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This type of nose cone was flown on Jupiter Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBM) from Launch Complexes 5/6 and 26. This nose cone actually flew and was recovered from the Atlantic Ocean some 1,500 nautical miles down range.
The purpose of the nose cone on an operational Jupiter was to protect the nuclear warhead during atmospheric re-entry. On biological flights, it protected the monkeys or other biological specimens contained inside. A parachute deployed to gently slow the nose cone for final landing.
Brevard Community College provided the nose cone. After restoration, the Jupiter nose cone was delivered to the Air Force Space and Missile History Center.