Is there a document specifying the total mass, the 3-by-3 inertia tensor of the Apollo CSM assembly, as well as the geometry of the service module and command module RCS assemblies (in other words, the RCS thruster positions and orientations relative to the center of mass)?


1 Answer 1


I think the CSM/LM Operational Data Book Volume III: Mass Properties has what you're looking for.

Because mass and mass distribution vary as consumables are consumed, I don't think it provides a single convenient inertia tensor (although I wouldn't recognize one if it walked up to me on the street and said "hi, I'm a 3x3 inertia tensor"), but:

data are presented by individual and composite spacecraft to reflect the variation of centers-of-gravity, moments of inertia, and products of inertia as a function of spacecraft weight to enable the user to reasonably predict spacecraft mass properties at any time in the mission profile.

The document also includes the masses and CGs of components carried aboard the spacecraft down to the level of individual cameras, gloves, and storage bags!

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This is a magnificent document - I love Apollo documentation... thank you for this link. I wish more documentation was like this. $\endgroup$ Commented May 19, 2019 at 19:44
  • $\begingroup$ I agree! Those Apollo papers are something else. I feel like we've lost something in the decades since then. $\endgroup$
    – user39728
    Commented May 4, 2021 at 16:49

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