|Ron Finkle and a primary exhibit in his remarkable home-based museum of the Apollo program, between Waco and Austin in Texas [Michael Miller | FME News Service]|
FME News Service
Killeen Daily Herald
Belton — Ron Finkle grew up during the Apollo era, a time in history he said he’s pretty sure won’t ever be repeated.
Finkle’s fascination with space exploration inspired him to create a small aviation museum in his home consisting of scale models he built and had commissioned, as well as autographs.
A centerpiece of that museum is now a lunar roving vehicle model that Finkle designed and built.
Although many scale-model companies re-created the command module, the crew’s quarters and flight control section, the service module for propulsion and spacecraft support systems, none has recreated an authentic-looking land rover, Finkle said.
The lunar roving vehicle allowed astronauts to travel farther on the moon’s surface during the last three missions of the Apollo program, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Finkle spent about six months from start to finish on the land rover, revising it seven times and tweaking it each time, he said.
Daniel Tagtow with Innovate, a product development company based in Austin, created the computer designs, coming up with the specifications for the scale model. Those figures were approved by Finkle and sent to Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, a 3-D printing company in Belton.
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