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  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Apollo 9: Lunar Module "Spider" differences

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Author Topic:   Apollo 9: Lunar Module "Spider" differences
alanh_7
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Posts: 889
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 09-16-2012 07:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can anyone point me in the direction of where I might find a list of external differences between the Apollo 9 lunar module (LM) "Spider" and the H mission lunar modules?

I have checked Paul Pjeld's web site and it gives some excellent information regarding the Descent stage but not much on the Ascent stage.

I have a copy of Virtual LM but there is not much information on Spider.

Aside from difference in pattern of foil kapton, lack of thruster deflector shields, no foil on the landing pads and four contact probes rather than three on later missions. I also notice the ascent stage seems to have sheet metal on the lower front panels rather than greenish zinc colour on Eagle.

But I was wondering if anyone could point me towards an additional source of on Spider. I have searched through photos but not found that many. Any help is appreciated.

GACspaceguy
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Posts: 1394
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 09-17-2012 06:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The other assent stage difference that I have always noticed is the crescent moon shaped antenna as seen in photo AS09-20-3071.

tetrox
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Posts: 92
From: London England
Registered: Jan 2008

posted 09-17-2012 10:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tetrox   Click Here to Email tetrox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A very good reference giving external Lunar Module differences is by Space In Miniature, part of a series popular within the space modeller community. I don't have a copy at hand at the moment but off the top of my head as I recall the unique features of the Apollo 9 lunar module were:
  • The ascent stage was a silver aluminium finish.

  • The panel above the forward hatch between the windows was distinct in that it had a thin opening above the forward tracking light to the top of the panel which appeared to have a crinkled foil insert.

  • There was a semicircular crescent scimitar antenna above left of the main tracking light.

  • Below right of the tracking light was a small round antenna which I believe was C band.

    These antennae were also found on the rear instrument section of the Lunar Module.

  • The porch outside of the forward hatch was an open lattice structure as opposed to a closed structure on later flights, however I'm unsure about Apollo 10.

  • The porch had attached a boot device which astronaut Schweikart could place his feet to keep him in place during his EVA known I believe as "Golden Slippers."
I'm sure others can give a more exhaustive list.

space1
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Posts: 506
From: Danville, Ohio, USA
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 09-17-2012 04:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tetrox:
The porch outside of the forward hatch was an open lattice structure as opposed to a closed structure on later flights...
The Apollo 9 porch was solid, as can be seen in this pre-flight photo taken 2/27/69. Perhaps a porch for use in neutral buoyancy (underwater) training would have holes.

It was designed with a pattern of raised ridges. You can see a number of rivets in places, but no holes. I believe this is the same as later porches (but without the slippers).

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

tetrox
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Posts: 92
From: London England
Registered: Jan 2008

posted 09-17-2012 06:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tetrox   Click Here to Email tetrox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for correcting me on that John, my apologies.

The photo you posted is a very nice unusual view, thanks.

sev8n
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Posts: 55
From: Dallas TX USA
Registered: Jul 2012

posted 09-18-2012 01:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sev8n     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GACspaceguy:
The other assent stage difference that I have always noticed is the crescent moon shaped antenna as seen in photo AS09-20-3071.
I've seen this photo many times but only now did I notice you can see one of the astronauts inside the CM with the view reflected in his visor. I assume this is David Scott, the CM pilot?

ilbasso
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Posts: 1494
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 09-18-2012 02:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Correct, it's Dave Scott. People often wonder about the red helmets that Scott and Schweikart wore. They are essentially the same A7L Lunar EVA helmet as worn on Apollo 11, minus layers of white Beta cloth.

There's a lesser-known photo of Dave Scott in the hatch, taken by McDivitt through the LM docking window.

APG85
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Posts: 241
From:
Registered: Jan 2008

posted 09-18-2012 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for APG85     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Where is that red helmet now? Storage at the Smithsonian?

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