Collection Item Summary:
Apollo 10 with Command Module 106, Charlie Brown, with was launched on May 18, 1969, atop a Saturn V rocket. The crew consisted of Commander Tom Stafford, Command Module Pilot John Young, and Lunar Module Pilot Eugene Cernan. The mission was a dress rehearsal for the Apollo 11 landing on the moon and was the first time the Lunar Module was tested in lunar orbit. Once in lunar orbit, Stafford and Cernan flew the LM "Snoopy" to within 14.5 km of the lunar surface but, instead of landing, they performed a planned simulated abort which carried them away from the moon. Apollo 10 orbited the moon 31 times before returning to Earth. "Charlie Brown" landed in the Pacific Ocean on May 26. The success of the mission was the last step before the culmination of the dream, a manned landing on the moon the following July.
Accountability for Command Module 106 was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution in April 1970 just prior to its shipment to Europe for a display tour under the auspices of the United States Information Agency. Following display in several counties (including the USSR, France and the Netherlands), in 1978 the spacecraft was place on loan to the London Science Museum, where it has remained on public display.