GORDON COOPER'S MERCURY-ATLAS MODEL.
Model of the Mercury-Atlas rocket made by Topping of Akron, OH. The 18-inch tall rocket and spacecraft with escape tower is made of injection-molded plastic with a 6-inch diameter metal base. A 2-inch circular metal plate on the base reads: "Atlas-Mercury (Man-In-Space) for NASA, Convair Division, General Dynamics Corporation."
The Atlas rocket provided sufficient thrust to place the Mercury spacecraft into Earth orbit. Four manned orbital missions were made using the Mercury Atlas combination during 1962 and 1963.
WITH GORDON COOPER'S signed provenance note, reading in part: "This Mercury Atlas model brings back many memories of my early days as an astronaut. The Atlas had many growing pains with several exploding during flight. I was mighty glad that all those problems were solved before I rode one into orbit.
My launch was on May 15, 1963. The acceleration of the Atlas gave me the feel of adding full throttle to a Corvette sports car or a racing boat. It was a bit bumpy but I could monitor the instruments on the spacecraft control panel fairly well while ascending to earth orbit. You did know that you were on one roaring machine. Only three others have flown on an Atlas John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, and Wally Schirra, so it is a pretty exclusive club."