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One of the signs near the Apollo boilerplate. It reads


Apollo 11 Flotation Collar

When an Apollo command module landed in the ocean, it could settle into one of two stable positions: nose up or nose down. Landing nose down left its recovery antennas underwater and increased the possibility that the spacecraft might flood. To turn the command module upright, three inflatable bags were installed in a forward compartment. In the event of a nose-down landing, astronauts could right the spacecraft by inflating the bags using two air compressors located in the aft (blunt) end of the spacecraft).

The three flotation bags attached to this command module trainer are the actual bags used on Apollo 11 at the end of its historic lunar landing mission on July 24, 1969. The astronauts deployed them after the command module settled nose down, enabling the spacecraft to right itself about six and a half minutes after splashdown.


 
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Time picture taken Mon Jun 18 13:52:58 2007
Location picture taken Ground Level
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar
Udvar Hazy Center
Chantilly, VA
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