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LEM Lunar Excursion Module Familiarization Manual [Paperback]

Grumman Aircraft Engineering Co.
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

9 May 2011
Designed by Grumman's brilliant Tom Kelly, the Apollo Lunar Excursion Module (or "LEM" for short) was a triumph of purpose-built engineering. In the six years 1962-1968 between drawing board and first flight, a myriad of challenges were overcome related to weight, reliability and safety. The final design, designated the Lunar Module or "LM", boasted tiny windows instead of large portholes, four legs instead of five and most famously had no seats — instead relying on the astronauts' legs to cushion a lunar landing. Ten LMs made it into space including three flown in development and test missions, and six which landed on the Moon. A seventh famously saved the crew of Apollo 13 when that mission's Command Module suffered a catastrophic malfunction. Originally created for NASA by Grumman in 1964, this LEM Familiarization Manual provides an operational description of all subsystems and major components of the lunar lander. It includes sections about the LEM mission, spacecraft structure, operational subsystems, prelaunch operations, and ground support equipment.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Periscope Film LLC (9 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935700669
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935700661
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 20 x 25 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 409,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grumman LEM Owner's Manual 11 Jun 2012
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Comprehensive content including: seats, suit, life support, controls. How to fly, where the bonnet/hood release is, thrusters, landing pads, sensors...everything the pilot needs to understand this no-nonsense craft. All reproduced in black ink from the original Grumman tech manual with plenty of photos and diagrams. Not so chunky (decent paperback novel thickness) but packed with fascinating information and practically unknown insights into how the equipment and facilities influenced what these brave men were able to achieve in the unforgiving lunar and space environments. A great document for engineers, designers and anyone interested in the 'transitional' aerospace technology of the 1960s. A functional, concise document that makes you wonder how we'd do it differently today. Most of the problems were solved and designs produced by guys who grew up in aircraft/marine/military engineering without any digital tech to hand. As I read I started to think about the organisational structure required to get humans on the moon and back (politically driven or not) and was freshly respectful of the men and women who delivered the dream.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A snapshot in time 25 Jan 2013
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This manual was originally published in 1964 and is therefore not accurate. It describes an early iteration of the dESign with circular hatch on the front of the LEM and fuel cells (changed for batteries in the final design). The section on exploration of the lunar surface suggests that only one astronaut at a time would be working outside the LEM.

A fascinating read nevertheless .
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware - This may not be what you think 31 Jan 2013
By Jeff DeTroye - Published on Amazon.com
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This manual is a fascinating document for anyone interested in the details of the development of the LM. The LM that finally flew just three years later was a very, very different vehicle than the one described in this manual. So if you are looking for a book that describes the Lunar Module that landed on the moon, this is not the book for you. On the other hand, if you want a detailed description of the early design of the LM then this is a gold mine of information. This book has information on the early design of the LM that I haven't seen in print anywhere else.

Here are some of the major differences that I spotted in my first casual pass through the book:
The LEM Fam Manual describes an electrical system powered by fuel cells, with all the cryo storage and such. The LM that landed on the moon was powered by batteries and didn't have the hydrogen cryo storage system at all and the oxygen cryo system was much simpler. The Fam Manual describes an Ascent Stage with two docking hatches. The LM that landed on the Moon had one, located on the top of the cabin. The Fam Manual describes both descent engine designs; one throttled by helium injection and one that used mechanical throttling, and of course only the mechanically throttled design actually flew. The Fam Manual describes lunar surface operations as being carried out by a single astronaut, while of course both actually got out of the LM to walk on the Moon. All the crew hardware and space suits described in the Fam Manual are early designs that changed dramatically by the time of the first landing in 1969. The displays and controls in the Fam Manual bear almost no resemblance to those on the LMs that landed on the moon.

So there is a wealth of rare information here, but this book definitely does not describe the Lunar Modules that landed on the Moon.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting historical document 15 Dec 2011
By TomK1 - Published on Amazon.com
This book seems to be the manual Grummen would have handed to astronauts, program managers, ground controllers, or anyone who would be involved in the LEM (later LM) operations, so there's definitely the appeal of putting yourself in the position of someone seeing this for the first time in 1965 and hearing "okay, you're going to fly this thing".

Its interesting to flip through, but what's really lacking is any sort of commentary to explain exactly what you're reading, and what each part actually meant. The first part is the most interesting as it gave a high level idea to the astronauts about what they'd be doing.

The rest of the book is a lot of details without enough context to make it more than a tease. For example, this nugget from page 1-2:

"To satisfy the objectives of the FDTB, engineering data beyond that supplied by the basic LEM instrumentation will be required, This additional data will te accommodated on the development flight by the inclusion of special on-board DFL. This equipment will consist of a number of fm/fm telemetry links that radiate LEM-generated data not required for real-time display, and a single pm/fm unit for real-time control purposes."

So its pretty down in the details. There are not many illustrations, its manual created by engineers for the guys who needed this information.

Interesting reading, although you might be interested in goggling for "LEM Lunar Excursion Module Familiarization Manual" to get a feel for whether you'd like this.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating piece of NASA history 6 Jan 2012
By Mark Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Wanted this book the moment I saw it! I remember back when, watching the moon missions, I so desperately wanted to read the instruction manual for the LEM. This book and the even-more-detailed LEM News Reference, which is also sold on Amazon, are exactly what the doctor ordered. I take great satisfaction knowing that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin both read this book...obviously they studied it from cover to cover! Yes it is a technical book but still a very rewarding read (and the News Reference book explains everything in great detail). Well worth the purchase price.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elegant Solution 30 Dec 2011
By A Reader - Published on Amazon.com
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With the retiring of the US Space Shuttle fleet (STS), it seems only appropriate to examine one of the most elegant spacecraft, manned or unmanned, that was ever created and successfully flown to, and lifted off from, another planetary body. Harken back to when the little Agency that could, NASA, actually was allowed to do its job.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 14 Mar 2014
By Paul J Sangl - Published on Amazon.com
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Published in 1964 according to the inside title page. It was interesting to see this earlier version of the LEM. I noticed it was still called the LEM first and then saw the round front hatch, which was subsequently changed to a square shape. I would recommend this with Tom Kelly's book "Moon Lander" as a companion because, by itself, it doesn't explain the "why" of things.
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