GENERAL DESCRIPTIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS
The Ascent Stage of the Lunar Module (LM) is the manned portion of the space vehicle. It contains a crew compartment, hypergolic ascent engine, an aft equipment bay and tank section, and 16 reaction control engines. The crew compartment is used as an operations center by the astronauts during their lunar stay. Lunar descent, lunar landing, lunar launch, and rendezvous and docking with the Command and Service Module (CSM) are also controlled from this compartment.
All or part of the following subsystems are contained in the Ascent Stage:
The unmanned Descent Stage contains equipment essential for landing on the lunar surface and serves as a platform for launch- ing the Ascent Stage after completion of the lunar mission. In addition to the descent engine and its pressurization and propel- lant components, the Descent Stage houses the landing radar, electrical power and pyrotechnics components, and the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP). It also contains outriggers that extend from the ends of the structural beams. These outriggers have provisions for:
DIMENSIONS (Legs Extended)
|Overall height:||22 feet, 11 inches|
|Overall width:||14 feet, 1 inch|
across landing gear) :
|Ascent Stage height:||12 feet, 4 inches|
|Descent Stage height:||10 feet, 7 inches|
|Earth launch weight:||32,000 pounds|
|Pressurized cabin volume:||235 cubic feet|
|Cabin environment:||75 DEG. F
100 % oxygen at 4.8 psia
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE APOLLO LUNAR MODULE
Thirty five years have elapsed since Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation undertook the responsibility of designing, developing, and manufacturing the Apollo Lunar Module for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
In 1958, after many years as a producer of aircraft for the United States Navy, Grumman began studies on manned space flight programs. In mid-1962, thoroughly convinced that Lunar Orbital Rendezvous (LOR) was the best method to effect a lunar landing, Grumman launched a feasibility study on LOR. NASA then asked for proposals involving use of the LOR concept and the Lunar Excursion Module. Grumman submitted its proposal in September 1962, with RCA as principal subcontractor. NASA officials stated- "at this time more than a million man-hours had gone into studies of how to get men to the moon and back".
On November 7, 1962, NASA issued the following news release: "Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, New York, today was selected to build Project Apollo Lunar Excursion Module -- a spacecraft in which Americans will land on the moon and return to a moon orbiting mother craft for the journey back to earth".
The NASA release went on to say, "LEM will look something like the cab of a two-man helicopter, measuring 10 feet in diameter and standing about 15 feet tall on its skid-type legs". (It ultimately measured 31 feetin diameter and stood 23 feet tall). NASA dropped the "E" (for "Excursion") in LEM in 1967.
The design evolution of the LM