The first four Saturn I test flights were launched from LC, with only the first stage live, carrying dummy upper stages filled with water. The last three of these further supported the Apollo program by also carrying Pegasus satellites, which verified the safety of the translunar environment by measuring the frequency and severity of micrometeorite impacts.
It was 33 feet Slayton was responsible for making all Gemini and Apollo crew assignments. Thirty-two astronauts were assigned to fly missions in the Apollo program. Twenty-four of these left Earth's orbit and flew around the Moon between December and December three of them twice. Half of the 24 walked on the Moon's surface, though none of them returned to it after landing once.
One of the moonwalkers was a trained geologist.
The Apollo astronauts were chosen from the Project Mercury and Gemini veterans, plus from two later astronaut groups. All missions were commanded by Gemini or Mercury veterans. Crews on all development flights except the Earth orbit CSM development flights through the first two landings on Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 , included at least two sometimes three Gemini veterans. Harrison Schmitt , a geologist, was the first NASA scientist astronaut to fly in space, and landed on the Moon on the last mission, Apollo Schmitt participated in the lunar geology training of all of the Apollo landing crews. NASA awarded all 32 of these astronauts its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal , given for "distinguished service, ability, or courage", and personal "contribution representing substantial progress to the NASA mission".
The medals were awarded posthumously to Grissom, White, and Chaffee in , then to the crews of all missions from Apollo 8 onward. The crew that flew the first Earth orbital test mission Apollo 7 , Walter M. The first lunar landing mission was planned to proceed as follows: . The third stage burns a small portion of its fuel to achieve orbit.
Translunar injection After one to two orbits to verify readiness of spacecraft systems, the S-IVB third stage reignites for about 6 minutes to send the spacecraft to the Moon. The lunar voyage takes between 2 and 3 days. Midcourse corrections are made as necessary using the SM engine. Powered descent At perilune, the descent engine fires again to start the descent. The CDR takes control after pitchover for a vertical landing. The ascent stage lifts off, using the descent stage as a launching pad. Atmospheric drag slows the CM. Aerodynamic heating surrounds it with an envelope of ionized air which causes a communications blackout for several minutes.
Parachutes are deployed, slowing the CM for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. The astronauts are recovered and brought to an aircraft carrier. The first, AS launched on February 26, reached an altitude of These flights validated the service module engine and the command module heat shield.
It carried a nose cone instead of the Apollo spacecraft, and its payload was the unburned liquid hydrogen fuel, the behavior of which engineers measured with temperature and pressure sensors, and a TV camera. This flight occurred on July 5, before AS, which was delayed because of problems getting the Apollo spacecraft ready for flight.
The Senior Pilot would assume navigation duties, while the Pilot would function as a systems engineer. The astronauts would begin wearing a new Apollo A6L spacesuit , designed to accommodate lunar extravehicular activity EVA. The traditional visor helmet was replaced with a clear "fishbowl" type for greater visibility, and the lunar surface EVA suit would include a water-cooled undergarment.
Eisele as Pilot. But Eisele dislocated his shoulder twice aboard the KC weightlessness training aircraft , and had to undergo surgery on January Slayton replaced him with Chaffee. In December , the AS mission was canceled, since the validation of the CSM would be accomplished on the day first flight, and AS would have been devoted to space experiments and contribute no new engineering knowledge about the spacecraft. The spacecraft for the AS and AS missions were delivered by North American Aviation to the Kennedy Space Center with long lists of equipment problems which had to be corrected before flight; these delays caused the launch of AS to slip behind AS, and eliminated hopes the first crewed mission might be ready to launch as soon as November , concurrently with the last Gemini mission.
Eventually, the planned AS flight date was pushed to February 21, The initial assembly of AS had to use a dummy spacer spool in place of the stage. The problems with North American were severe enough in late to cause Manned Space Flight Administrator George Mueller to appoint program director Samuel Phillips to head a " tiger team " to investigate North American's problems and identify corrections.
Phillips documented his findings in a December 19 letter to NAA president Lee Atwood , with a strongly worded letter by Mueller, and also gave a presentation of the results to Mueller and Deputy Administrator Robert Seamans. Grissom, White, and Chaffee decided to name their flight Apollo 1 as a motivational focus on the first crewed flight. They trained and conducted tests of their spacecraft at North American, and in the altitude chamber at the Kennedy Space Center.
A "plugs-out" test was planned for January, which would simulate a launch countdown on LC with the spacecraft transferring from pad-supplied to internal power. If successful, this would be followed by a more rigorous countdown simulation test closer to the February 21 launch, with both spacecraft and launch vehicle fueled. The plugs-out test began on the morning of January 27, , and immediately was plagued with problems.
First, the crew noticed a strange odor in their spacesuits which delayed the sealing of the hatch. Then, communications problems frustrated the astronauts and forced a hold in the simulated countdown. Pressure rose high enough from the fire that the cabin inner wall burst, allowing the fire to erupt onto the pad area and frustrating attempts to rescue the crew. The astronauts were asphyxiated before the hatch could be opened. NASA immediately convened an accident review board, overseen by both houses of Congress.
While the determination of responsibility for the accident was complex, the review board concluded that "deficiencies existed in command module design, workmanship and quality control". Crew members would also exclusively wear modified, fire-resistant A7L Block II space suits, and would be designated by the Block II titles, regardless of whether a LM was present on the flight or not.
On April 24, , Mueller published an official Apollo mission numbering scheme, using sequential numbers for all flights, crewed or uncrewed. The sequence would start with Apollo 4 to cover the first three uncrewed flights while retiring the Apollo 1 designation to honor the crew, per their widows' wishes. In September , Mueller approved a sequence of mission types which had to be successfully accomplished in order to achieve the crewed lunar landing.
Each step had to be successfully accomplished before the next ones could be performed, and it was unknown how many tries of each mission would be necessary; therefore letters were used instead of numbers. The list of types covered follow-on lunar exploration to include H lunar landings, I for lunar orbital survey missions, and J for extended-stay lunar landings. The capability of the command module's heat shield to survive a trans-lunar reentry was demonstrated by using the service module engine to ram it into the atmosphere at higher than the usual Earth-orbital reentry speed.
The LM engines were successfully test-fired and restarted, despite a computer programming error which cut short the first descent stage firing. The ascent engine was fired in abort mode, known as a "fire-in-the-hole" test, where it was lit simultaneously with jettison of the descent stage. Although Grumman wanted a second uncrewed test, George Low decided the next LM flight would be crewed.
The intent of this mission was to achieve trans-lunar injection, followed closely by a simulated direct-return abort, using the service module engine to achieve another high-speed reentry. The Saturn V experienced pogo oscillation , a problem caused by non-steady engine combustion, which damaged fuel lines in the second and third stages. Two S-II engines shut down prematurely, but the remaining engines were able to compensate.
The damage to the third stage engine was more severe, preventing it from restarting for trans-lunar injection. Mission controllers were able to use the service module engine to essentially repeat the flight profile of Apollo 4. Based on the good performance of Apollo 6 and identification of satisfactory fixes to the Apollo 6 problems, NASA declared the Saturn V ready to fly men, canceling a third uncrewed test. It was an day Earth-orbital flight which tested the CSM systems. This would keep the program on track.
The Soviet Union had sent two tortoises, mealworms, wine flies, and other lifeforms around the Moon on September 15, , aboard Zond 5 , and it was believed they might soon repeat the feat with human cosmonauts. Gemini veterans Frank Borman and Jim Lovell , and rookie William Anders captured the world's attention by making ten lunar orbits in 20 hours, transmitting television pictures of the lunar surface on Christmas Eve , and returning safely to Earth. Stafford , John Young and Eugene Cernan. They spent a total of 21 hours, 36 minutes on the surface, and spent 2 hours, 31 minutes outside the spacecraft,  walking on the surface, taking photographs, collecting material samples, and deploying automated scientific instruments, while continuously sending black-and-white television back to Earth.
The astronauts returned safely on July Bean made a precision landing on Apollo 12 within walking distance of the Surveyor 3 uncrewed lunar probe, which had landed in April on the Ocean of Storms.
083 – How Apollo Flew to the Moon
The command module pilot was Gemini veteran Richard F. Gordon Jr. Conrad and Bean carried the first lunar surface color television camera, but it was damaged when accidentally pointed into the Sun. They made two EVAs totaling 7 hours and 45 minutes. The success of the first two landings allowed the remaining missions to be crewed with a single veteran as commander, with two rookies. But two days out, a liquid oxygen tank exploded, disabling the service module and forcing the crew to use the LM as a "lifeboat" to return to Earth. Another NASA review board was convened to determine the cause, which turned out to be a combination of damage of the tank in the factory, and a subcontractor not making a tank component according to updated design specifications.
The contracted batch of 15 Saturn Vs was enough for lunar landing missions through Apollo NASA publicized a preliminary list of eight more planned landing sites, with plans to increase the mass of the CSM and LM for the last five missions, along with the payload capacity of the Saturn V. These final missions would combine the I and J types in the list, allowing the CMP to operate a package of lunar orbital sensors and cameras while his companions were on the surface, and allowing them to stay on the Moon for over three days. Also, the Block II spacesuit was revised for the extended missions to allow greater flexibility and visibility for driving the LRV.
About the time of the first landing in , it was decided to use an existing Saturn V to launch the Skylab orbital laboratory pre-built on the ground, replacing the original plan to construct it in orbit from several Saturn IB launches; this eliminated Apollo NASA's yearly budget also began to shrink in light of the successful landing, and NASA also had to make funds available for the development of the upcoming Space Shuttle.
By , the decision was made to also cancel missions 18 and Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The cutbacks forced mission planners to reassess the original planned landing sites in order to achieve the most effective geological sample and data collection from the remaining four missions.
Apollo 15 had been planned to be the last of the H series missions, but since there would be only two subsequent missions left, it was changed to the first of three J missions.
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Shepard and Mitchell spent 33 hours and 31 minutes on the surface,  and completed two EVAs totalling 9 hours 24 minutes, which was a record for the longest EVA by a lunar crew at the time. In August , just after conclusion of the Apollo 15 mission, President Richard Nixon proposed canceling the two remaining lunar landing missions, Apollo 16 and Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Caspar Weinberger was opposed to this, and persuaded Nixon to keep the remaining missions.
Scott and Irwin landed on July 30 near Hadley Rille , and spent just under two days, 19 hours on the surface. Apollo 16 landed in the Descartes Highlands on April 20, Young and Duke spent just under three days on the surface, with a total of over 20 hours EVA. Apollo 17 was the last of the Apollo program, landing in the Taurus—Littrow region in December Eugene Cernan commanded Ronald E.
Harrison H. The rocks collected from the Moon are extremely old compared to rocks found on Earth, as measured by radiometric dating techniques. They range in age from about 3. Almost all the rocks show evidence of impact process effects. Many samples appear to be pitted with micrometeoroid impact craters, which is never seen on Earth rocks, due to the thick atmosphere. Many show signs of being subjected to high-pressure shock waves that are generated during impact events.
Some of the returned samples are of impact melt materials melted near an impact crater. All samples returned from the Moon are highly brecciated as a result of being subjected to multiple impact events. Analysis of the composition of the lunar samples supports the giant impact hypothesis , that the Moon was created through impact of a large astronomical body with the Earth. Accurate estimates of human spaceflight costs were difficult in the early s, as the capability was new and management experience was lacking.
Project Apollo was a massive undertaking, representing the largest research and development project in peacetime. At its peak, it employed over , employees and contractors around the country and accounted for more than half of NASA's total spending in the s. After the first Moon landing, public and political interest waned, including that of President Nixon, who wanted to rein in federal spending. The final fiscal year of Apollo funding was Looking beyond the crewed lunar landings, NASA investigated several post-lunar applications for Apollo hardware. Astronauts would continue to use the CSM as a ferry to the station.
The workshop was to be supplemented by the Apollo Telescope Mount , which could be attached to the ascent stage of the lunar module via a rack. The S-IVB orbital workshop was the only one of these plans to make it off the drawing board. Dubbed Skylab , it was assembled on the ground rather than in space, and launched in using the two lower stages of a Saturn V.
It was equipped with an Apollo Telescope Mount. Skylab's last crew departed the station on February 8, , and the station itself re-entered the atmosphere in The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project also used Apollo hardware for the first joint nation space flight, paving the way for future cooperation with other nations in the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs. The detail is such that if Neil Armstrong were walking there now, we could make him out, make out his footsteps even, like the astronaut footpath clearly visible in the photos of the Apollo 14 site.
Perhaps the wistfulness is caused by the sense of simple grandeur in those Apollo missions. Perhaps, too, it's a reminder of the risk we all felt after the Eagle had landed — the possibility that it might be unable to lift off again and the astronauts would be stranded on the Moon. But it may also be that a photograph like this one is as close as we're able to come to looking directly back into the human past There the [Apollo 11] lunar module sits, parked just where it landed 40 years ago, as if it still really were 40 years ago and all the time since merely imaginary.
The Apollo program has been called the greatest technological achievement in human history. The crucial difference between the requirements of Apollo and the missile programs was Apollo's much greater need for reliability.
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While the Navy and Air Force could work around reliability problems by deploying more missiles, the political and financial cost of failure of an Apollo mission was unacceptably high. The crew of Apollo 8 sent the first live televised pictures of the Earth and the Moon back to Earth, and read from the creation story in the Book of Genesis , on Christmas Eve The Apollo program also affected environmental activism in the s due to photos taken by the astronauts.
The Blue Marble was released during a surge in environmentalism, and became a symbol of the environmental movement as a depiction of Earth's frailty, vulnerability, and isolation amid the vast expanse of space. According to The Economist , Apollo succeeded in accomplishing President Kennedy's goal of taking on the Soviet Union in the Space Race by accomplishing a singular and significant achievement, to demonstrate the superiority of the free-market system.
The publication noted the irony that in order to achieve the goal, the program required the organization of tremendous public resources within a vast, centralized government bureaucracy. Prior to Apollo 11's 40th anniversary in , NASA searched for the original videotapes of the mission's live televised moonwalk. After an exhaustive three-year search, it was concluded that the tapes had probably been erased and reused. A new digitally remastered version of the best available broadcast television footage was released instead.
A fictional horror movie, Apollo 18 , was released in to negative reviews. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For Baidu's autonomous vehicle Apollo project, see Apolong. Human spaceflight programs. Robotic spaceflight programs. Launch vehicles. Astronaut corps. Mercury Gemini Apollo Space Shuttle. Main article: Apollo spacecraft feasibility study.
Main article: Space Race. Main article: Johnson Space Center. Play media. Main article: Kennedy Space Center. See also: Moon landing. Main article: Apollo spacecraft. Main article: Apollo command and service module. Main article: Apollo Lunar Module. Main article: Little Joe II. Main article: Saturn I. Main article: Saturn IB. Main article: Saturn V. Main article: List of Apollo astronauts.
See also: List of Apollo missions. Main article: Apollo 1. Main article: Canceled Apollo missions. Main article: List of Apollo missions. Main article: Moon rock. Main article: Apollo Applications Program. Further information: NASA spin-off technologies. Main article: Apollo 11 missing tapes.
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I found it endlessly fascinating. Really excellent stuff that really fills a major gap …. So warmly recommended. Without getting bogged down in equations, this book explains how the space craft of the Apollo era worked and where flown. Well worth reading!
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It is not only extremely interesting but also easy going. Guaranteed to please the hard-core space fan. David Woods for writing this. But this book does. The explanations of the orbital trajectories, rendezvous and navigation techniques were expertly described. I have a few Apollo books in my collection and none of them come close to the clarity and detail on offer here. It is a must read for any true Apollo fan.
Thank you Mr. Woods for making your very interesting book available to us all! Table of contents 15 chapters Table of contents 15 chapters Apollo: an extraordinary adventure Pages The Apollo flights: a brief history Pages Launch: a fiery departure Pages Earth orbit and TLI Pages Retrieving the lander Pages Navigating to the Moon Pages Coasting to the Moon Pages Entering lunar orbit: the LOI manoeuvre Pages Preparations for landing Pages Next stop: the Moon Pages Orbital sojourn: looking at the Moon Pages