FLOWN MA-2 HEAT SHIELD SEGMENT.
Circular heat shield segment, approximately 1 by 1 inch. Encased in lucite and on a square lucite stand, with a plaque reading: "MA-2 Capsule No. 6 Ablation Shield Plug, McDonnell Aircraft Corporation."
MA-2 was launched on 21 February 1961 on an 18-minute flight to test the re-entry effects on the Mercury Capsule number 6. Atmospheric friction during re-entry has charred the top surface of the heat shield. The flight obtained an altitude of 114 miles and flew over 1,400 miles down range from Cape Canaveral.