Saturday, August 15, 2009

Addendum - One More Capsule Mystery

While on the tour of MSC and JSC, my dad snapped this photo of a flown Apollo Command Module on a platform. There's no explanatory information in this photo. I'm relatively certain it's at MSC in Houston, since none of the VIP party are wearing hard hats. (They were all wearing hard hats in the photos within the VAB at Kennedy Space Center.)

I believe that this might be Columbia, the Apollo 11 Command Module.

After the crew splashed down in the Pacific on July 24, 1969, Columbia was brought aboard the USS Hornet and secured to the quarantine facility. All of the rock boxes, film, space suits, and other materials were removed from the spacecraft. The spacecraft was decontaminated and the hatch sealed again on July 26.

The Command Module arrived at the Lunar Receiving Laboratory at the MSC on July 30. It was transferred to North American Aviation's Downey, California facility on August 14, where it was prepped for turnover to the Smithsonian.

So, given that my dad's tour fell within the first two weeks of August 1969, it is quite conceivable that this CM is indeed Columbia, two weeks after its historic return from the Moon.

The Apollo 10 Command Module was sent to Downey in June, so this is not Charlie Brown.

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