The Apollo program paved the way for space travel and exploration as we know it, but the legacy that the Apollo program left behind is somehow greater than getting men to the moon.
Apollo 1 – 10
Apollo 1 – Planned for 21st Febraury 1967, Apollo 1 never launched. On 27th January 1967, a fire started in the Apollo command module during a test on the launch pad. The module was destroy and the three astronauts, Grissom, White and Chaffee were killed. The launch vehicle for Apollo 1 was undamaged in the fire and was used for the Apollo 5 mission.
9th November 1967 – Apollo 4 was an unmanned mission and the first flight of the Saturn V rocket.
22 January 1968 – Apollo 5 was another unmanned mission and the first flight of the Lunar Module.
4th April 1968 – Apollo 6 was the third unmanned Apollo mission and was the second flight of Saturn V. NASA identified and fixed causes of vibrations that caused two second-stage engines to shut down before they were supposed to and the third stage restart to fail. After Apollo 6, the Saturn V was declared man-rated.
11th October 1968 – Apollo 7 was lucky number 7 in the Apollo program and the first manned Apollo flight. It was a test flight of the Block II CSM in Earth orbit and it was also the first manned flight of the Saturn IB. Apollo 7 was the only manned Apollo mission not to be made from LC 39. It was also the first live TV broadcast from an American spacecraft. It was crewed by Schirra, Eisele and Cunningham, who had originally been slated as the command crew for the cancelled Apollo 2 mission.
21st December 1968 – Apollo 8 was the first manned circumlunar flight of the CSM and it made 10 orbits of the moon in 20 hours. It was also the first manned flight of the Saturn V. The crew of Borman, Lovell and Anders were the first people to ever see the far side of the Moon and the earth rise over the lunar horizon with their own eyes. Live pictures were televised back to Earth.
3rd March 1969 – Apollo 9 spent 10 days orbiting the Earth and was the first manned flight test of the Lunar Module.The Command Module was Gumdrop and it carried McDivitt, Scott and Schweickart and allowed them to test the Lunar Module, Spider.
18th May 1969 – Apollo 10 is a mission you would be forgiven for thinking was Peanuts, what with the Command Module, Charlie Brown, and the Lunar Module, Snoopy. Apollo 10 was the dress rehearsal for the lunar landing. The Lunar Module was manned by Stafford and Cernan, and flown around the Moon, whilst Young remained in the Command Module. It descended to 8.4 nautical miles but didn’t land on the Moon.
Landing in the Sea of Tranquillity, Apollo 11 was the first time man went to the moon and is the most famous of all the Apollo missions. Launched on 16th July 1969, the Command Module was Columbia that carried Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin into space and the Lunar Module was Eagle, that led to the infamous quote, “the eagle has landed”.
Apollo 12 – 17
14th November 1969 – Apollo 12 was manned by Conrad, Gordon and Bean in the Command Module, Yankee Clipper, and the Lunar Module, Intrepid. Two lightning strikes hit the spacecraft during launch causing a brief loss of telemetry and fuel cells, but the mission still went ahead. Apollo 12 was the first manned Moon landing in the Ocean of Storms, though the lunar TV camera was damaged due to accidental exposure to the Sun.
11th April 1970 – Apollo 13 was intended to travel to the Moon and land at Fra Mauro, but was aborted due to the disastrous explosion in the SM oxygen tank, that caused the Command Module, Odyssey, to be abandoned and the Lunar Module, Aquarius was used as a lifeboat by Lovell, Swigert and Haise in order to safely return to Earth.
31st January 1971 – Apollo 14 successfully landed at Fra Mauro, fulfilling the mission parameters of the failed Apollo 13 mission. Apollo 14 provided the first colour video images from the surface of the Moon and was when the first materials science experiments were conducted in space. The Command Module, Kitty Hawk, carried Shepard, Roosa and Mitchell into space, and the Lunar Module, Antares took Shepard and Mitchell to the Moon, where Shepard performed the famous golf shot.
26th July 1971 – Apollo 15 landed at the Hadley-Apennine and was the first “J series” mission where the astronauts stayed on the Moon for 3 days and conducted extension geological investigations. Apollo 15 was the first time that a Lunar Roving Vehicle was used. Scott, Worden and Irwin were carried into space in the Command Module, Endeavour, and the Lunar Module, Falcon took Scott and Irwin to the lunar surface.
16th April 1972 – Apollo 16 landed in the Descartes Highlands. There were several problems for this Apollo mission, but Young, Mattingly and Duke still managed to get into space in the Command Module, Casper, and Young and Duke were carried to the Descartes Highlands by the Lunar Module, Orion.
7th December 1972 – Apollo 17 was the final Apollo mission. The Command Module, America carried Cernan, Evans and Schmitt into space, and the Lunar Module, Challenger, successful landed at Taurus-Littrow. Schmitt was a geologist and the first professional scientist to go on a NASA mission into space.
The Cancelled Apollos
Even with the successful Apollo missions there were four Apollo missions that were scrubbed.
Apollo 2 was scheduled for August 1967 with Schirra, Eisele and Cunningham manning the spacecraft, however it was cancelled on 22nd December 1966 as it was deemed an unnecessary mission.
Apollo 18 was scheduled for February 1972 with Gordon, Brand and Schmitt manning the spacecraft. It was cancelled on 2nd September 1970 due to budget cuts.
The same fate awaited Apoll0 19. It was also cancelled due to budget cuts on 2nd September 1970, meaning that Haise, Pogue and Carr didn’t blast off in July 1972.
Apollo 20 was the last of the Apollo missions to be cancelled as the launch vehicle was required to launch the Skylab space station. Skylab 1 was launched on 14th May 1973.
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