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Mercury Hatch

The exhibit included a Mercury hatch, with its exterior shingles removed. This allow inspection of the hatch's construction, including an (inert) explosive hatch igniter.

Although the hatch's sign doesn't identify which which hatch this actually is, or whether it is even a flown hatch (merely noting that Liberty Bell 7's hatch was not recovered from the bottom of the ocean), it appears to be NASM catalog #A19740035000, which notes that it was an unflown hatch but little else.

It has what would appear to be a uniquely-identifying detail, the presence of a micrometeorite sampler experiment, with an opening outer door. However, I was unable to find any reference to such an experiment in any Project Mercury documentation.

The hatch was a stand-alone display, not hung on a wall, which allowed examination of both sides of the hatch. The glass of the display case was, of course, reflective, and the overall exhibit was dark, with spot lighting on highlighted displays, so the glare was especially bad.

 
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