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 Aug 13
10AM TO 2PM
Air & Space Museum

Cockpit Demo Day

Cockpit Demo Day
Saturday, Aug 13 | 10AM to 2PM

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 August:

  • Cessna U-3A “Blue Canoe”
  • Martin EB-57
  • Alexander Eaglerock
  • Bede BD-5
  • Rotorway Scorpion II

 

Pre-purchase tickets

Saturday Aug 13
10AM TO 2PM
Exploration of Flight

Dream Machine Showcase

Dream Machine Showcase
Saturday, Aug 13 | 10AM to 2PM

Join Wings Over the Rockies Exploration of Flight to see Cirrus aircraft, high-performance sports cars and classic cars!

Pre-purchase tickets

Friday Aug 19
10AM TO 3PM
Air & Space Museum

Aviation Day | Pay As You Wish!

Aviation Day | Pay As You Wish!
Friday, Aug 19 | 10AM to 3PM

Join us in celebrating the development of aviation this National Aviation Day and PAY AS YOU WISH!

Enjoy special activities including:

  • Paper airplane building
  • Flight simulator sessions
  • Select open cockpits
  • Science demos
  • Scavenger hunts
  • And more!

Your donation helps to support Wings’ mission to educate, inspire and excite all people about aviation and space endeavors of the past, present and future.

National Aviation Day celebrations will also be held at Exploration of Flight at Centennial Airport! Click here to learn more.

Please note: Pricing for MaxFlight and Doron simulator experiences are standard Wings pricing. Pay as You Wish offer is valid on 8/19/22 at both Wings locations. Pre-sale tickets not available for this event. Admission will be available at the door.

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