer material which hardens after being poured into an aluminum honeycomb form.  Ablative heat shields are not reusable.

Gem Heatshield Close



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