Abstract The ability to capture projectiles intact at hypervelocities opens new applications in science and technology that would either not be possible or would be very costly by other means. This capability has been demonstrated in the laboratory for aluminum projectiles of 1.6 mm diameter, captured at 6 km/s, in one unmelted piece, and retaining up to 95% of the original mass. Furthermore, capture was accomplished passively using microcellular underdense polymer foam. Another advantage of capturing projectiles in an underdense medium is the ability of such a medium to preserve a record of the projectile's original velocity components of speed and direction. A survey of these experimental results is described in terms of a dozen parameters which characterize the amount of capture and the effect on the projectile due to different capture media.