Talk:Apollo Command/Service Module

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Page Title[edit]

Does anyone have any objections to me renaming this page Apollo Command and Service Module. This seems to be a more accurate description of what the spacecraft was, with two separate parts.--enceladus 02:16, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

My personal opinion is, why not go back to having the Apollo Command Module and the Apollo Service Module? They really are two different things... Tuvas 17:40, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

I support (now years later ;-) the rename suggestion. Here's why: Eric Jones uses the phrase "command and service module" is his phenomenal historical work, available online as the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal. See for example, and (sdsds - talk) 04:00, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

  • Support per Sdsds and WP:SLASH. --GW 08:42, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Any reason this hasn't been done? From what I can see most sources (especially contemporary ones) use "Command and Service Module", or "Command Service Module". Not only is the slash inconsistent with the MOS but it often implies "either/or", either in terms of the actual hardware or just the name, which clearly gives the wrong impression here. ChiZeroOne (talk) 09:19, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

On a related point the "Apollo" seems a tad redundant. The name of the craft is the Command and Service Module (hence CSM, not ACSM), Apollo is simply what some sources use to disambiguate, but then I'm unaware of any other programme which used a vehicle called anything similar so it seems a bit unnecessary. ChiZeroOne (talk) 23:35, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Crew Capacity[edit]

The article lists the crew capacity of the Apollo CSM as being 3. While it did carry three crew members in all the manned missions, it actually had the capacity to carry five. The stowage area behind the crew seats could be configured for two additional crew members. This was considered for space station use, but no capsules ever flew in this configuration. Skylab Rescue was the only capsule ever to be configured in this manner, but it never was used.

I think it is worth mentioning that it had a higher capacity if used in LEO missions for crew transport. It just never was used in this manner. DrBuzz0 (talk) 03:59, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Yes, the extra seating capacity for the Skylab Rescue is worth mentioning, and should be added to the "Modifications for Saturn IB flights" section. Consideration for space station use would require a source for verification; I would guess that fell by the wayside with the "Apollo X (expansion)" plans which preceeded Skylab. JustinTime55 (talk) 16:38, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

training modules[edit]

Why not list the location of training apollo command modules along with the actual command module locations? Many where used in naval bases and is an exact 1 to 1 replica of the real command modules externaly and in weight.

Apollo Subsatellite[edit]

It would be nice if information about the Apollo subsatellite (from Apollo 15) can be added to the article [1].

Yes, there is definite value in documenting the Scientific Instrument Module, but I don't believe it belongs with the Service module sectors subsection. It is really a payload and not actually part of the spacecraft which is what this article is meant to cover, so it interrupts the flow. I plan to move it to the Apollo Program article, under Mission types section where I think it really belongs, when I edit the sectors subsection to improve the wording flow a bit. JustinTime55 (talk) 16:29, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Service Module section[edit]

This article is going nicely, and I believe has potential to make a Featured Article. But I see some things in the structure of the Service Module section that could be improved:

  • Paragraph cohesion: a well-written paragraph should be about a single topic, but there are some paragraphs about two or three things bundled together. Also, information about the same topic is sometimes spread out over several paragraphs.
  • Ordering: the topics seem to jump around. Also, there are two paragraphs down below the Service Module Sectors section which should be up in the text above it.

There are also a few minor style / link issues.

Basically, the information that's there is all good, but I've made a pass at rewriting it with improved organization. I haven't removed any of the existing information. JustinTime55 (talk) 13:57, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Scimitar antenna[edit]

What the heck is a scimitar antenna, you ask? It's an antenna shaped like a scimitar. Both the CSM and LM had them to communicate with each other on the VHF band. I'm going to create this new article and link to it shortly. JustinTime55 (talk) 00:16, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Oxygen and Hydrogen need to be switched[edit]

These seems to need to be corrected: The cells were fed by two spherical 26-inch (0.66 m) diameter tanks, each holding 326 pounds (148 kg) of liquid hydrogen, and two hemispherical-cyllindrical 31.75-inch (0.806 m) diameter tanks, each holding 29 pounds (13 kg) of liquid oxygen (which also supplied the environmental control system). After the Apollo 13 accident, a third oxygen tank was added.

The dimensions of the containers makes no sense, in fact it would need 77 cubic feet to store 326 lbs of LH2, and CSM only has less then 20 cubic feet in both bottles combined. Put it simply the smaller tank does not hold 10 times as much of less dense LH2 as the bigger tank holds the more dense LO2. It only makes sense if you conclude the labels were switched and the bigger tank holds 29 lbs of LH2 and the smaller tank holds 326 lbs of LO2. --BerserkerBen (talk) 06:11, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

You're right; the words "hydrogen" and "oxygen" are switched. I'll fix it soon. JustinTime55 (talk) 22:36, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
I've now fixed this to be the way I intended, with the hydrogen tanks before the oxygen. I apparently didn't finish my cut-and-paste. JustinTime55 (talk) 13:44, 11 March 2010 (UTC)


I wonder why this article is listed in the Category:1971 in space exploration? I'd think it would be either listed in 1967, or in every year that a CSM combination flew...? RadioBroadcast (talk) 13:31, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

I think it doesn't make any sense to categorize it under any year, since it refers to hardware and not an event or a spaceflight. (And it was designed and flown before 1967, anyway.) It should be replaced with Category:Space exploration (assuming that exists) or Human spaceflight. JustinTime55 (talk) 14:31, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Apollo 13 picture doesn't represent the EPS[edit]

It's a misguided idea to represent the power system by the Apollo 13 picture which exposes it. The picture is very blurry and does not serve to illustrate what the system looks like in its normal (undamaged) state. This serves no encyclopedic purpose, and could only serve to inflame the Apollo 13 controversy, which this article is not about. So I am reverting it. If you could find another picture of the complete fuel cell bay, say during assembly, that would be another matter. JustinTime55 (talk) 15:34, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

This is the second strike for (talk). You cannot make controversial edits without discussing them on the talk pages. I am going to remove the Apollo 13 picture one more time and if you put it back, then you are edit warring and I will seek page protection or other action. (I see you've done this type of thing at least once before.) JustinTime55 (talk) 18:18, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I think the Apollo 13 picture does have a place. Didn't the explosion originate in the electrical system? It should not be the main illustration of course. Since Apollo 13 was such an important event, it certainly should be mentioned on this page. If the explosion did in fact originate in the electrical system I think that ought to be mentioned in the corresponding section. Martijn Meijering (talk) 05:58, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
There is a reference to Apollo 13; it's one sentence mentioning the addition of a third oxygen tank, and there is a link to the article, which contains the picture. Would you be happy if that sentence were expanded to say the EPS was damaged? It's still not encyclopedic to put the picture in this article. JustinTime55 (talk) 15:36, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't have strong feelings either way about having the picture in this article, but an explicit mention that the problems with Apollo 13 originated with the electrical system seems appropriate in the EPS section. Why are you opposed to having the picture? Do you think it is somehow critical of Apollo? It doesn't look that way to me. Martijn Meijering (talk) 15:42, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Two reasons for not having the picture here:
  • A matter of scope: Apollo is extensively documented in Wikipedia by a main article on the program, articles on each mission (including Apollo 13), and each major piece of hardware, of which this is one. The picture, as I stated, does not serve to illustrate the hardware so is irrelevant to this article, as would be other pictures of, say Michael Collins flying Columbia while Neil and Buzz walked on the Moon. Yes, the picture is notable and encyclopedic, in the context of the Apollo 13 article, where it is located.
  • Critical of Apollo: I don't see it that way either, but criticism can be in the eye of the beholder. There has been a recent controversy (see Talk:Apollo 13) about whether or not the O2 tank rupture was actually an "explosion" (the NASA scientific investigation did not classify it as such), and this picture has been used in that argument ("evidence of massive damage"). I see no reason to spread that can of worms into this article. JustinTime55 (talk) 18:22, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
I think the article is just fine now. If someone still wants to add the Apollo 13 picture they should offer a rationale first. The picture is already on the Apollo 13 page. I say let's leave the page as it is. Martijn Meijering (talk) 18:34, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Apollo CM sold to Chriet Titulaer for $1[edit]

Dutch astronomer and TV presenter Chriet Titulaer famously bought an unfinished CM for $1 from Rockwell after the Apollo program was scrapped. He stated this in a 1996 interview (which is from WAVE, a former Wired-like Dutch magazine, and is in Dutch) and on this forum thread at (in English) there is a picture of which is claimed to be the module at a space exhibition in the Netherlands (which Titulaer organized). More discussion at this thread. Apparently someone posting in the first thread contacted Titulaer and he said it was CM 21 but another poster there doubted it. So does anyone have any information about this, about which one it might be? SpeakFree (talk) 14:16, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

I have a couple of thoughts about this:
  • Besides the obvious verifiability issue (sorry I can't help offhand with that), I wonder if it's really notable enough to include. I wonder how "famous" it is, since it somehow escaped major attention in the US. (When exactly did he buy it?)
  • This raises the issue of verifiability of the current list of CSM's produced; notice several Block I numbers are missing; what happened to them, and can we tell whether a CM 021 was even produced? Is there an authoritative source for this? (Hence, I tagged the section.) JustinTime55 (talk) 16:34, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm not considering including it here, I created the Chriet Titulaer article and I'm interested in adding the exact model he bought (backed up by reliable sources of course). It must have been in the early to mid '70s BTW, not much later after the program was axed. SpeakFree (talk) 17:08, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Awkward Wording[edit]

"But the Apollo 1 flight was cancelled by a cabin fire which killed the crew and destroyed the Command Module during a launch rehearsal test"

Was the Apollo 1 flight really cancelled or was it... destroyed? Also, this should be changed to something to the effect of "The Apollo 1 flight was cancelled by a cabin fire which killed the crew and destroyed the Command Module during a launch rehearsal test" (without the 'but'). (talk) 16:55, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

"Apollo 1" was a mission/flight, not a vehicle, thus it doesn't make sense to say it was destroyed when the mission didn't even occur. The mission was cancelled by the loss of the crew so this would seem the best way to explain it.
I agree about the use of "but" to begin a sentence, an alternative while retaining the intended tone could be "The Apollo 1 flight was cancelled however by a cabin fire which killed the crew and destroyed the Command Module during a launch rehearsal test". ChiZeroOne (talk) 17:15, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Specifications: Citation and clarification needed[edit]

We really should have citations for the CM and SM specs listed. And there's some confusion about the CM RCS: the engine massis given as a single number; is this for only one engine, or for all 12? (I would guess the latter, since 880 pounds is extremely large; this times 12 is 10,560 pounds, close to the entire Command Module mass! Dividing this by 12, 73.33 is more reasonable.) Also, it doesn't make much sense to include all 12 engines in a meaningful thrust number, since all 12 were never fired at once; they were fired in pairs. For this reason, it's more consistent to report the mass as twelve x 73.3. JustinTime55 (talk) 16:48, 17 August 2012 (UTC)


The article would probably be improved by giving the reader a better sense of the breadth of the sub-contractor base North American Aviation drew upon. Chariots for Apollo covers this pretty well at, in the chapter called "The Team and the Tools." Collins Radio, AiResearch Manufacturing, Honeywell, Radioplane, Lockheed, Marquardt, Aerojet, Avco, Thiokol; all are mentioned. Probably best to distribute these into the article in the subsections covering the subsystems the subcontractors worked on? (sdsds - talk) 05:29, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Technical Questions-need for section[edit]

Since a heat shield separated the service and command modules, how were things such as controls and communication lines routed between the two? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:33, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

This is covered in the Service Module section; search on the word umbilical. The umbilical housing is described in the paragraph on the forward faring. Is this not highlighted sufficiently? JustinTime55 (talk) 14:14, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

What lift to drag ratio during reentry[edit]

I thought this would be the most likely article to give the L/D ratio of the CM but I couldn't find it. - Rod57 (talk) 01:09, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

Space capsule says "the Apollo CM had a lift to drag ratio of about 0.35" but no source.
Lift-to-drag ratio says "Hillje, Ernest R., "Entry Aerodynamics at Lunar Return Conditions Obtained from the Flight of Apollo 4 (AS-501)," NASA TN D-5399, (1969)." says Apollo 4 measured at 0.368 - [2] Fig 9 shows it slowly rose from ~0.27 to a brief peak ~0.37. -Rod57 (talk) 01:51, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

Mistake in specifications ?[edit]

page shows Launch mass 32,390 pounds (14,690 kg) Earth orbit 63,500 pounds (28,800 kg) Lunar , I suspect these numbers are backwards, and that the larger number is the earth orbit number. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:01, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

No, your suspicion is mistaken. The fully fueled CSM weighed about 63,500 lb, and the full fuel load was carried on the lunar missions. The Earth orbit missions didn't require nearly as much fuel as the lunar missions, so carried approximately half the fuel load (there were two sets of tanks, and one was left empty), yielding around 32,390 lb. The CSM engine had to perform the Lunar Orbit Insertion braking maneuver, the trans-Earth injection maneuver to get back home, plus midcourse corrections, and on the later missions, also the Descent Orbit Initiation maneuver, plus a little reserve. For the Earth orbit missions, besides making a few orbit changes for testing purposes (and the rendezvous maneuvers for Skylab), it only had to provide the retro-fire to deorbit the spacecraft. JustinTime55 (talk) 00:56, 28 May 2016 (UTC)

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