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Lunar Module 2 (LM-2) Gallery


This diorama is supposed to be the Apollo 11 moon landing, and so it is complete with astronauts.

Picture 2 of 10.

Some people believe that Neil Armstrong's "one small step" refers to the step from the bottom rung of the ladder to the landing pad, but actually Neil had already jumped down from the ladder onto the landing pad, and he simply stepped from the landing pad to the lunar surface.

One technical inaccuracy with this display is that Neil (as the commander, Armstrong would already be on the lunar surface as Buzz Aldrin was descending the ladder) could not possibly be standing where he's standing: The gold rectangle on the lunar module above his left shoulder is the "modularized equipment stowage assembly," or MESA. It's basically a pallet with various tools and equipment. Before Armstrong descended the ladder, he pulled a lanyard which deployed the MESA, which was hinged with the bottom of the descent stage (The TV camera which broadcast Armstrong going down the ladder and onto the lunar surface was also in the MESA.)

So, no astronaut could be standing where Neil is standing in this display, because the MESA would be in the way.

Time picture taken Tue Jun 19 12:31:34 2007
Location picture taken Lunar Exploration Vehicles Gallery
National Air & Space Museum
Washington, DC
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