Apollo Docking Probe & Docking Ring
  • Full scale model of the Apollo Docking Probe and Docking Ring that allowed the Apollo Command Service Module to dock with the Lunar Module.
  • Mounted on the apex, or nose, of the Command Module.
  • Once docked, the astronauts would fold and remove the Docking Probe and mating conical Lunar Module drogue to allow passage through the docking tunnel.
  • The model design references over 500 actual Apollo spacecraft blueprints. (See Our Approach to building exhibits.)
  • This model is now installed on a Command Service Module mockup at Stafford Air & Space Museum.
  • In flight, the actual docking ring perimeter was covered with insulation. In this case the model displays the interesting machining of the aluminum docking ring.
  • See development of this model from design through fabrication.

Apollo_docking_ring_model_600

The Apollo docking ring mounted 12 automatic latches to secure the joined modules. Astronauts used the blue handles to manually lock or unlock individual latches. The ring also supported the docking probe, and allowed connection of two cables between the Command Module and Lunar Module. The combined spacecraft could be pressurized securely with the double seal of the docking ring.

Apollo_docking_ring_and_docking_probe_model_600

Apollo_docking_ring_and_probe_at_installation_600

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