There seems to be confusion about the final disposition of, and even the number of, Apollo Mission Simulators built by Link Flight Simulation Division. This question is not about any simulator built by any other organization.

enter image description here

As a former Link employee after the Apollo era, I always believed that there were four Apollo Mission Simulators - two Command Module Mission Simulators (CMS) and two Lunar Module Mission Simulators (LMS). One CMS and one LMS was located at Kennedy Space Center (KSC); one CMS and one LMS was located at the Manned Spacecraft/Johnson Spaceflight Center (JSC). This picture shows the two simulators located at KSC.

Here's what I thought about the disposition of the simulators

  • JSC LMS - in the museum at Marshall Space Flight Center (I have confirmed this personally)
  • JSC CMS - in the Science Museum Oklahoma, Oklahoma City

(These two simulators look very little like the historical image above. All the visual equipment has been removed and they look like small, stripped-down versions of the flight modules)

  • KSC LMS - Owned by the National Air and Space Museum, loaned to and on display in the Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City, New York

  • KSC CMS - Owned by the National Air and Space Museum, in storage in the Paul Garber Facility


  • The Techworks Museum in Binghamton, New York, claims to have a Link Lunar Module simulator.
  • This official NASA history of computers at NASA states that there were two CMS's at KSC.

Does anyone know how many Link-built Apollo Mission simulators there are, and where they ended up?

Additional, possibly useful info (links only, so this question doesn't get huge)

(You can tell if a historical simulator picture is from KSC or JSC by the walls of the simulator room. The KSC walls are covered by smooth, acoustical tile or mesh. The JSC walls are less finished with exposed girders and roll-up doors. The access steps to the CMS are also different in the two facilities.)

  • KSC LMS writeup from the Cradle of Aviation museum. It claims only one LMS was built.
  • Article on the JSC CMS from the Field Guide to American Spacecraft. One of the museum signs pictured claims three CMS's were built.
  • Article on the JSC LMS (not named as such) at the Marshall museum. From the Field Guide to American Spacecraft.
  • Techworks Museum page on the LMS
  • A Link press release from 1968 describing the simulators. Annoyingly, doesn't say how many there were.
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The photo looks like an inspiration for a level in Portal 2. $\endgroup$ Jul 30 '19 at 1:24
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @CamilleGoudeseune John Young called the simulators "the great train wreck". $\endgroup$ Jul 30 '19 at 1:48
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Chariots for Apollo claims "There were, or soon would be, three sets of these trainers - two at Cape Kennedy and one in Houston - modeled after the command module and the lunar module." $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Sep 3 '19 at 6:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ My father worked at Link Aviation on Long Island in the early 1960's on aircraft simulators. That's not going to be any help here though, but it's cool to see the photo. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Nov 18 '20 at 10:16
  • $\begingroup$ Some of the discrepancies might come from swaps and upgrades -- is it possible that partial, prototype, or earlier cabs may be in some of those counts or exhibits? $\endgroup$
    – stevegt
    Feb 1 at 7:42

Here is a Photograph of the KSC CMS Simulators (x2) and LMS Simulator in the Flight Crew Training Building, from 1968. I toured this building in 1971 with flight crews training in both the CMS and LMS, but cannot recall if there was more than one CMS at that time. enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ That's a cool picture, and addresses part of the question, thanks! I now think 3 CMSs and 2 LMSs is confirmed. $\endgroup$ May 4 at 12:09
  • $\begingroup$ The caption on the image is incorrect BTW - the LMS is situated between the two CMSs. $\endgroup$ Aug 16 at 17:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.