Smaller airports can be fun to visit as you never know what will fly in. My local airport has a weekly drive-in / fly-in event once a week during the summer so it gets lots of cool cars as well as some fly-ins. You might see an ultralight or an old Cub fly in, or one week it was a Lake Amphibian. When I drove in for this week's event, though, something quite unusual had arrived:
It looked like a Gemini space capsule from the 1960's...It is a Gemini space capsule from the 1960's! And it's for sale:
So, what's the story? No, it's not space-flown hardware, all of those capsules are in museums. But it is a real artifact from the Gemini space program. It's a test capsule, one of a number constructed to test various aspects of how the vehicle worked. This one was use in recovery systems testing. If you have a really good memory of the program, at time time the Gemini spacecraft were intended to land on ground, using wheels or skids and a parachute similiar to a hang glider. So testing of that as well as the more normal parachute that was ultimately used was required.
The owner is trying to reduce his collection, thus the sale. Oh, in case you're interested, he has an Apollo capsule for sale too.
Pretty cool. I think I'll make a point to attend the drive-in / fly-in next week too! You never know what you might see...