Apollo Weekend 19 to 21 July 2019
It will be one small step in our exciting exhibition programme
I remember the excitement of the first Moon landing. I was seven years old and my Mum woke me up at what seemed like the middle of the night to see the grainy monochrome TV pictures.
“Fly Me To The Moon” sang Frank Sinatra, but the idea of visiting Earth’s satellite inspired storytellers and visionaries for millennia before it was achieved by only twelve American astronauts between 1969 and 1972. In this article I will explore in more depth some of the Lunar exploration themes raised by my overview of space flight and missile technology model presentation Goes Like A Rocket.
The six Grumman Lunar Modules – originally termed Lunar Excursion Modules by NASA and often referred to as LEMs – that they used were all slightly different from each other and so the left hand side of my lunar diorama was an attempt to portray the typical equipment of an early Apollo (H-Class) Moon landing rather than replicate a specific mission down to the last footprint in the dust.
The LEM, astronauts, flag, S-band antenna dish (used from Apollo 12 onwards) and three stand-alone lunar surface experiments (out of many more actually deployed around a central station powered by a radioactive cylinder, not included) were all supplied as part of a 2009 Airfix set with the overall title “One Small Step For Man..”
This included a very impressive history on the instruction sheet and a painting guide which reflected the thin silver, gold and aluminium foil used to control the temperature of the flying LEMs and protect them from micro meteorites – as opposed to the simpler black and white scheme of early mock-ups which the first-issued Airfix Lunar Module kits recommended as accurate.