On 25 May 1961, just 20 days after Alan Shepard's 15 minute suborbital Mercury flight, president John F Kennedy announced to congress his plan of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth before the end of the decade. The project would be called Apollo. On 7 November 1962, NASA announced that Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, of Bethpage, New York, was selected to build the Apollo Lunar Excursion Module. Within seven years of winning the contract, the Grumman team had accomplished what many had said was impossible -- despite schedule delays, budget overruns, seemingly endless design changes and congressional funding cuts, the Grumman team's perseverance and commitment to excellence produced the Apollo Lunar Module, the spacecraft that did land men on the Moon, six times, with never a failure. On 3 March 1969, Apollo 9 lifted off from Cape Kennedy with LM-3 on board, the first Lunar Module to fly in space, and it performed flawlessly, achieving all of its test objectives. During the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, the Lunar Module became the life boat that saved the crew's lives.
The ascent module of the Apollo 17 LM, the final Lunar Module to fly, lifted off from the Moon's surface on 13 December 1972, and nothing to compare to it has been built since. The complexity of the design and fabrication of the Apollo Lunar Module was rivalled only by that of the Apollo Command and Service Modules. Many of the engineering disciplines involved were stretched to the limits of the state of the art and beyond. Much of the fabrication was hand-crafted and employed processes developed exclusively for this one project. It is hard to imagine that such a project could ever be undertaken again. Now you can see the intricacies of the LM design and learn details of its manufacture, including some of the major problems that had to be overcome. Virtual LM, like Virtual Apollo before it, is a book dedicated to showing us the details of design and production using amazing full-colour renderings of the structures, components, sub-assemblies and the completed spacecraft, accompanied by supporting descriptions. 'Virtual LM' shows us the Apollo Lunar Module as both an engineering masterpiece and a work of art. This book will be an essential part of any space enthusiast's library.
The Bonus CD-ROM includes: Apollo Operations Handbook, Apollo 14 Lunar Module Timeline, Apollo 15 Lunar, Module Cue Cards and Data Cards, Apollo 16 Contingency Checklist, and more...