Apollo Boilerplate Command Module

Display Status:

This object is on display in the Human Spaceflight at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

As part of the Apollo program, a number of so-called "boilerplate" (BP) command modules were constructed to undergo various tests and to serve as training vehicles for astronauts and other mission crew members. BP 1102A is constructed of aluminum, with its sidewalls painted with a bronze epoxy paint to simulate the look of a real Apollo Command module after splashdown. It was fitted with an actual Command Module hatch. The initial use of BP1102A was as the water egress trainer for all Apollo flights, including by the crew of Apollo 11, the first lunar landing mission. As such, it was fitted with actual or mock-up interior components and used by astronauts to practice routine and emergency exits from the spacecraft.

Subsequently, the interior was set up to be configured either as Apollo/Soyuz or a five-man rescue vehicle as once proposed for Skylab so that astronauts could train for those missions. It was finally transferred from NASA to the Smithsonian in 1977 and is displayed now at the Hazy Center with the flotation collar and bags that were attached to Columbia at the end of its historic mission.