The Mercury and Redstone combination comprised the United States’ first manned space craft. There were two manned Mercury-Redstone sub-orbital flights in May and July 1961
By the late 1950s the US and USSR were racing to be the first country to put a man into space.
Nobody knew what effects space travel would have on the human body so the United States decided to conduct sub-orbital tests as a first step.
For manned flights the small Mercury capsule was mated with the Redstone rocket, which was a development of the German V-2 rocket of World War II.
The first Mercury-Redstone flight occurred on 5 May 1961, carrying astronaut Alan Shepard 487 km down range from Cape Canaveral in 15 minutes.
A second similar flight was made on 21 July 1961 before Project Mercury moved on to using Atlas launchers for orbital flights.
This model represents the first Mercury-Redstone, Freedom 7, that flew with Alan Shepard on board on 5 May 1961
New Ware 1/144 kit. Completed in July 2006.