As pointed out in this question, the Apollo command module had crushable ribs along one edge of the base of the cone, and crushable struts that suspended the crew couches inside the vehicle. I've added some diagrams from CSM06 Command Module Overview pp 39-52.pdf below.

By my count, 19 command modules returned to Earth: AS-201, AS-202, Apollo 4, Apollo 6-17, Skylab 2-4, and ASTP. Most (all?) are in museums. Do any of these surviving command modules show visible deformation of the impact attenuation system (either internal or external) ? Photographs would be helpful.

Apollo external attenuation

Apollo internal attenuation

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    $\begingroup$ May be deformation of the crushable ribs are not visible from the outside of the capsules, only from inside close to the ribs using a borescope. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Jun 6, 2019 at 21:02

1 Answer 1


Photographs of Apollo 17 capsule: (at the Space Center Houston museum)

image1 image2 image3 image4

Sorry if the lighting is making it hard to see; they keep it pretty dark in there. I didn’t see any visible deformation, anyway. I have more pictures, let me know if you want any area in particular.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the pictures! I would agree that they don't show any deformation. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Jun 9, 2019 at 1:29

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