Rendezvous Docking Simulator

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Rendezvous Docking Simulator
Rendezvous Docking Simulator practice.jpg
docking practice during Apollo program
Rendezvous Docking Simulator is located in Virginia
Rendezvous Docking Simulator
Rendezvous Docking Simulator is located in the US
Rendezvous Docking Simulator
Location Hampton, Virginia
Coordinates 37°5′8″N 76°22′41″W / 37.08556°N 76.37806°W / 37.08556; -76.37806Coordinates: 37°5′8″N 76°22′41″W / 37.08556°N 76.37806°W / 37.08556; -76.37806
Built 1963
Architect NASA
NRHP Reference # 85002809
VLR # 114-0141
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 3, 1985[2]
Designated NHL October 3, 1985[3]
Designated VLR February 18, 1986[1]

The Rendezvous Docking Simulator, also known as the Real-Time Dynamic Simulator, is a simulator at the Langley Research Center. It was constructed for the Gemini program in Building 1244 and it became operational in June 1963 at a cost of $320,000[4] and later reconfigured for the Apollo program.[4] The simulator consists of a gantry frame, with an overhead carriage from which test craft were suspended by cables.[5] A gimbal was powered hydraulically and was capable of changing pitch and yaw at a rate of 1 radian per second or roll at 2 radians per second. The gantry also moved like an overhead crane using electric motors and was capable of travelling 210 feet (64 m) longitudinally at up to 20 feet per second (6.1 m/s), 16 feet (4.9 m) laterally at up to 4 feet per second (1.2 m/s) and vertically 45 feet (14 m) at up to 10 feet per second (3.0 m/s).[6]

It is the only surviving simulator from the NASA Gemini and Apollo space programs that was used by astronauts to practice docking of space capsules with other vessels.[3] Ability to dock reliably with the lunar landing module was a crucial skill essential for the mission to return from the moon.[5] The docking simulator was used alongside the Projection Planetarium in training exercises.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1985.[3][5][7]

Currently it is stored, hanging from the rafters in Building 1244, a vast hangar at Langley, and there are no plans for it otherwise.[3][5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  2. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Rendezvous Docking Simulator". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  4. ^ a b Hangar - NasaCRgis
  5. ^ a b c d Harry A. Butowsky (May 15, 1984). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Rendezvous Docking Simulator / Real-Time Dynamic Simulator" (pdf). National Park Service.  and Accompanying five photos, from 1964 and 1984 (32 KB)
  6. ^ "Rendezvous Docking Simulato" (PDF). NASA. 1966-01-25. 
  7. ^ Harry A. Butowsky (May 15, 1984). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Rendezvous Docking Simulator / Real-Time Dynamic Simulator" (pdf). National Park Service.  (version at Virginia DHR, also including 5 maps showing location of Langley and the simulator within Langley)

External links[edit]