Apollo Missions

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Apollo missions were developed in response to President Kennedy's challenge to land an astronaut on the Moon by the end of the 1960's. The missions consisted of twelve piloted launches and three unpiloted launches between 1967 and 1972.

Six missions landed on the moon. All manned moon landings were launched by Saturn V Rocket and consisted of 3 crew. Apollo 4, 5 and 6 were unpiloted test flights flown in 1967 and 1968.

APOLLO 1 Mission:  (January 27, 1967)

Crew: Virgil 'Gus' Grissom, Edward White, Roger Chaffee.

- Crew died when the capsule caught fire during a countdown test.
- The scheduled lift-off was on 21 February 1967.

APOLLO 7 MISSION:  (October 11-22, 1968)

Crew: Walter M. Schirra, Donn F. Eisele and Walter Cunningham
Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB

- Apollo 7 was the first manned Apollo launch.
- First live TV broadcast from a manned spacecraft.

APOLLO 8 MISSION:  (December 21-27, 1968)

Crew: Frank Borman, James A. Lovell Jr. and William A. Anders
Launch Vehicle: Saturn V

- The Apollo 8 astronauts were the first astronauts launched by Saturn V rocket.
- First humans to orbit the Moon.

APOLLO 9 MISSION:  (March 3-13, 1969)

Crew: James A. McDivitt, David R. Scott and Russell L. Schweickart
Command Module: Gumdrop.
Lunar Module: Spider.

- First Flight test of Lunar Module (LM) in Earth Orbit.
- First space walk testing new lunar space suit.

APOLLO 10 MISSION:  (May 18-26, 1969)

Crew: Stafford, Young and Cernan
Command Module: Charlie Brown
Lunar Module: Snoopy

- Tested the Lunar Module in Lunar Orbit.

APOLLO 11 MISSION:   (July 16-24, 1969)

Crew: Neil Armstrong, Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin, Michael Collins
Command Module: Columbia
Lunar Module: Eagle
Landing Date: 20 July 1969
Landing Site: Sea of Tranquillity - Mare Tranquillitatis
Time on Moon: 22 hours

- Apollo 11 was the first moon landing mission.
- Neil Armstrong was the first astronaut to walk on the moon.
- The USS Hornet aircraft carrier recovered the Apollo 11 crew after their return from the first lunar landing.

APOLLO 12 MISSION:  (November 14-24, 1969)

Crew: Charles Conrad, Richard F. Gordon Jr, Alan L. Bean
Command Module: Yankee Clipper
Lunar Module: Intrepid
Landing Date
: 19 November 1969
Landing Site: Ocean of Storms (Oceanus Procellarum)

- Apollo 12 was the second moon landing mission.
- They performed first major experiments.
- Retrieved pieces of Surveyor spacecraft.
- Richard Nixon was the first US President to attend the launch of a manned spacecraft. He viewed Apollo 12 on November 14, 1969.

APOLLO 13 MISSION:   (Near Disaster: April 11-17, 1970)

Crew: James A. Lovell (Commander), John L. Swigert Jr.  and Fred W. Haise Jr.
Command Module: Odyssey
Lunar Module: Aquarius

 * Apollo 13: Deep Space abort due to explosion in Service Module. Lunar Module used as lifeboat. The Crew returned safely.

APOLLO 14 MISSION:   (January 31-February 9, 1971)

Crew: Alan B. Shepard Jr., Stuart A. Roosa, Edgar D. Mitchell
Command Module: Kitty Hawk
Lunar Module: Antares
Landing Site: Fra Mauro Formation

- Alan Shepard, America's first man in space led this mission and he was the oldest man to walk on the Moon.
- Alan Shepard hit two golf balls on the moon. This was the  first sporting event on the Moon.

APOLLO 15 MISSION:   (July 26-7 August, 1971)

Crew: David R. Scott, Alfred M. Worden, James B. Irwin
Command Module: Endeavour
Lunar Module: Falcon
Landing Site: Hadley Apennines (Rille)

- First mission to use the Rover (Lunar Roving Vehicle).
- Apollo 15 crew launched the first subsatellite into lunar orbit to study the Moon.
- Apollo 15 mission landed the farthest from the lunar equator.
- One of the three landing parachutes failed during their descent to Earth. The splashdown was a bit rougher than normal, but no one was injured.

APOLLO 16 MISSION:   (April 16-27, 1972)

Crew: John W. Young Jr., Thomas K. Mattingly II, Charles M. Duke Jr.
Command Module: Casper
Lunar Module: Orion
Landing Site: Descartes Highlands

- Descartes Highlands is the highest Apollo landing site.
- John Young during Apollo 16 set the Moon land speed record with the Lunar Roving Vehicle. He reached a speed of 11 miles per hour (17.7 km/hr).

APOLLO 17 MISSION:   (December 7-19, 1972)

Crew: Eugene A. Cernan, Ronald E. Evans, Harrison H. "Jack" Schmitt
Command Module: America
Lunar Module: Challenger
Landing Site: Taurus- Littrow Valley

- Last Apollo mission.
- Ron Evans of Apollo 17 performed the last space walk of the Apollo program and last deep space walk in history.
- Dr. Harrison H. Schmitt was the last person to set foot on the Moon during the 20th Century (twelfth person out of a total of twelve moonwalkers). Cernan was the last man to ever stand on the moon.

Apollo 18, 19 and 20

- Apollo 18, 19 and 20 were cancelled due to budgetary considerations.

Related Books and Merchandise:

Lunar Exploration: Human Pioneers and Robotic Surveyors  by Paolo Ulivi, David M Harland

*  Apollo DVD - selection of dvds

   Apollo DVD

Apollo Mission Links:

The Apollo Program (1963 - 1972): NASA's portal to data on the Apollo lunar missions. Mission summaries and data, and links to related NASA material.

Exploring the Moon: Apollo Missions: Overviews of the various Apollo missions, including landing sites, lunar surface operations, science experiments and samplings.

The Apollo Program: The National Air and Space Museum's online Apollo Program exhibit provides mission histories, mission patches, and imagery.

Astronomy Today - Exploration - Apollo Missions: An interesting look at the apollo series of

The Project Apollo Image Gallery:

Apollo Launch Pad - Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Missions:

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Updated: Tuesday 1st, April, 2014