View from the Commander’s position as the Lunar Module slowly descends the final few feet to the
lunar surface. Dust obscures the surface, while the Lunar Module’s shadow helps in visualizing altitude and descent rate. The control panels feature software-driven simulated gauges to assist the user in
landing safely, while their proper locations enhance the historic realism of the experience. Panels illuminate as in the real Lunar Module
See video of a simulated landing through the
commander’s window (the image is angled to fit the display mounted in the simulator’s triangular window):.
Standing inside the simulator is just like standing inside the real LM - the dimensions are the same!
The window view is very close to what the astronauts would have actually seen as they
landed on the moon. The bird’s eye view at top helps in visualizing the overall scene (it can be turned off using the joystick buttons).
Software features that enhance the experience include:
A brief description giving the context of the landing (separation from the Command Module and firing the descent engine
to begin the landing).
A sweeping outside view of the approach to the landing site, showing the speed and attitude of the LM.
Realistic attitude and speed changes as the LM approaches the moon, just as the actual LM in its final descent.
Levels of difficulty that are controlled by the user by movement of the joystick or throttle during the descent. (By not
moving the controls, the simulated LM makes an automatic landing as with the actual LM.)
Window grid (Landing Point Designator) that gives the same kind of attitude and landing point reference as the actual
LM. (The grid has also been added to the right window.)
View of the reaction control thrusters and forward footpad through the windows.
Accurately modeled LM seen in the bird’s eye view reacts realistically to thruster forces and landing dynamics.
Realistic deflection of the landing gear struts at touchdown (seen in the bird’s eye view as well as with the
forward footpad outside the window).
The voice of a simulator instructor helps the user understand events during the descent, and to make a safe landing.
The simulation models the Apollo 15 Hadley-Appenine landing site in full scale relative to the LM model, giving
realistic perspective to the scene.
A start from 3500 feet altitude with about 4 minutes allowed for a landing, while typically 3 minutes are used.
The Lunar Module Pilot’s panel is modified from the actual LM panel to include the gauges
needed for an independent landing simulation.
Enclosure features include:
Reference to over 200 Grumman engineering drawings of the LM for accurate dimensions.
A true sense of the size and configuration of the craft that took Americans to the moon.
Welded steel structure that dismantles to fit through a 36” wide doorway.
Graphics on the two stowage compartments depict the pouches with their labeled contents.
Exhibit dimensions: 97” wide, 84” tall and 55” deep.
Our approach to exhibit design yields a sturdy realistic cockpit with accurate dimensions, enhancing the experience.
A Lunar Landing Simulator kiosk fits tighter budgets and spaces.
The kiosk version of the simulator offers realism at the LM Commander’s position, and
a mirror to give a feel for the full cockpit.
NASA’s proposed future Altair spacecraft is modeled in the bird’s eye view and from the
pilot’s perspective in this expanded version of the simulation software.