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Command Service Module (CSM)

(glossary entry)


The part of the Apollo spacecraft that orbited the Moon (as opposed to the Lunar Module part, which landed on the surface.
The cone-shaped part was the Command Module (CM).
The cylindrical part was the Service Module (SM).
The bell-shaped part was the Service Propulsion System (SPS).

Additional Information

During the last three Apollo missions (Apollo 15, Apollo 16, Apollo 17), part of the Service Module (SM) was occupied by the Scientific Instruments Module in the SIM-bay. The Fairchild metric (mapping) cameras and Itek panoramic cameras were part of the SIM. There were also the Subsatellites, which were ejected in orbit around the moon.
The call-names of the Command-Service Modules were: Apollo 9: Gumdrop, Apollo 10: Charlie Brown, Apollo 11: Columbia, Apollo 12: Yankee Clipper, Apollo 13: Odyssey, Apollo 14: Kitty Hawk, Apollo 15: Endeavour, Apollo 16: Casper, Apollo 17: America.

Remarkable CSM-photographs, paintings, curiosities, and trivia

- AS09-24-3660 : Apollo 9's CSM Gumdrop during the test of the first LM (Spider) in Earth orbit.
- AS15-88-11973 is one of Apollo 15's orbital Hasselblads which show CSM Endeavour over crater Taruntius (at the left margin of this photograph). Note the exposed SIM in the cylindrical Service Module.
- AS16-113-18294 is a magnificent view of Apollo 16's CSM Casper over farside craters Valier and Dufay B'.
- AS17-145-22254 is one of a series of Apollo 17's orbital Hasselblads which show a close-up of the exposed SIM in the Service Module of CSM
- ap15-S71-39614 is an interesting painting of a
SIM-bay EVA (Extra-Vehicular Activity, or "spacewalk"), to retrieve the exposed film-rolls out of the Fairchild and Itek cameras. The SIM-bay EVA was always performed by the CMP (Command Module Pilot) while the LMP (Lunar Module Pilot) made photographs and a movie of it.
- AS17-152-23391 shows Apollo 17's CMP Ronald Evans during his
SIM-bay EVA.
- This curious painting of a
SIM-bay EVA (painted by Pierre Mion) was included on page 261 of the article
TO THE MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON by Kenneth F. Weaver (NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC february 1972). In this painting, Apollo 15's LMP Jim Irwin is observing the SIM-bay EVA of CMP Alfred Worden (note Worden's reflected image in Irwin's gold vizor!).
- A drawing of the
SIM and ejected Subsatellite was printed on page 247 of the same NG-article (drawing Robert W. Nicholson).
- ap15-S71-22401 shows the crew of Apollo 15 with the SIM's
- Before their missions, the Command Modules were always covered by a layer of deep-blue protective foil, such as Apollo 17's: ap17-KSC-72C-1084.
- A blue Command Module, a silver-white Service Module, and a red SPS-bell is seen in ap9-69-HC-49.
- Some of Apollo 17's mission photographs show close-ups of CSM
America which look rather unusual and remarkably colorful, such as AS17-148-22756 which is a close look at one of Americas small windows. Note the chaotic appearance of the Command Module's outer skin!
- ap16-S72-36172 shows the CASPER decal in the Command Module of Apollo 16 (CSM Casper).