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  Apollo boilerplate 1206 at Patrick AFB, Florida

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Author Topic:   Apollo boilerplate 1206 at Patrick AFB, Florida
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-02-2008 05:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to Florida Today, the Apollo command module boilerplate at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida is undergoing refurbishment.

Beginning around 8 a.m. [July 1], a boilerplate Apollo module that was used for rescue drills during the 1960s and 1970s [was moved] from Patrick Air Force Base to a refurbishment facility in Port Canaveral.

The piece is on loan to the 920th Rescue Wing from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The boilerplate capsule, pictured above in an image provided by the Smithsonian, [rode] atop a flatbed truck along A1A through Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral on the way to Excell Coatings in Port Canaveral.

The Smithsonian provides more details as to this boilerplate's history:
Boilerplate, Command Module, Apollo, #1206

This boilerplate, #1206, was used to train Department of Defense forces in recovery operation procedures associated with the Apollo Command Module. The 67th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (ARRS) located at RAF Woodbridge, UK trained in recovery operations for the Apollo and Skylab programs. Only the external features of this boilerplate that were required for recovery training are representative of an actual Command Module. It weighs approximately 9000 lbs.

For additional photos of boilerplate 1206, see A Field Guide to American Spacecraft.

APG85
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Posts: 241
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Registered: Jan 2008

posted 07-02-2008 08:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for APG85     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was a member of the 67th ARRS and walked past this boilerplate everyday for 7 years at Woodbridge (unfortunately, I never took a picture of it). It sat outside the Pararescue building. I've always wondered what became of it...

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-04-2008 09:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
U.S. Air Force release
Historic capsule makes trip to body shop

Workers help guide the 9,000-pound Apollo Boilerplate #1206 capsule onto a flatbed truck for transportation to a local refurbishment facility July 1 at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. On loan here to the Air Force Reserve's 920th Rescue Wing from the Smithsonian Institute's Air and Space Museum, the capsule was once used by Air Force rescue units to train for astronaut recovery during the Apollo and Skylab space programs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Cathleen Snow)

A relic from NASA's Apollo program was an eye-catching sight as it was transported via flatbed truck from its home July 1 at the Air Force Reserve's 920th Rescue Wing here to Port Canaveral.

The white, 11-foot by 13-foot, 9,000-pound space capsule, on loan to the 920th Rescue Wing from the Smithsonian Institute's National Air and Space Museum, has been kept here since 1992 and is in need of restoration.

It was moved about 12 miles up State Route A1A through Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral to Excell Coatings Inc. at Port Canaveral, where it will spend the next month being refurbished.

Smithsonian officials said they are pleased with the restoration project and are happy to renew the loan agreement for the capsule, said Darrell Hankins, the resource adviser for the 920th Rescue Wing.

The capsule, listed in the Smithsonian's Web database as: "Boilerplate, Command Module, Apollo, #1206," was used in England by U.S. Air Force rescue members in the 67th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron at Royal Air Force Woodbridge to train in recovery operations for both the Apollo and Skylab programs.

Officials from the 920th Rescue Wing provide emergency medical, rescue and recovery support for all space shuttle and rocket launches. Unit members will assume an even-more prominent role in NASA's next manned-spaceflight venture, the Constellation program, scheduled for initial launch in 2014. Wing pararescuemen and aircraft will be responsible for tracking and retrieving astronauts from space capsules that will parachute into the ocean upon return from space, as was the case with manned spaceflight until the onset of the space shuttle program.

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

posted 02-05-2011 02:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can add some more to the history of this capsule.

The Apollo boilerplate 1206, then in the possession of the 67th ARRS located at the Woodbridge RAF, was transferred to the Smithsonian in title only on 29 April 1976. Eventually, in July 1977 a loan agreement was executed between the Smithsonian and the 67th ARRS.

Through the 1980s that loan was periodically renewed through various offices of the 67th ARRS.

Throughout this period the capsule continued to be used as a training vehicle. However, following the Rendelsham UFO incident it was moved away from its site in front of the 67th hanger to a secluded spot out of the view of the public.

In June of 1991, at the discretion of the U.S. Air Force, and as subsequently reported to the Smithsonian, the boilerplate spacecraft was shipped to the 71st ARS at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida. Eventually new loan arrangements were executed between the Smithsonian and the Rescue Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base.

As a side note - I would love to hear from any cS members who were part of the 67th particularly for information if BP-1206 was already at Woodbridge when the unit arrived there in December 1969/January 1970.

APG85
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Posts: 241
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Registered: Jan 2008

posted 02-06-2011 03:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for APG85     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was in the 67th ARRS from 1985-1992 as an HC-130 Crew Chief. The CM Boilerplate sat outside the Pararescue (PJ) building as a sort of "ornament" just beyond our flight line the entire time I was stationed there. I suspect it was sent back to the US for two reasons: 1. The 67th ARRS became a Special Operations Squadron (SOS) in 1989 and put less emphasis on traditional Rescue operations. 2. Woodbridge closed and the 67th moved to RAF Alconbury (and several years later moved again to RAF Mildenhall) in 1992. This would have been the perfect time to send the CM back to the US.

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