- Nasa Mercury Liberty Bell 7 1/72 Scale Model (Pre-Order)
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Imported from Japan! NASA's Mercury program was a series of manned spaceflights in the important buildup to putting man on the Moon. Gus Grissom's spacecraft 'Liberty Bell 7' flew 480km at a maximum altitude of 190km and maximum speed of 1,969m/s. The naming is because of the shape of the craft, as well as an association with the original Liberty Bell. Indeed, a 'crack' was painted onto the side of the craft to add to the illusion. An innovation with this spacecraft was an explosive hatch release that allowed a rapid emergency escape. After performing its flight, Liberty Bell 7 splashed down in the ocean, although the craft subsequently sank to the bottom before it could be retrieved by helicopter. As a fitting final note, the Mercury spacecraft was salvaged 38 years later in 1999.