U.S. Space and Rocket Center Site Index
LES Pitch Motor Gallery


Overall view of the LES pitch motor display.

The graphic reads

A Quick Escape

For any rocket launch, failure is always a possibility. What would happen to the crew if the Saturn V failed? Different abort modes were designed for the various phases of ascent. None were ever used.

Background image: The Apollo Launch Escape System (LES) undergoes a test a White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, 1965. The LES was designed to propel the Apollo Command Module (CM) away from the Saturn V in an emergency on the pad or during initial ascent.

LES Pitch Control Motor

The Apollo LES contained three solid-rocket motors:

  • The Launch Escape Motor pushed the CM out of the path of the Saturn V.
  • The Pitch Control Motor (on display) directed the CM out over the Atlantic.
  • The Tower Jettison Motor helped remove the LES from the CM to make way for the capsule's parachutes.

LES Pitch Motor display at U.S. Space and Rocket Center
Time picture taken Fri Jan 20 11:01:46 2012
Location picture taken Saturn V Hall
Davidson Center for Space Exploration
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Huntsville, AL
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