Astronomy:Command module Columbia

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Apollo 11 Columbia.png
Columbia on display at the National Air and Space Museum
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerNorth American Aviation
Dry mass9,130 pounds (4,141.3 kg)
Dimensions10 712 by 12 1012 feet (3.2 by 3.9 m)

Columbia is the spacecraft that served as the command module during Apollo 11, which was the first mission to land humans on the Moon. Columbia is the only spacecraft from the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to return to Earth.[1](Smithsonian 2003)

The name Columbia was first suggested to Michael Collins by Julian Scheer, NASA assistant administrator of public affairs during the Apollo program. Scheer mentioned the name, in passing, in a phone conversation, saying "some of us up here have been kicking around Columbia." Collins initially thought it was "a bit pompous" but the name eventually stuck as he could not think of a better alternative and his crewmates Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong had no objections.(Collins 2001) Collins was also influenced to accept the name because of its similarity to Columbiad, the name of the space gun in Jules Verne's 1865 science fiction novel From the Earth to the Moon.(Lindsay 2001)(Collins 2001)

After a tour of U.S. cities,[2] Columbia was given to the Smithsonian Institution in 1971.[1] It was designated a "Milestone in Flight" and was displayed prominently at National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., alongside the 1903 Wright Flyer.(Smithsonian 2003)(Linden 2016)

As of September 28, 2019, the spacecraft is on display temporarily at the Cincinnati Museum Center.[2]



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