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I was confused 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 one CMS and one LMS located at KSC.

However, I was wrong about this as shown in this very useful partial answer.

Here's what I know about the disposition of the simulators at this writing:

(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)

Does anyone know how many Link-built Apollo Mission simulators there are (this part has been answered), and where they ended up (one KSC CMS is still unaccounted for)?


Additional, possibly useful info

(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.
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    $\begingroup$ The photo looks like an inspiration for a level in Portal 2. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 1:24
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    $\begingroup$ @CamilleGoudeseune John Young called the simulators "the great train wreck". $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 1:48
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    $\begingroup$ 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
    Commented Sep 3, 2019 at 6:41
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    $\begingroup$ 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
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 10:16
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    $\begingroup$ 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
    Commented Feb 1, 2021 at 7:42

2 Answers 2

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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

The document Mission Training Program for the Apollo Lunar Landing Mission also confirms 2 CMSs and 1 LMS at KSC, and 1 each CMS and LMS at JSC.

The most important as well as extensive CM crew training will be accomplished on the Command Module Simulators, one located at MSC and two at KSC.

The most im­portant and extensive LM crew training will be accomplished on the two Lunar Module Mission Simulators, one each, located at MSC and KSC.

(MSC = Manned Spacecraft Center, the original name for JSC)

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    $\begingroup$ That's a cool picture, and addresses part of the question, thanks! I now think 3 CMSs and 2 LMSs is confirmed. $\endgroup$ Commented May 4, 2021 at 12:09
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    $\begingroup$ The caption on the image is incorrect BTW - the LMS is situated between the two CMSs. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 16, 2021 at 17:07
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Don't know if it can help. I found a box with many documents from NASA Gemini and early Apollo mission. Was doing some research and end up to your post. I've got one photo (NASA S-64-20810) taken in April 1964, showing a scale model of Apollo CMS. The notice said that "Two mission simulator assemblies will be manufacturated by LINK; one each to be installed at Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, and at Atlantic Missile Range, Cape Kennedy. Not sure if the simulator shown is a prototype or one of those seen in the picture. I can share better quality pictures if you find some interest for your search. Have a good day.

EDIT: I better look to the picture, and you see on the background a rolling chair. So definitely a small scale prototype of the CMS that will be later build by LINK.

NASA S-64-20810 Recto NASA S-64-20810 Verso

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks! That's certainly a well-referenced answer describing what must have been the early plans. Apparently they did build a second simulator complex at KSC eventually. Great picture of the model, I've never seen that. It looks like the crew station was on rails so that it could be moved in and out of the surrounding equipment; that concept got dropped apparently. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 3 at 13:42
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    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble Happy that you find some interest on this picture. If interested i can share a link with better quality images of the documents i found (1964-65: so mainly Gemini but some concept or test of early Apollo mission). Some are well known nasa pictures (Gemini IV EVA), but there are some other more technical documents that could be less easily found - and that may interest some space exploration "historian". $\endgroup$
    – Brice
    Commented Jan 3 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I would be very interested in that. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 3 at 15:43

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