On July 20th, 1969, the Apollo 11 lunar module landed on the Moon in one of the important events in human history. The mathematicians among you probably noticed that we’re just two days away from the 50th anniversary of that date. Adam Savage, of Mythbusters and Tested fame, along with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, decided to create Project Egress. This is a recreation of the hatch that was on the Apollo 11 lunar module, and 40 of the world’s top makers were asked to create parts for the project. In her newest YouTube video, Sophy Wong shows how she created her part of Project Egress.
The actual hatch from the Apollo 11 lunar module does still exist and you can see it at various exhibits in museums around the country. But as such an important piece of history, you can’t touch it. Project Egress is intended as both a celebration of the Moon landing and the modern maker movement that museum visitors can interact with. The original hatch was scanned and every part was 3D-modeled in CAD using Autodesk Fusion 360. Then each of the participating makers was assigned a specific part to recreate using whatever fabrication techniques they preferred.
The part that Wong was assigned is one of the linkages for the door’s locking mechanism. She started modeling the part in Fusion 360, and then 3D-printed it in PLA. To give it some aesthetic flair, she then used brass, silver, and copper wire to add metal accents by hand. Wong even added an NFC tag that can be scanned to launch the Smithsonian’s webpage for Project Egress. The part was then sent off to Adam Savage and his team. They’re assembling the hatch today, July 18th, so you may still be able to catch the live stream of the build process on the Smithsonian website.