|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Command/Service Module (CSM) was one of two spacecraft, along with the Lunar Module, used for the United States Apollo program which landed astronauts on the Moon. It was built for NASA by North American Aviation. It was launched by itself into suborbital and low Earth orbit test missions with the Saturn IB launch vehicle, and three times by itself and nine times with the Lunar Module as part of the Apollo spacecraft assembly on the larger Saturn V launch vehicle, which was capable of sending it to the Moon.
After the Apollo lunar program, the CSM saw manned service as a crew shuttle for the Skylab program, and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in which an American crew rendezvoused and docked with a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft in Earth orbit.
The CSM consisted of two segments: the Command Module, a cabin which housed a crew of three and equipment needed for re-entry and splashdown; and a Service Module that provided propulsion, electrical power and storage for various consumables required during a mission. The Service Module was cast off and allowed to burn up in the atmosphere before the Command Module re-entered and brought the crew home.
The CSM was initially designed to return all three astronauts from the lunar surface on a direct-descent mission which would not use a separate Lunar Module, and thus had no provisions for docking with another spacecraft. This, plus other required design changes led to the decision to design two versions of the CSM: Block I was to be used for unmanned missions and a single manned Earth orbit flight (Apollo 1), while the more advanced Block II was designed for use with the Lunar Module. But the Apollo 1 flight was cancelled by a cabin fire which killed the crew and destroyed the Command Module during a launch rehearsal test. Corrections of the problems which caused the fire were applied to the Block II spacecraft, which was used for all manned missions.
Nice to see another real space kit from Dragon and this time it is the Apollo 11 Command and Service Module, in 1/48 scale. This is a pretty simple kit in that there is not a ton of parts. No LEM or the housing for it and with no interior provided, it is pretty much just the outside of the CSM. The kit does include the four-dish antenna system with the dishes done in formed etched brass, so they have a lot of detail. I am going to bet that the majority of build time will be spent painting this one as it does require a bunch of different colors. For the record, below are all the features of the kit straight from Dragon (with the misspellings fixed):
- Delicate Apollo 11 CSM w/display stand
- VHF scimitar antenna included
- Docking Probe Assembly rendered w/intricate detail
- Detailed reaction control thruster
- Realistic Service Propulsion System
- Detailed gimbal motors molded on Service Propulsion System
- Photo-etched Service Module antennas w/plastic-injection parts
- Command module and service module can be separately assembled
- Aft heat shield molded w/fine detail
There is a nicely done decal sheet with quite a few stencils on it. Also part of the kit is a very sturdy stand with a plastic base and metal arm along with attachment screws.
This makes a very nice addition to any collection for the space fan. Its simple construction also means that you will not be spending a lot of time with a mass of fiddly bits. I should close in mentioning that the link has an excellent photo of the Apollo 15 CSM that would be very useful for painting.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the
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