Moon Landing: T Plus 4 Days – Splashdown

Dinky 724 Sea King Box

Today, the descent stage of Lunar Module remains untouched where it was left in the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon. The ascent stage of the Lunar Module was left in a decaying lunar orbit and eventually crashed into the Moon’s surface. The Apollo 11 crew separated the CSM’s Command Module from the Service Module, which was left in Earth orbit and eventually burned up on re-entry to the Earth’s atmosphere.

Of the 365 feet of Apollo Saturn V that launched on 16th July, only the 11-foot high Command Module, Columbia, returned to Earth where it safely splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean 40 years ago today.

The crew were taken aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet by a US Navy Sea King SH-3D helicopter with the code 66 on her side.

Dinky 724 Sea King Catalogue Ad

“Navy 66” was lost several years later in a crash, but her spirit lives on in the toys and models that were produced of her, probably the single most famous of all the hundreds of Sea King helicopters that were built.

Dinky produced a die-cast metal toy complete with plastic Apollo Command Module that could be winched up and down, while Airfix were considerably more accurate with their 1/72nd scale plastic kit.

Again, Airfix cover art maestro Roy Cross is on top form with the Sea King shown having just dropped off its divers who have climbed onto the floating Command Module ready to attach the winch cable.

Airfix Sea King 66

Today that Apollo 11 Command Module, Columbia, is on display in the National Air And Space Museum in Washington DC where she is displayed beside the first aircraft to fly, the first aircraft to break the sound barrier, the first aircraft to fly hypersonic and the first manned American craft in space, amongst many others.

British readers have the opportunity to see a real Apollo Command Module in the Science Museum in London where the Apollo 10 Command Module, which also orbited the Moon and was named after the comic strip character Charlie Brown, is on display.

Yesterday – The Future

Find Sea King 66 – Dinky 724 on eBay

• Coinciding with Jeremy’s countdown to the 40th Anniversary of the first Moon Landing, downthetubes published “Moon Landing 40th Anniversary: A Comics Celebration” – a gallery of illustrations and comic art inspired by space exploration


Apollo (Graphic Novel)
By Matt Fitch, Chris Baker & Mike Collins
Buy it from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

Apollo GN - Cover

In 1969, humankind set foot on the moon. Neil Armstrong, Edwin ”Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins carried the fire for all the world. Backed by the brightest minds in engineering and science, the three boarded a rocket and flew through the void―just to know that we could. In Apollo, Matt Fitch, Chris Baker, and Mike Collins unpack the urban legends, the gossip, and the speculation to reveal a remarkable true story about life, death, dreams, and the reality of humanity’s greatest exploratory achievement.

Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journeys
by Michael Collins
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The years that have passed since Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins piloted the Apollo 11 spacecraft to the moon in July 1969 have done nothing to alter the fundamental wonder of the event: man reaching the moon remains one of the great events – technical and spiritual – of our lifetime. In this remarkable book, Michael Collins conveys, a very personal way, the drama, beauty, and humour of that adventure

Apollo 11: The Inside Story
by David Whitehouse
Buy it from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

David Whitehouse reveals the true drama behind the Apollo 11 mission, putting it in the context of the wider space race and telling the story in the words of those who took part – based around exclusive interviews with the key players.

Categories: Events, Features, Other Worlds

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