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LEM Lunar Excursion Module Familiarization Manual Paperback – May 9, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Periscope Film LLC (May 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935700669
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935700661
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #672,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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.
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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.
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By Dan on August 6, 2013
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Wow what a great book. recommend it highly if you are into the technical aspect of the lunar module. Most books are full of fluff (for lack of a better term). This reprint of Grummans manual is quite technical which is what I yearned for since i am an apollo geek! If you too want the nuts and bolts of the lunar module this, from the manufacturer of the Lunar Module, can't be beat.
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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.
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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.
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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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Yeah ! For anyone long-harboring the curiosity for how this system was put together, or for anyone seeking a feel for what real-world life-and death engineering is concerned about... this series of manuals are quite satisfying.
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