See inside the Apollo 10 command module

May 24, 2009 12:20 by scibuff

Date: May 18, 1969. Time: 16:49:00 UTC. Place: Kennedy Space Center. The Saturn’s V first stage F-1 monster engines just sucked up 43 tons of kerosene and liquid oxygen in nine seconds before lifting up the 3,000-ton rocket with Apollo 10 from the Pad 39-B.

The Apollo 10 (Spacecraft 106/Lunar Module 4/Saturn 505) space vehicle is launched from Pad B, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, Florida at 16:49 UTC, May 18, 1969 - Source: NASA

The Apollo 10 (Spacecraft 106/Lunar Module 4/Saturn 505) space vehicle is launched from Pad B, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, Florida at 16:49 UTC, May 18, 1969 - Source: NASA

Apollo 10 was a full dress rehearsal for Apollo’s 11 meeting with destiny two months later. With the permission of the Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz the Command/Service Module (CSM) was named Charlie Brown and the Lunar Module (LM) Snoopy. The crew of Thomas Stafford (Mission Commander), John Young (CSM Pilot) and Eugene Cernan (LM Pilot) had 10 spaceflights between them and Gene also performed an extra-vehicular activity (EVA) on Gemini 9 (the third EVA ever).

On May 24 40 years ago, Thomas Stafford, John Young and Eugene Cernan were orbiting the Moon after the first-ever manned CSM – LM docking in lunar orbit carried out at 03:11:02 UTC on May 23, 1969 (at 106:22:02 MET) preparing for the Trans-Earth Injection (TEI) maneuver to set them on the course home. The TEI burn started at 10:25:29 UTC on May 24, 1969 (at 137:36:28.9 MET) and lasted 165 seconds. Apollo 10 landed successfully at 16:52:23 UTC on May 26, 1969 (at 192:03:23 MET) about 200 km east of American Samoa.

Science Museum in London, the home of Apollo 10 CSM – Charlie Brown, prepared a special event for its visitors for the 40th anniversary of the mission. For only one day (Saturday, May 23 2009) the module’s hatch cover was removed from the spacecraft to allow visitor to look at the actual controls.

Apollo 10 Command Module with the hatch cover removed

Apollo 10 Command Module with the hatch cover removed

The entrance to the Apollo 10 Command Module

The entrance to the Apollo 10 Command Module with John Young's and Gene Cernan's seats visible

The Command Module pilot seat

The Command Module pilot seat

The Command Module controls board with a guidance computer on the left

The Command Module controls board with a guidance computer on the left

Lunar Module Pilot seat with a storage for the Flight Plan, Malfunction Procedures, CSM Updates and the Crew Log

Lunar Module Pilot seat with a storage for the Flight Plan, Malfunction Procedures, CSM Updates and the Crew Log

Charlie Brown's Heat Shield (or what's left of it after the re-entry)

Charlie Brown's Heat Shield (or what's left of it after the re-entry)

More photos are available in my flickr photostream.

For great inside info about Apollo 10 read Eugene Cernan’s The Last Man On The Moon.

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