Air & Space Museum

Apollo Command Module Boilerplate

Apollo Command Module Boilerplate

Many of us remember the excitement of the Apollo missions that landed a dozen Americans on the Moon more than 50 years ago. The Apollo Command Module was the only part of the massive, skyscraper-sized Saturn V rocket that returned to Earth at the end of each flight. You can recognize an enlarged version of the Command Module’s cone shape in today’s Lockheed Martin Orion spacecraft and the Boeing Starliner.

This artifact looks very much like an actual Apollo Command Module, but it never carried astronauts into space. It is a boilerplate—a simplified metal model created to test specific aspects of the real spacecraft, such as water landings, launch abort escape rockets, or recovery systems. It duplicates the size, weight, shape, and center of gravity of the actual vehicle.

This particular boilerplate is BP-1101A. NASA used it for flotation tests in the Gulf of Mexico in July, 1965. After some modifications, NASA used it again for additional ocean testing in 1966 and 1967. In most photos of Apollo spacecraft floating in the ocean you can see large round balloons near the top. They pull the spacecraft right-side-up if it capsizes, and they were tested on this very boilerplate.

On loan from the National Air and Space Museum.

Capsule specifications:
Diameter: 12 ft 10 in (3.9 m)
Height: 8 ft 10 in (2.7 m)
Weight: Varied, approximately 10,000 lbs (4,536 kg)

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Air & Space Museum

Upcoming Events

Saturday Dec 10
10:00AM TO 2:00PM
Air & Space Museum

Cockpit Demo Day

Cockpit Demo Day
Saturday, Dec 10 | 10:00AM to 2:00PM

Get an up close look inside select aircraft at the museum and learn all about the history of the aircraft, instruments and controls!

Featured Aircraft in December:

  • North American F-100 Super Sabre
  • Martin EB-57
  • Alexander Eaglerock
  • Bede BD-5 (WC)
  • Cessna U-3A

 

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Saturday Dec 10
10:00AM TO 2:00PM
Exploration of Flight

Vettes and Jets Showcase

Vettes and Jets Showcase
Saturday, Dec 10 | 10:00AM to 2:00PM

Airpower meets horsepower! Join us at Exploration of Flight to see various models of classic, vintage and new Corvettes featured alongside the finest in air travel, a private jet.

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*Weather permitting

Saturday Dec 17
10:00AM TO 2:00PM
Air & Space Museum

Santa in the Hangar

Santa in the Hangar
Saturday, Dec 17 | 10:00AM to 2:00PM

Celebrate the holiday season at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. Arrive early to see Santa arrive in a helicopter at 10 a.m.!

Join us for various holiday-themed activities including:

  • Holiday Carolers from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Magic show from Chad Wonder Magic
  • Games and holiday crafts
  • Photo Booth
  • Select Open Cockpits
  • Discovery Carts
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Pedal Planes
  • And much more!

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You can also celebrate with us on December 18th at our second location, Exploration of Flight at Centennial Airport. Click here to learn more!

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