Lunar Module-2 built my Grumman Aerospace Corporation in the mid-1960s was held by NASA as a spare if the unmanned test flight of Lunar Module-1 was not successful. Following the successful completion of that flight, there was no longer an urgent need to fly LM-2 in space so the vehicle remained Earthbound and was used in integration testing with other components of the flight hardware, especially the Saturn V rocket. By 1969 NASA had no further need for LM-2 so it was whisked off to be part of the Apollo display at the 1970 World’s Fair in Osaka, Japan. LM-2 returned to the United States where it went on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., representing the landing site of Apollo 11 complete with two astronauts. My most recent visit saw LM-2 looming over the entrance and exit to the food court. Today it has been refurbished and moved to a more prominent position in the Museum befitting its important role representing the actual Lunar Modules that safely carried Apollo astronauts to the surface of the Moon and back again to reunite with their orbiting Command Modules.
The Lunar Module also served as a lifeboat to save the crew of Apollo 13.
Categories: Space Age Bulletins