July 18 (UPI) -- In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, designers at Microsoft built a replica of the Columbia command module's hatch, the door that Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong used to exit the command module and enter the lunar lander, Eagle.
The hatch will be used for a live build event, dubbed Project Egress, at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Different components of the Apollo 11 command module, Columbia, will be created by 44 teams of makers and assembled onsite.
Live coverage of the build event will be streamed beginning at 11 a.m. ET.
Event host Adam Savage, from the TV series "Mythbusters," requested that designers at Microsoft's Advanced Prototyping Center build the hatch.
"This was a passion project that people put their whole heart and drive into," John Haley, manager of the Advanced Prototyping Center, said in a news release. "They went above and beyond, because the regular work didn't stop. It's going to be amazing to have a piece in the Smithsonian."
Because the Advanced Prototyping Center is set up to build computer components, its tools aren't exactly meant for creating large pieces of equipment. Designers at APC had to develop several small components using the center's 3D printers, laser cutters, fabric splitters and industrial waterjet machines.
The team of makers integrated 211 brass inserts into the design to make the hatch's assembly during the live build event easier.
The design team had to make the door and its components sturdy enough to support the components provided by other makers, but not so heavy that the hatch would be difficult to manage.
"This is not only about providing something that's going to look great, but making the experience as easy and seamless as possible," said Jay Trzaskos, a model maker and prototyping architect at Microsoft.