Apollo program

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Apollo Program insignia

The Apollo program (or Project Apollo) was a project by the United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The goal was to send a human to explore the Moon and bring him home to earth safely. It was started by U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1961. The first person to walk on the Moon was Neil Armstrong of Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969.

One reason the program started was that the Soviet Union was the first country to send a person into outer space. Since this was during the Cold War, many in the U.S. thought that the U.S. needed to stay ahead of the USSR in space exploration.

The Apollo spaceship was made up of a Command and Service Module, and a Lunar Module. The Command Module was a space capsule. The Lunar Module was a lander. These spacecraft docked on the way to the Moon. Mercury and Gemini spaceships were very small and cramped, but the Apollo capsule was much bigger. Astronauts could move around and not have to stay in their seats. The Lunar Lander was also big on the inside. The only part of the Apollo spaceship to come back to Earth was the capsule, the Lunar Module was left behind.

The Apollo program ended in 1972. After that, NASA began to work on the Space Shuttle program, the International Space Station, and many unmanned space exploration projects.

There was a movie made about the problems that happened on the Apollo 13 mission.

Missions[change | change source]

In September 1967, Owen Maynard of the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas came up with a series of Apollo missions that would lead to landing a person on the Moon.[1] There were seven types of mission, each testing a specific set of parts and tasks. Each step would need to be completed successfully before the next mission type could begin.[2] These were:

The first manned Lunar Module, LM-3, was not ready for the December 1968 launch date of Apollo 8. It was flown as a lunar orbital mission using just the CSM and the E mission was cancelled.

The first landing would be followed by more advanced lunar missions:

  • H - precision landings with up to two-day stays on the Moon, with two lunar Extra-Vehicular Activities or "moonwalks" (Apollo 12, Apollo 13 (planned), Apollo 14)
  • I - long duration CSM lunar orbital surveys using a Scientific Instrument Module mounted in an empty Service Module bay. These were added into the J missions.
  • J - longer three-day stays using an Extended LM, with three LEVAs and a Lunar Roving Vehicle (Apollo 15, Apollo 16, Apollo 17). Apollo 18 to 20 would have been J missions. Apollo 15 was originally an H mission but was changed to J as the program was cut short.

Apollo flights[change | change source]

The Apollo flights were carried into space by the huge Saturn V rockets. Details of the flights are:[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Murray, Charles, and Catherine Bly Cox. Apollo: The Race to the Moon. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989. pp. 315-316.
  2. "Part 2(D) - July through September 1967". The Apollo Spacecraft — A Chronology. Volume IV. NASA. 1975. http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4009/v4p2d.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  3. "Apollo Program". burro.astr.cwru.edu. 2006 [last update]. http://burro.astr.cwru.edu/stu/20th_close_apollo.html. Retrieved August 10, 2012.