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Buyer Beware - This may not be what you think
on January 31, 2013
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.