Lunar Module Reaction Control System Oxidizer Tank and Associated Parts

Whole Object Name

Lunar Module Reaction Control System Oxidizer Tank and Associated Parts

Collection

Apollo

Description

This oxidizer tank was designed for use in an Apollo Lunar Module. It retains its shipping container, a full-scale schematic diagram, an inspection record documentation pack certifying it as 'flightworthy', and a NASA parts tag.

This type of oxidizer tank was designed for use in the Reaction Control System (RCS) on the Ascent Stage of the Lunar Module (see pics). Four sets of four thrusters made up the RCS, with thrust being directed out of any of the nozzles individually. This allowed some control of the Lunar Module, with the crew able to change its orientation and make minor movements to the spacecraft. The RCS was also used to separate the Lunar Module from the Command Module to begin the descent to the Moon.

Whilst the Descent and Ascent Engines did the brunt of the work as the Lunar Module landed and lifted off from the Moon, the RCS was used to maintain control whilst flying the spacecraft. The RCS was fed by a fuel tank, containing a hypergolic propellant (Aerozine -50), and the oxidizer tank, which contained nitrogen tetroxide. There were two tanks of fuel and two tanks of oxidizer, so that a redundant system was available at any time in case of problems occurring in any of the tanks. The tanks were kept pressurised by a flow of helium from additional tanks, with the propellant and oxidizer meeting in the nozzles of the RCS - where they mixed and ignited through a chemical reaction.

Although never deployed on a Lunar Module, this oxidizer tank was shipped to NASA in March 1970.

Object number

2018-2
  • image Lunar Module Reaction Control System Oxidizer Tank
  • image Lunar Module Reaction Control System Oxidizer Tank
  • image Lunar Module Reaction Control System Oxidizer Tank Shipping Crate - note the LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) label
  • image LEM on the shipping crate stands for 'Lunar Excursion Module'
  • image Lunar Module Reaction Control System Oxidizer Tank Shipping Crate, showing delivery details
  • image NASA Parts Tag for Lunar Module Reaction Control System Oxidizer Tank
  • image Schematic diagram of the Lunar Module highlighting where the oxidizer tank was located - Credit: NASA
  • image Close up image of a Lunar Module showing the Reaction Control System thrusters, used to orientate the Lunar Module in flight - Credit: NASA
  • image The Apollo 14 Lunar Module on the Moon - Credit: NASA
  • image Oxidizer Tank label
  • image Oxidizer Tank from the Reaction Control System of a Lunar Module
  • image Full-scale Schematic Diagram of the Oxidizer Tank from the Reaction Control System of a Lunar Module
  • image Bell Aerosystems Inspection Record Documentation Pack, including a 'Statement of Flight Worthiness'
  • image Statement of Flight Worthiness
  • image Lunar Module Reaction Control System Oxidizer Tank
  • image Lunar Module Reaction Control System Oxidizer Tank
  • image Lunar Module Reaction Control System Oxidizer Tank Shipping Crate - note the LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) label
  • image LEM on the shipping crate stands for 'Lunar Excursion Module'
  • image Lunar Module Reaction Control System Oxidizer Tank Shipping Crate, showing delivery details
  • image NASA Parts Tag for Lunar Module Reaction Control System Oxidizer Tank
  • image Schematic diagram of the Lunar Module highlighting where the oxidizer tank was located - Credit: NASA
  • image Close up image of a Lunar Module showing the Reaction Control System thrusters, used to orientate the Lunar Module in flight - Credit: NASA
  • image The Apollo 14 Lunar Module on the Moon - Credit: NASA
  • image Oxidizer Tank label
  • image Oxidizer Tank from the Reaction Control System of a Lunar Module
  • image Full-scale Schematic Diagram of the Oxidizer Tank from the Reaction Control System of a Lunar Module
  • image Bell Aerosystems Inspection Record Documentation Pack, including a 'Statement of Flight Worthiness'
  • image Statement of Flight Worthiness

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