Apollo Spacecraft Crew Side Hatch

The Apollo spacecraft unified crew side hatch has been digitally modeled in preparation for the creation of a physical model. See Apollo 11 hatch progress update Spring 2012, and September 2012 updates below. Also see these pages for additional model details:

Apollo_latch_model_1_120 Apollo_hatch_gearbox_model_exploded_150 Apollo_hatch_hinge_150
  • Above, a digital model of the Apollo Command Module unified crew side hatch assembly.
  • The unified hatch combined the inner and outer hatches of the earlier design for improved opening speed.
  • Compare with the Apollo 11 hatch  at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum.
  • Modeled using SolidWorks, based on hundreds of dimensioned North American Aviation engineering drawings.
  • See the hatch inner machining digital model by itself, and a portion of its engineering drawing detailing features at the lower left corner.
  • Also see a view of the outside of the hatch model, and an exploded view of the hatch gear box.
  • See a physical model of an Apollo hatch latch. Additional physical models made using Rapid Prototyping, await finishing below.

For more information on our exhibit design technique:


Above are examples of parts made from the Apollo hatch digital models using Rapid Prototyping (RP) techniques. The parts include a pressure equalization valve mount (left), latch link (lower left), aft beam (top), linkage bases (center), and inner hatch handle (right). The plastic parts will be finished to appear exactly as their real metal counterparts, as was done with the Apollo hatch latch.


Gearbox housing model before finishing.


Finished models of Apollo hatch bellcrank assemblies.


Complete set of 15 articulating latch assembly models for the Apollo Unified Crew Side Hatch. A typical assembly includes 8 plastic parts made using Rapid Prototyping, and 10 metal hardware parts (pins, washers and bushings).

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