Apollo Launch Escape Tower Canard Actuator, measuring 23″ x 8″ x 6.5″, with worn part numbers on the sides and bottom; the central piece is marked, "Assem. V15 590202 11, C652716, Apr 29 1969." The side is marked, "Re Mfg Jul 9 1970, 3rd Q 70." In very good to fine condition. Artifacts from the Apollo Launch Escape System are extremely rare.
The use of the actuator is described in a NASA publication about the Launch Escape Subsystem: 'The canards are two deployable surfaces and operating mechanisms which are faired (attached in a smooth line) into the outer skin of the launch escape assembly just below the nose cone. The operating mechanism is inside the structure. Each canard is mounted on two hinges and is deployed by a gas-operated actuator. Eleven seconds after the abort signal is received by the master events sequence controller, an electric current fires cartridges to open the canards. Gas from the cartridges causes a piston to retract, operating the opening mechanism. The canard surfaces mechanically lock in place when fully opened.' Aerodynamic forces acting upon the deployed canards would rotate the Command Module so that its blunt end points toward Earth for a safe landing after aborting the mission.
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Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.