Cockpit, Lunar Module, Apollo, Mockup

Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This simulator demonstrates the view from inside the Lunar Module during descent from the Command Module/Service Module to the surface of the moon. In place of the two windows are two video screens that show the actual Lunar landscape as filmed from Apollo 17. In much the same view from the simulator, two astronauts would stand before these windows as they controled the gradual descent of the LM to the lunar surface. The attitude of the craft was controlled by 16 rockets situated around the outer structure of the LM. These rockets could be fired automatically by mechanical sensors or by the astronauts' inclinations. The descent to the moon was entirely dissimilar from a landing on the surface of the earth; no atmosphere was present, restricting the possibility of a diagonal glide-type landing, and also enabling the astronauts to land entirely vertically. The retro-rocket of the descent engine assured the astronauts of a gradual touchdown. The LM was specifically designed for a lunar landing; it would not have worked remotely well in the atmosphere of the Earth or in the presence of a strong gravitational field (the Moon's gravity is approximately 1/6 as strong as the Earth's at the surface).

Transferred to the National Air and Space Museum from Grumman Aerospace, the manufacturer, in 1975.