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Grumman Lunar Modules

The Apollo Lunar Module was built by Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation for the Apollo program. The Lunar Module is often referred to as the LM. This was the first vehicle designed solely for manned extra-terrestrial operation. On six moon landings, the Lunar Module carried astronauts from the Apollo command module (CM) to the surface of the moon and back. One mission, Apollo 13, was aborted because of damage to the service module. The Lunar Module saved the day for the Apollo 13 mission by providing the power to return the crippled vehicle and its crew back to earth safely.

The LM consists of two parts or stages which are joined by four interstage fittings. The top of the vehicle is the ascent stage. It carried two astronauts along with the navigation, guidance, control, communications, life support, environmental control, electrical power and propulsion systems.

The lower part of the LM was the descent stage. It carried the scientific equipment, a propulsion system, additional electric power, water and oxygen for the ascent stage. During the last 3 of the Apollo missions it also carried the Lunar Rover Vehicle.

How did the LM travel to the Moon? Diagram shows the LM positioned inside the launch vehicle.(Larger view of diagram.)

At the end of a lunar visit, the interstage fittings were severed by an explosive device. This allowed the ascent stage to lift off and return the two member crew to the orbiting command module where the third crew member awaited them. The descent stage remained on the moon. The ascent stage would dock with the command module so the two astronauts on board could return to the command module. The LM was then jettisoned into the moon's orbit and set to crash into the moon's surface at a predetermined time.

Where are these Lunar Modules now? The Apollo Command Module Capsules are on display at various sites throughout the U.S. and the world. The Apollo Lunar Modules were deliberately targeted to impact (crash into) the Moon to provide artificial moonquake sources for seismic experiments.Impact Sites have been recorded and coordinates listed are from the Manned Space Flight Network. Apollo - Current Locations gives the locations of the any Apollo crafts on displays and the LM crash sites. (

The history and typical specifications of the Lunar Modules produced by Grumman for the Apollo program are listed below. (Print friendly version of the chart below.)

Lunar Module Number Mission Date of moon landing Special Notes
LM-1 Unmanned, earth orbit mission None Apollo 5 - Earth orbital test flight of unpiloted LM. LM not recovered.
LM-2 Unmanned backup None not flown - now at The National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution
LM-3 Manned, earth orbit mission None Apollo 9 - simulated in Earth orbit the operation of lunar module to landing and takeoff from lunar surface and rejoining with command module.LM named Spider. Reading about the flight of the LM.
LM-4 Manned, lunar orbit mission None Apollo 10 - demonstrated complete system including lunar module to 50,000 feet from lunar surface. LM named Snoopy. In heliocentric orbit.
LM-5 1st lunar landing July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 Mission - first human landing on Moon. LM named Eagle. Impact site unknown.
LM-6 2nd lunar landing Nov. 20, 1969 Apollo 12 Mission - second human landing on Moon. Explored surface of Moon, retrieved parts of Surveyor 3 spacecraft which landed in Ocean of Storms on April 19. 1967. LM named Intrepid.
LM-7 Mission aborted in trans-lunar phase None Apollo 13 Mission Loss of service module electrical power. LM served as rescue "lifeboat" and provided power to return crippled spacecraft and crew safely back to earth. LM named Aquarius. LM burned up in Earth's atmosphere.
LM-8 3rd lunar landing Feb. 5, 1971 Apollo 14 Mission - Third human landing. Mission demonstrated pinpoint landing capability and continued human exploration of surface.LM named Antares. Read about the landing at Fra Mauro.
LM-9 Manned backup None not flown - now at Kennedy Space Center
LM-10 4th lunar landing July 30, 1971 Apollo 15 Mission- First of the Apollo "J" series which carried Lunar Roving Vehicle in LM Falcon. Read about problems with the LM prior to launch. Read about the launch and interesting notes about the LM and the mission turning from "H" to "J" series and use of destruct explosives on the LM.
LM-11 5th lunar landing April 20, 1972 Apollo 16 Mission - carried Lunar Roving Vehicle in LM Orion. Read about the landing at Descartes.
LM-12 6th lunar landing Dec. 11, 1972 Apollo 17 Mission- carried Lunar Roving Vehicle in LM Challenger. Read about the LM returning to orbit and docking with CM.
LM-13 mission canceled none On display at Cradle of Aviation Museum, Long Island
LM-14 mission canceled none On display at the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia


Spacecraft part/load Weight
Ascent stage, inert
4,341 lb
Scientific equipment
406 lb
5,835 lb
Total ascent stage 10,582 lb
Descent stage, inert
4,921 lb
Scientific equipment
1,212 lb
19,507 lb
Total descent stage 25,640 lb
Overall orbital spacecraft 36,222 lb

Diagram of Ascent

Larger Image of Ascent Stage
Franklin LM Ascent

Grumman LM at Franklin Institute

Note: The objects pictured above are part of The Franklin Institute's protected collection of objects. The images are The Franklin Institute. All rights are reserved.