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Bill Cotter

Mercury Capsule "Friendship 7"

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Was the Freedom 7 capsule in the Missouri pavilion itself, or am I mistaken?  

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The real Freedom 7 did not come to the World's Fair.  But Aurora 7 and Gemini IV did- both in the Space Park in the Transportation Area.

Inside the Missouri Pavilion there was a mockup of a Gemini Capsule, provided by McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis.

The one outside the Missouri Pavilion was actually suborbital flight-ready hardware intended by NASA to test the blastoff emergency parachute separation system.  It's my understanding that it never ended up undergoing any flight testing.

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And in addition to what Randy mentions, the Mercury capsule which was atop the Atlas rocket in the Space Park during the Fair was also a real Mercury Capsule. In fact it flew in an unmanned "beach abort test" from Wallops Island, Virginia in 1960 to test the escape rocket system. When the Atlas was renovated back in 2002-2003 in the Rocket Park, the Hall of Science decided to have a mockup made for the rocket, and they moved the real capsule inside the Hall of Science where it is on display today.

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Amazingly it had sat up there for decades and they thought it was a replica until they took it down to refurbish the rocket, then looked inside and saw it was the real McCoy.

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Interesting.  Thanks.

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