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Apollo - Lunar Module Visual System
The Center for Technology & Innovation is pleased to announce arrival at TechWorks! of Link's Lunar Module Simulator's visual system on long-term loan from the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. The simulator, built by Link in the 1960s at the Binghamton airport with components from Farrand Optical, Bronx, NY, and others, was accessioned into the Smithsonian's collection after being used by NASA. The Link simulator generated dynamic displays of star fields to train Apollo astronauts in navigating to and from the moon, as well as in lunar descent, lunar ascent, and rendezvous and docking.
Globally important, locally grown Apollo-era technology returned to its point of origin Thursday morning, 10 March 2016. Before GPS, Apollo astronauts had to learn to navigate by stars using training equipment built in Binghamton, NY by Link, the pioneer of the flight simulation industry.
Items returning to Binghamton include the mechanically driven star display system for the Lunar Module Simulator. A team of veteran engineers from Link, Farrand Optical, and NASA has been recruited to restore the telescope component to operating condition in 2016.
When the star field generating equipment is operational, it will demonstrate for TechWorks! visitors the unique 1960s technology that produced the superb resolution necessary to train Apollo astronauts in mission-critical navigation tasks. One of the most important of these tasks was to precisely synchronize Lunar Module lift-off with the Command Module to assure rendezvous and docking for the return trip to Earth.
This project is undertaken with support from BSC Associates, Binghamton; Sandy Clarkson, Cradle of Aviation Museum, Frank Hughes, NASA (retired); Ray's Auto, Binghamton; and the Gertrude Skelly Foundation.