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A replica of the Apollo 11 lunar module to be built in the town of Húsavík, North Iceland

By Staff

  • The original Apollo 11 module A replica of the lunar module, which landed on the surface of the moon on July 20 1969 is planned for the Exploration Museum in the town of Húsavík, North Iceland. Photo/NASA Public domain photo.

The Exploration Museum in the town of Húsavík, North Iceland, plans to build a full sized replica of the Apollo 11 lunar module in time for the 50 year anniversary of the 1969 moon landing. The museum has already acquired the blueprints from NASA, but is still looking for funding of the project.

Astronauts trained for lunar landscapes in Iceland
The spacecraft would be part of the permanent exhibition of the museum which focuses on human exploration from the Viking voyages to space exploration. Earlier this summer the museum organized a visit from three former Apollo-program astronauts and the descendants of Neal Armstrong to Iceland.

Read more: NASA astronauts to re-visit training grounds in Iceland's central highlands

NASA sent two training missions to Iceland, in 1965 and 1969. The missions were part of the Apollo-program, and were intended to prepare astronauts for the harsh and alien landscapes of the moon. The astronauts trained in the Central Highlands, south of the town of Húsavík.

A full sized, but non-operational replica
The replica of the Apollo 11 spacecraft, which carried Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong to the surface of the moon in 1969, would be part of the permanent exhibition of the exploration museum. Örlýgur Hnefill Örlygsson, the manager of the Exploration Museum, tells the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RÚV that he has already acquired the blueprints of the module, which is five meters tall and five meters wide, and primarily made from aluminium, from NASA.

The module will look exactly like the original, with one important exception. Örlýgur tells RÚV it won’t be operational. “We’re only going to build the shell itself, as we don’t intend to have the module be operational. It’s a little like building a car without an engine.”

Read more: NASA team searching for landing sites on Mars in North East Iceland

Örlýgur has not secured funding for the project, which includes building an addition to the exploration museum to house the module. However, Örlýgur tells RÚV he is optimistic funded will be found and the project finished by 2019, in time to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the moon landing.

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