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  8/19: London Science Museum: Inside Apollo 10

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Author Topic:   8/19: London Science Museum: Inside Apollo 10
paulushumungus
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posted 08-03-2011 04:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for paulushumungus   Click Here to Email paulushumungus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Science Museum, London announcement
See inside the Apollo 10 command module

Come along to the Science Museum on 19 August 2011 for a rare chance to see inside the Apollo 10 command module. The hatch cover will be removed from the spacecraft for just one day so that people can look closely at the actual controls Tom Stafford, John Young and Gene Cernan used to fly around the Moon forty years ago in May 1969.

You can also take a virtual tour of the Command Module computer.

Tykeanaut
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posted 08-03-2011 04:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some years ago wasn't it always open?

mikej
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posted 08-03-2011 04:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They must mean that they're removing the Plexiglas (allowing visitors to peek inside) or something like that.

Apollo 10 was separated from its hatch long ago; if you click through the link above, there's a photo of it there, without its hatch.

Apollo 10's hatch, stripped of nearly all of its hardware, was once displayed at the Michigan Space & Science Center. When the MSSC closed in 2003, the Air Zoo inherited most of the MSSC exhibits (other than Apollo 9, which moved to the San Diego Aerospace Museum).

I visited the Air Zoo's restoration center in February 2009. I learned that the Smithsonian told the Air Zoo to either put the hatch on display or return it to the Smithsonian. I was told that the Air Zoo built a custom shipping crate, packed it up, and asked the Smithsonian for further instructions, but were still waiting.

Of course, that was two and a half years ago, but it's entirely possible that Apollo 10's hatch is still sitting in a warehouse in Portage, Michigan.

nasamad
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posted 08-03-2011 04:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, they remove the plexiglass for the day and allow people to lean in to take a look. The did it a few months back as well.

Delta7
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posted 08-03-2011 07:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Charlie Brown came through Monaco when I lived there in the early 1970s. There was no plexiglass cover at the time of that exhibit; one could actually lean forward enough to stick one's head right up to the open hatch. I spent an entire evening just looking at it in awe and took some pictures of the interior at various angles. Unfortunately, none of them came out!

You've never seen an 11 year-old cry like I did when those pictures came back.

Paul23
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posted 08-04-2011 05:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul23   Click Here to Email Paul23     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good news, I just happen to have that week booked as holiday!

minipci
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posted 08-05-2011 07:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for minipci     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great news. I'll definitely be there to see it. Booking the day off work right now!

bwhite1976
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posted 08-09-2011 10:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bwhite1976   Click Here to Email bwhite1976     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Please post pictures of the interior if at possible. I, and everyone else on here probably, would love to see a few new pics of Apollo 10.

On a side, note I remember years ago driving to Michigan (from Chicago) to see Apollo 9 and when I arrived, the MSSC was closed. I went off of a triple AAA book for the hours, which said it was open and here I was standing in front of the building and it was closed. Funny thing though about two years later, on a business trip to San Diego I had a few hours between meetings and decided to drive around the city. I found the Aerospace Museum almost randomly as I recall, and sure enough in the lobby was Apollo 9. I always think how it must have been fate to see that capsule.

Norman.King
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posted 08-10-2011 02:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Norman.King   Click Here to Email Norman.King     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I last visited the London science museum about 25 years ago (shame on me) and totally ignored the "Do Not Touch" signs and firmly planted my hand on the side of Charlie Brown. I couldn't quite lean into the open hatch but I did get a fantastic unimpeded view of the interior. To have touched a part of history was very special to me and that famous photo of Charlie Brown in lunar orbit is extra special when I point out to my kids "I've touched that spacecraft there"

The next CM I saw (ASTP) was in the Saturn V building at KSC and it was encapsulated in the dreaded plexiglas (but I do understand the need to preserve these unique items).

robert_l
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posted 08-12-2011 10:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for robert_l   Click Here to Email robert_l     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In 1971, the Apollo 10 command module was on show at the Glasgow transport museum along with a piece of moon rock. We had to cue for hours to get in.

I was only 11 but got to stick my head in the door before the security guard pulled me out!

Re-visited it in London a few months back.

Paul23
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posted 08-19-2011 11:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul23   Click Here to Email Paul23     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did anybody else go to this today? I split my day into two parts, Guards and Household Cavalry museums in the morning then Science Museum after lunch.

There was a pretty long line by the time I got there to see the capsule but that did at least mean it was well organised in that there was a proper queue and only a few people were allowed up at a time which meant not it was easier to get a proper look inside and take pictures. They also allowed each group a decent amount of time to look inside the capsule which was nice, didn't feel like you were being rushed through.

All in all a fantastic experience to be able to get so close to the inside of the capsule and certainly something I hope they will do again, the lines of people waiting certainly suggested a great appetite for this sort of thing which was good to see.

Here's a link to my photos, not great I'm afraid, they seemed to look better when I took them!

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 08-19-2011 02:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apollo 10 interior shots taken earlier today:


Photo credit: Andy Green

space1
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posted 08-19-2011 02:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can say with certainty that this is not the couch that flew on Apollo 10. It is similar to the type used on Apollo 7. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it is the actual couch from Apollo 7, as its couch is missing. I have documentation showing that the original Apollo 10 couch was removed for use on the first Skylab mission. The couch must have been replaced for display as I have documented in other cases. (The Rotation Controls are reproductions as well.)

------------------
John Fongheiser
Historic Space Systems

PeterO
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posted 08-19-2011 03:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great photos. As an Apollo 7 fan, I'm particularly interested in the couches. Do you have any other photos that show them?

space1
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posted 08-19-2011 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have not been able to get really good information on the Apollo 7 couches. I know they were a hybrid of the Block I and Block II design. I don't know if the couches we are seeing in Apollo 10 are Block I or a hybrid design. But they are definitely not the design used from Apollo 8 and up.

Blackarrow
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posted 08-19-2011 07:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did any of you who inspected "Charlie Brown" notice whether they have any written indication that this is the fastest man-carrying vehicle in history? The crew of Apollo 10 jointly hold the absolute human speed record, but the Science Museum has seemed remarkably unwilling to draw that obviously interesting fact to public attention. Have they mended their ways or must I keep cajoling them?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-20-2011 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is another set of photos, as found on Flickr:


Photos credit: Ian Mansfield

space1
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posted 08-20-2011 10:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a NASA photo of the Apollo 7 astronauts inside the Apollo Mission Simulator. The visible couch details match what we see in Apollo 10 today.

Fra Mauro
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posted 08-20-2011 06:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the photos! It also gives you a perspective when you are thinking about the Apollo 1 fire and the positions the crew was in when the hatch opened.

minipci
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posted 09-04-2011 08:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for minipci     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Finally got a chance to write about my own visit to the Science Museum to view "Charlie Brown".

First off, it had been about 25 years since I had last seen it, so I was a bit surprised that it had been moved from the Exploring Space gallery to the Making the Modern World gallery.

The Science Museum has always been popular with school trips, but I was really surprised by the numbers of youngsters there during school holiday time. Perhaps the parents of today aren't as bad as they are portrayed.

Given that there were so many children, the queue for viewing the CM was easily explicable. I arrived there at around 2pm, and it was well after 3:30 when I finally got to see it.

I was disappoined by some of the things which the Science Musem "Explainers" said while keeping the young people in the queue informed and entertained while they waited. I noted several errors in their explanations, e.g. Young and Cernan travelled in the Apollo X LM; all Apollo missions were launched by the Saturn V.

Finally after waiting I was able to reach the CM. At this point, the people in the line were split into small groups so that they could each spend a little time inspecting the CM in comfort, without feeling pressured by the remaining people waiting in line. However, as I was there on my own, I was forced to join a group consisting of an old lady and her grandchildren. This was not an ideal situation for me, as though I am all in favour of children being encouraged to participate in these events, it meant that the children got all the priority in viewing the interior of the CM, and I was assumed to want a distant view somehow as if admiring them as my own children. After waiting for over 90 minutes to see the CM, I certainly felt more than a bit aggrieved by this.

However, all was not lost, as I made sure that I touched the CM in order to make up for the lost time which should have been spent viewing the interior of the CM.

Also it was good to see that there were no astronaut mannequins inside the CM which would have blocked the view even more.

All in all, it was a good event, and one which certainly seemed to have attracted a very large audience, but one which could have been handled a bit better in terms of information and queue management in my opinion.

I do have a question about the CM orientation though. I wonder to myself if it is the best way to display the control panel. The control panel slopes upwards away from the viewer when the CM is displayed with the hatch in almost vertical orientation. This necessitates a fair amount of contortion or crouching if you wish to view the control panel. Perhaps it would be easier to view this if the CM were placed with the LM docking tunnel pointing vertically?

I am definitely looking forward to any similar event which might occur in the future. It would be nice to see inside "Charlie Brown" again.

Blackarrow
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posted 09-04-2011 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Minipci, and anyone else who queued to look inside "Charlie Brown": can you tell us whether, at long last, the Science Museum has acknowledged that they are exhibiting the fastest vehicle ever to carry humans? (See my post of 19th August). Am I a voice in the wilderness or does anyone else agree that this information should be made available to the viewing public? Why on earth would they not publicize it?

Paul23
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posted 09-05-2011 01:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul23   Click Here to Email Paul23     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Certainly nothing was mentioned regarding this in any of the verbal briefings provided by science museum staff (although as has already been indicated some of the information they were imparting was dubious to say the least!)

Due to the way the line was organised, we actually went up to the Command Module via a side access so I didn't get to read the plaque in front of the capsule this time. I would say though, unless they have changed it then the chances are there is still no reference to this.

Blackarrow
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posted 09-05-2011 05:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Paul. That doesn't surprise me. I've emailed them (again) about this, and I'll post any interesting news. Don't hold your breath. I may be in London at the end of the month on business. I may have to tackle them in person.

Paul23
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posted 09-06-2011 04:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul23   Click Here to Email Paul23     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As things stand I am going to the National Army Museum in London this weekend which isn't a million miles from the Science Museum, if I remember (which is never a given with me!) I'll try and pop in and check what the information panel in front of the capsule says.

Paul23
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posted 09-10-2011 11:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul23   Click Here to Email Paul23     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just as a quick update, I was able to pop into the Science Museum this afternoon and can confirm that the information panel in front of the capsule makes no reference to any speed records. I took a photo of the text so if you would like a copy of that sending over let me know.

Blackarrow
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posted 09-10-2011 12:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Seriously, what is wrong with these people? It's a bit like an account of Apollo 15 which makes no mention of the lunar rover, or an account of Apollo 17 which fails to mention that Jack Schmitt is a trained geologist.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-10-2011 12:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I agree that the speed record is a fact that might interest museum-goers and should be noted, it falls more into the category of trivia than mission milestone (e.g. the first use of a lunar roving vehicle).

If the public walks away from the command module remembering anything about Apollo 10, it should be that it was the full-up dress rehearsal for landing men on the moon and was critical to making Apollo 11 the success that it was.

After that, you can mention that it set a speed record and included two out of the just three astronauts who would visit the moon twice (to offer another example).

Blackarrow
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posted 09-11-2011 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, you make an excellent point about Young and Cernan going back to the Moon, but I disagree (particularly in the context of the "Making of the Modern World" gallery where "Charlie Brown" is currently housed) that the speed record issue is "trivia." It is a fact and it defines the limits of Apollo in terms of speed in a section of the gallery which shows how humans have achieved ever higher speeds through the ages.

To tell someone that an object has travelled at "almost 25,000 miles per hour" is almost meaningless because the average person cannot really comprehend what that means. To tell the same person that the object has carried humans faster than anyone else has ever travelled in the history of the human species is, I suggest, easier to grasp, and I remain baffled as to why they choose not to tell their visitors. If anyone from the Science Museum is reading these posts, perhaps they would care to comment.

Blackarrow
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posted 09-28-2011 08:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I did make it to the Science Museum on Tuesday: always a privilege and a pleasure to see part of the Apollo 15 "Great Scott" rock; Black Arrow; a V2 rocket; the only full-scale model of a lunar module I am aware of that you can stand right beside (thus getting a truly spectacular sense of the size of the vehicle!); and of course "Charlie Brown." As previously discussed, there is no indication that two of the crew later walked on the Moon, and no reference to the capsule's speed record. I got chatting to several other visitors. They were all interested by those facts and surprised the museum doesn't tell visitors.

The capsule is NOT in the Space Gallery, but in the "Making of the Modern World" gallery. At the far end is George Stephenson's "Rocket", a locomotive which achieved the eye-watering record speed of 29mph (!) It would surely be appropriate to indicate, on Apollo 10's information placard, just how much of a leap humanity made in terms of speed in little more than a century.

tetrox
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posted 10-08-2011 11:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tetrox   Click Here to Email tetrox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I visited the Science Museum yesterday and whilst viewing the base heat shield I noticed a bolt protruding which can be seen in this image (not my own), just to the right of the white board on the left of the image.

I assume that this was used to secure the module to a dolly for transportation but wondered if any one could tell me whether this is is also the position where the tension tie would have been whilst connected to the service module?

I also would like to know if there is any available documentation as to what happened to the vehicle when returned to Downey as in how far the craft would have been stripped down prior to public display.

Finally prior to its arrival at the Science Museum I understand it underwent a European tour and wondered if any members may have any information regarding its ports of call?

I'm sorry for all the questions but have now been back to see it four times in the last month and taken it somewhat to heart and curious of its post flight history.

robert_l
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posted 10-09-2011 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for robert_l   Click Here to Email robert_l     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was on display at the Museum of Transport in Glasgow in 1971 shortly before arriving at London, at that time the Transport Museum was in Albert Drive, a former tram depo, a piece of moon rock was also on display and display of photographs, we had to queue for hours to get in!

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 10-10-2011 02:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If my memory serves me right, the Apollo 10 command module was in Scotland as part of a UK tour; it was displayed in Liverpool for a short time also.

I understand it was then displayed in France for a year or two before being "rescued" and sent to London where it needed a little TLC for signs of neglect.

I am not sure how long it was in France, but I was told anecdotally by one of the curators that the spaceraft interior had "green mold" on some of its surfaces when it arrived at the Science museum.

This photo depicts the CM arriving in London. I have yet to get an exact date for the photo.

Photo credit Andy Green.

tetrox
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posted 10-10-2011 03:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tetrox   Click Here to Email tetrox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you so much Robert and Rick ,this is exactly what I am after. It will really help to piece things together. If there were any other sightings Id love to know.

If there is a photo out there of the spacecraft at Downey post flight especially in a stripped down state I would be grateful for any links.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-10-2011 04:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to the Smithsonian, between 1971 and 1978 Apollo 10 toured the Soviet Union, France and the Netherlands prior to arriving in the United Kingdom.

Norman.King
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posted 10-11-2011 01:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Norman.King   Click Here to Email Norman.King     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rick Mulheirn:
I understand it was then displayed in France for a year or two before being "rescued" and sent to London where it needed a little TLC for signs of neglect.
You know Rick, I do remember seeing a news article at the time reporting this. I seem to recall that it was put on display outside in one of the countries it visited?

Also, what's the likelihood of Apollo 10 being moved somewhere else (as its on loan)?

Henk Boshuijer
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posted 10-11-2011 03:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henk Boshuijer   Click Here to Email Henk Boshuijer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
According to the Smithsonian, between 1971 and 1978 Apollo 10 toured the Soviet Union, France and the Netherlands prior to arriving in the United Kingdom.
The Apollo 10 was already at the Science Museum in 1977.

Apollo 10 (1977)

As you can see there was no hatch cover in those days.

Paul23
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posted 10-12-2011 06:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul23   Click Here to Email Paul23     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Norman.King:
Also, what's the likelihood of Apollo 10 being moved somewhere else (as its on loan)?
When I went to the open day for the Apollo 10 capsule, one of the museum staff did mention that Tom Stafford was making attempts to have the capsule returned to the US. Whether that is true or not I couldn't say.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 10-12-2011 06:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Andy Green told me he had breakfast with Jeff Soulliere who was/is the Space Artifact Curator, Museum Director for the Stafford Air and Space Museum.

He said that Stafford had asked for the capsule to be returned and displayed at the Stafford museum and they were trying to get it back a couple of years ago.

As to what stage it is at now I don’t know but I believe that the capsule is on a long term loan to the London Science Museum.

There is a small article in this month’s Spaceflight magazine about the open hatch day (cut down version)

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