Object I

Saturn V Command Module


As an early object designed to traverse space, first launched in 1966 and retired in ‘75, the Command Module (CM) of the Apollo series rocket bears particular interest for dissecting its orientation and user perception.


Objects and users typically have their own planes of reference (RP) on which to orient themselves, often aligned by gravity. The launch process, having an optimal orientation for defying gravity, defines the original orientation. In the case of the CM, the two RP are fixed together. The initial z-axis aligns with the users’ “forward facing” axis. The module then performs more as a vehicle when in zero-gravity, as both planes shift together. Globally there is no up or down, but locally this is always fixed.


This rigid pairing of planes is what defines a vehicle, but scale is not limited by this definition. In relation to other exterior objects perception may be variable, but locally it never changes. More importantly, this caries forth a false sense of gravity within the immediate space that is occupied as long as it remains rigid.