National Air & Space Museum Site Index
Lunar Module 2 (LM-2) Gallery


One of the signs by LM-2. It reads


Since lunar modules were designed to fly only in the vacuum of space, they did not have to be streamlined like an aircraft or carry a heat shield for protection during reentry. Once a lunar module was launched into space, it could not return to Earth.

The lunar module had two stages:

  1. The silver-and-black ascent stage contained the crew's pressurized compartment and the clusters of rockets that controlled the spacecraft.
    1. VHF Antenna
    2. Docking Target
    3. Forward Hatch
    4. Tracking Light
    5. Window (2)
    6. S-Band Steerable Antenna
    7. Rendezvous Radar Antenna
    8. S-Band Inflight Antenna
    9. RCS Thrust-Chamber Assembly Cluster (4)
    10. Landing Pad
  2. The gold-and-black descent stage, like the ascent stage, contained a main, centrally located rocket engine and tanks of fuel and oxidizer.
    1. Lunar Surface Sensing Probe
    2. Descent Engine Skirt
    3. Egress Platform
    4. Ladder

The sign puts #10 "Landing Pad" on the ascent, rather than descent, stage. The sign also incorrectly identifies the EVA antenna as the docking target.

Also, the diagram of the LM reflects LM-3 from Apollo 9: It lacks plume deflectors and has landing probes on all four legs (although LM-2 is displayed without landing probes). Plume deflectors were added to LM-5 (Apollo 11) and subsequent due to scorching of the descent stage by the downward-facing RCS thruster as observed by the Apollo 9 astronauts. The landing probe on the leg with the ladder was deleted starting with LM-4 (Apollo 10) because the probes bend upon contact with the lunar surface and may wind up pointing any which way; there were fears of an astronaut puncturing his space suit while climbing down the ladder.

Time picture taken Fri Jun 22 10:36:36 2007
Location picture taken Lunar Exploration Vehicles Gallery
National Air & Space Museum
Washington, DC
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