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  Apollo lunar module ladder: early concepts

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Author Topic:   Apollo lunar module ladder: early concepts

Posts: 1623
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 04-26-2013 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have read that the ladder was a late addition to the design of the Lunar Module.

Just how did they initially think they were going to get up and down to the hatch then?


Posts: 747
From: New Windsor, Maryland USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 04-26-2013 10:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The early ideas were to drop a rope ladder or knotted rope from the hatch and descend. An image showing the latter may be found in this document.


Posts: 1490
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 04-26-2013 01:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There was a report that the sight of Ed White dangling like a landed fish on the end of a rope convinced Pete Conrad that a ladder was the only way for a crew to exit the LM to the lunar surface.


Posts: 182
From: Streamwood, IL USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 04-26-2013 03:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I seem to remember reading that at one time NASA and/or Grumman considered some sort of electric winch device to raise or lower the astronaut to the lunar surface. I do not recall if this was before or after the rope ladder concept.


Posts: 508
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 04-26-2013 03:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, in fact it looked more like it was an astronaut mountain climbing or rappelling! I saw a clip of the early concepts in the 'Lunar Module' chapter of the excellent Discovery TV series Moon Machines. Together with the round hatch design, it makes you wonder if the engineers were making it more difficult for the astronauts to walk on the moon than necessary!

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