FLOWN Apollo Rotation Control Inside

On this page:   Left View   Front Left View   Gears   Right View   Assembled View  Apollo 15

  • Another Rotation Control (RC) with cover removed, revealing its amazing complexity.
  • Flown to lunar orbit as part of the Apollo 15 Command Module (CM)
  • Carefully machined aluminum and stainless steel parts respond to the astronaut’s hand movements with precision.
  • Numerous gears and springs relay the motion in three axes.
  • Three rotary variable-differential transformers and 18 switches output commands through the attached cable.
  • Cable is heavily braced and its wires are molded in place to minimize movement as the cable is flexed.
  • Would display well in combination with the completely assembled RC shown separately.
  • Modified with “internal mechanical interface material changes to preclude stress corrosion,” to serve as a spare RC for Apollo Skylab missions (Rockwell specification ME901-0704-0802).
  • At the completion of Project Apollo, the unit was modified with a Space Shuttle-type grip so it could be used in astronaut training.
  • Finally retired from space program service on November 21, 2000.
  • Although missing its original grip and microphone switch, the unit has been re-assembled with a grip and trigger molded from the other RC by Historic Space Systems.
  • Honeywell Part No. CG166H8, Rockwell spec. ME901-0704-0702, Serial No. 10028AAK1061, Manufacture Date 19 June 1969.
  • Modification Identification: Honeywell Part No. CG166H9, Rockwell spec. ME901-0704-0802, Acceptance Date 10 APR 73.

Also see:

Another flown RC, fully assembled:

Apollo 15 mission details:

Rotating Picture

10 lbs. (4.5 kg)

  • The unit is shown re-assembled (below) with a grip and trigger molded from the other RC.
  • Number “1” stenciled on top of the housing indicates the RC to the right of the center couch.
  • The protective plastic cover seen on the cable was installed after the flight.

Get a similar Apollo control handle grip model for yourself:

NASA photo below shows the Apollo 15 interior during post-flight inspection of the spacecraft. Center couch is at bottom, control panel is at top. Arrow points to this RC (number 1). The number 2 RC is at left.

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