Command Module, Apollo 11

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    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia

    Conical-shaped spacecraft; heat shield on blunt base; one hatch; five (5) windows: docking device in nose; small sample is located in a marked box on top wall shelf in DSH24.

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    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia

    Conical-shaped spacecraft; heat shield on blunt base; one hatch; five (5) windows: docking device in nose; small sample is located in a marked box on top wall shelf in DSH24.

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    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia

    Conical-shaped spacecraft; heat shield on blunt base; one hatch; five (5) windows: docking device in nose; small sample is located in a marked box on top wall shelf in DSH24.

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    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia

    Inscriptions inside the Apollo 11 Command Module "Columbia" made by Apollo 11 Commander Michael Collins.

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    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia

    Conical-shaped spacecraft; heat shield on blunt base; one hatch; five (5) windows: docking device in nose; small sample is located in a marked box on top wall shelf in DSH24.

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    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia

    Conical-shaped spacecraft; heat shield on blunt base; one hatch; five (5) windows: docking device in nose; small sample is located in a marked box on top wall shelf in DSH24.

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    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia

    Conical-shaped spacecraft; heat shield on blunt base; one hatch; five (5) windows: docking device in nose; small sample is located in a marked box on top wall shelf in DSH24.

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    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia

    Conical-shaped spacecraft; heat shield on blunt base; one hatch; five (5) windows: docking device in nose; small sample is located in a marked box on top wall shelf in DSH24.

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    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia

    Conical-shaped spacecraft; heat shield on blunt base; one hatch; five (5) windows: docking device in nose; small sample is located in a marked box on top wall shelf in DSH24.

    9 of 22

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    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia

    Conical-shaped spacecraft; heat shield on blunt base; one hatch; five (5) windows: docking device in nose; small sample is located in a marked box on top wall shelf in DSH24.

    10 of 22

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    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia

    Conical-shaped spacecraft; heat shield on blunt base; one hatch; five (5) windows: docking device in nose; small sample is located in a marked box on top wall shelf in DSH24.

    11 of 22

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    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia

    Conical-shaped spacecraft; heat shield on blunt base; one hatch; five (5) windows: docking device in nose; small sample is located in a marked box on top wall shelf in DSH24.

    12 of 22

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia

    Conical-shaped spacecraft; heat shield on blunt base; one hatch; five (5) windows: docking device in nose; small sample is located in a marked box on top wall shelf in DSH24.

    13 of 22

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia

    Conical-shaped spacecraft; heat shield on blunt base; one hatch; five (5) windows: docking device in nose; small sample is located in a marked box on top wall shelf in DSH24.

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    Columbia Stowage Map

    A photograph taken inside the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia shows a map of stowage locations. 

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    Michael Collins' Inscription inside Apollo 11 Command Module "Columbia"

    Following splashdown,while en route to Hawaii on the USS Hornet, Michael Collins crawled back into the command module (it was connected to the mobile quarantine facility by an air-tight tunnel) and wrote this short note on one of the equipment bay panels.  The inscription reads:

    Spacecraft 107, alias Apollo 11, alias "Columbia."
    The Best Ship to Come Down the Line.
    God Bless Her.
    Michael Collins, CMP

    Excerpt from After Sputnik: 50 Years of the Space Age

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    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia

    The Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

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    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia

    The Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia on display in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

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    Apollo 11 Launch

    On 16 July 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., in the mammoth-sized Saturn V rocket on their way to the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Cmdr. Armstrong and pilot Aldrin landed the spacecraft, Eagle, on the moon's Sea of Tranquillity. Apollo 11 booster stages were tested at Stennis Space Center.
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    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia

    The Apollo 11 command module Columbia is displayed at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

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    Apollo 11 Saturn V Launch

    At 9:32 a.m. EDT, the swing arms move away and a plume of flame signals the liftoff of the Apollo 11 Saturn V space vehicle and astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A.

    NASA GRIN #GPN-2000-000629

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    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia

    Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia on temporary cradle.

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Display Status:

This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Boeing Aviation Hangar

The Apollo 11 Command Module, "Columbia," was the living quarters for the three-person crew during most of the first crewed lunar landing mission in July 1969. On July 16, 1969, Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins were launched from Cape Kennedy atop a Saturn V rocket. This Command Module, no. 107, manufactured by North American Rockwell, was one of three parts of the complete Apollo spacecraft. The other two parts were the Service Module and the Lunar Module, nicknamed "Eagle." The Service Module contained the main spacecraft propulsion system and consumables while the Lunar Module was the two-person craft used by Armstrong and Aldrin to descend to the Moon's surface on July 20. The Command Module is the only portion of the spacecraft to return to Earth.

It was physically transferred to the Smithsonian in 1971 following a NASA-sponsored tour of American cities. The Apollo CM Columbia has been designated a "Milestone of Flight" by the Museum.