The Apollo Lunar Module was built by
Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation for the Apollo program.
The Lunar Module is often referred to as the LM. This was
the first vehicle designed solely for manned extra-terrestrial
operation. On six moon landings, the Lunar Module carried
astronauts from the Apollo command module (CM) to the surface
of the moon and back. One mission, Apollo 13, was aborted
because of damage to the service module. The Lunar Module
saved the day for the Apollo 13 mission by providing the power
to return the crippled vehicle and its crew back to earth
The LM consists of two parts or stages
which are joined by four interstage fittings. The top of the
vehicle is the ascent
stage. It carried two astronauts along with the navigation,
guidance, control, communications, life support, environmental
control, electrical power and propulsion systems.
The lower part of the LM was the descent
stage. It carried the scientific equipment, a propulsion
system, additional electric power, water and oxygen for the
ascent stage. During the last 3 of the Apollo missions it
also carried the Lunar Rover Vehicle.
How did the LM travel to the Moon?
shows the LM positioned inside the launch vehicle.(Larger
At the end of a lunar visit, the interstage
fittings were severed by an explosive device. This allowed
the ascent stage to lift off and return the two member crew
to the orbiting command module where the third crew member
awaited them. The descent stage remained on the moon. The
ascent stage would dock with the command module so the two
astronauts on board could return to the command module. The
LM was then jettisoned into the moon's orbit and set to crash
into the moon's surface at a predetermined time.
Where are these Lunar Modules now?
The Apollo Command Module Capsules are on display at various
sites throughout the U.S. and the world. The Apollo Lunar
Modules were deliberately targeted to impact (crash into)
the Moon to provide artificial moonquake sources for seismic
Sites have been recorded and coordinates listed are from
the Manned Space Flight Network.
Apollo - Current Locations gives the locations of the
any Apollo crafts on displays and the LM crash sites. (http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/apolloloc.html)
The history and typical specifications
of the Lunar Modules produced by Grumman for the Apollo program
are listed below. (Print friendly version of the chart
||Unmanned, earth orbit
||Apollo 5 - Earth orbital
test flight of unpiloted LM. LM
||not flown - now at
The National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution
||Manned, earth orbit
||Apollo 9 - simulated
in Earth orbit the operation of lunar module to landing
and takeoff from lunar surface and rejoining with command
named Spider. Reading about the flight
of the LM.
||Manned, lunar orbit
||Apollo 10 - demonstrated
complete system including lunar module to 50,000 feet
from lunar surface.
LM named Snoopy. In heliocentric orbit.
||1st lunar landing
||July 20, 1969
||Apollo 11 Mission
- first human landing on Moon. LM
named Eagle. Impact site unknown.
||2nd lunar landing
||Nov. 20, 1969
||Apollo 12 Mission
- second human landing on Moon. Explored surface of Moon,
retrieved parts of Surveyor 3 spacecraft which landed
in Ocean of Storms on April 19. 1967.
LM named Intrepid.
aborted in trans-lunar phase
13 Mission Loss of service module electrical power. LM
served as rescue "lifeboat" and provided power
to return crippled spacecraft and crew safely back to
named Aquarius. LM burned up in Earth's atmosphere.
||3rd lunar landing
||Feb. 5, 1971
14 Mission - Third human landing. Mission demonstrated
pinpoint landing capability and continued human exploration
named Antares. Read about the landing
at Fra Mauro.
||not flown - now at
Kennedy Space Center
||4th lunar landing
||July 30, 1971
||Apollo 15 Mission-
First of the Apollo "J" series which carried
Roving Vehicle in LM Falcon. Read about problems
with the LM prior to launch. Read about the launch
and interesting notes about the LM and the mission turning
from "H" to "J" series and use of
destruct explosives on the LM.
||5th lunar landing
||April 20, 1972
||Apollo 16 Mission
- carried Lunar
Roving Vehicle in LM Orion. Read about the landing
||6th lunar landing
||Dec. 11, 1972
||Apollo 17 Mission-
Lunar Roving Vehicle in LM Challenger. Read about
the LM returning
to orbit and docking with CM.
||On display at Cradle of Aviation Museum,
||On display at the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia
Note: The objects pictured
above are part of The Franklin Institute's protected collection
of objects. The images are © The Franklin Institute. All rights