Apollo 1968 - 1972

The goal of Project Apollo was to put an American on the Moon.
The Apollo space craft accommodated three Astronauts.

Project Apollo Mission Summary 1968 - 1972

APOLLO 1Grissom, White, ChaffeeN/AN/AN/A
APOLLO 7Schirra, Eisele, Cunningham1968-10-11163 Earth11 days
APOLLO 8Borman, Lovell, Anders1968-12-2110 Lunar6 days
APOLLO 9McDivitt, Scott, Schweickart1969-03-03151 Earth10 days
APOLLO 10Stafford, Cernan, Young1969-05-1831 Lunar8 days
APOLLO 11Armstrong, Aldrin, Collins1969-07-1631 Lunar8 days
APOLLO 12Conrad, Gordon, Bean1969-11-1449 Lunar10 days
APOLLO 13Lovell, Swigert, Haise1970-04-11N/A6 days
APOLLO 14Shepard, Roosa, Mitchell1971-01-3134 Lunar9 days
APOLLO 15Scott, Irwin, Worden1971-07-2674 Lunar12.5 days
APOLLO 16Young, Mattingly, Duke1972-04-1664 Lunar11 days
APOLLO 17Cernan, Evans, Schmitt1972-12-0775 Lunar12.5 days
From the Kennedy speech of 1961, the goal of the American space program was to be the first to land a man on the moon. The way this was to happen was Project Apollo. Projects Mercury and Gemini were important stepping stones on the path to the moon allowing the technologies and skills to be developed but Project Apollo was the means to the end goal of the moon landing.

Apollo consisted of three components, the command module (CM), service module (SM) and lunar Module (LM). The first few flights of the Apollo program were intended to test the command and service modules only. The first Apollo missions used the Saturn 1B launch vehicle whilst from Apollo 8 on the larger Saturn V was used. These were the first purpose build launch vehicles as Projects Mercury and Gemini featured modified ICBM rockets.

The first Apollo crews to land on the moon were quarantined in isolation for several weeks after their missions in case they brought back some form of extraterrestrial microbe, germs or flu. This intensive decontamination procedure was greatly reduced after Apollo 14.
APOLLO 1: Fire caused by a short circuit and fuelled by a pure oxygen atmosphere claimed the lives of the crew only days before the expected first Apollo flight. This tragic set the Apollo program back nearly two years as the craft was redesigned.
APOLLO 7: Crewed by the backup crew for Apollo 1, this was the first manned Apollo flight and was launched aboard a Saturn 1B launch vehicle. The flight tested the Service and Command modules in Earth orbit. All three crew members developed head colds during the flight which was a challenge in zero gravity. Not the least being that high pressure buildup in the sinuses could rupture their eardrums.
APOLLO 8: With pressure from the Soviet Zond missions, it was decided to push Apollo 8 to do the first manned lunar orbit. Launched using the Saturn V rocket, Apollo 8 consisting of just the Service and Command modules, was launched just prior to Christmas 1968.
Returning from communication blackout at the end of their first lunar orbit, the crew of Apollo 8 was rewarded with the first "Earth rise". On Christmas day Apollo 8 rounded the moon for the ninth time to which the crew read out a passage from the book of Genesis from the live television link.
APOLLO 9: The first test flight for the Lunar module was performed by Apollo 9 rendezvousing and docking with the "spider" in Earth orbit. The crew of Apollo 9 also tested the new space suits that included life support systems.
APOLLO 10: Building on the successes of all previous missions, Apollo 10 took the lunar module around the moon. Production difficulties with the lunar module resulted in the example being capable of everything but a lunar landing, therefore Apollo 10's mission was as a dress rehearsal for the moon landing.
APOLLO 11: The mission of Apollo 11 was "To land two men on the moon and to return them safely to Earth" and so fulfilling the goal set by Kennedy in 1961. Televised to an audience of millions back on Earth, they unveiled a plaque that read 'Here men from planet Earth first set foot upon the moon July 1969 AD. We came in peace for all mankind'. It is fitting that the achievement of the ultimate goal of the American space program was performed in the glare of the international media, as had the missions leading up to the moon landing which featured both successes and failures. The mission included just the one EVA lasting about 2.5 hours and returning some 22kg of lunar soil, rock and core samples.
APOLLO 12: The second lunar landing mission saw Apollo 12 attempt a precision landing near the site of Surveyor 3 unmanned lunar lander. This was so that parts of the space craft could be returned to Earth for analysis on the effects of prolonged exposure to the lunar environment. The astronauts spent some 7.75 hours outside the lunar module in two EVAs and returned some 34kg of lunar rock and soil samples.
APOLLO 13: Starting as the next lunar mission, things went horribly wrong when an explosion ripped a 13x6ft panel from the service module, damaging many critical systems. The crew was forced to use the lunar module for life support as the craft leveraged the Moon's gravity to fling it back to Earth. Creative ingenuity from the astronauts and the ground crew resulted in the successful recovery of all lives.
APOLLO 14: A return to "space as usual" after the events of the previous flight. This lunar mission featured the use of a trolley for carrying tools and rock samples as well as a round of golf. The Apollo 14 crew spent some 14 hours in two EVAs outside the lunar module collecting 43Kg of rock samples from some 13 sites.

APOLLO 15: Defined by the Lunar Rover Vehicle (LRV) the Apollo 15 mission was the most productive to date. Spending some 19.5 hours in three separate EVAs outside the lunar module, gathering more rock samples (77kg worth) and covering more distance (27km), all thanks to the Lunar Rover. Their greatest find was a piece of the original lunar crust dubbed the "Genesis rock" that is dated at 4 billion years old, when the moon was being formed. Controversy surrounding the franking of envelopes for profit resulted in the crew being stood down from further missions.
APOLLO 16: Landing in the lunar highland, Apollo 16 was a very lively sequel to the previous lunar mission also featuring a Lunar Rover Vehicle (LRV). This mission returned some 95kg of lunar rocks and soil from various locations. The astronauts spent around 20 hours outside the lunar module in three EVAs covering some 26.5km, thanks again to the Lunar rover.
APOLLO 17: The last lunar landing was the final of the Project Apollo missions. This was the first mission to include a geologist in the crew. They also had three EVAs lasting some 22 hours and returning a staggering 110.5kg of lunar rock and soil samples again with the help of a Lunar rover. The Lunar rover travelled some 35.9km during these EVAs.
The remaining Apollo missions had been cancelled after public interest in the $24 billion program was dwindling. In the end 12 men spent a total of 160 hours on the moon, collecting 837Ib of rock samples varying in age from 3,100 to 4,700 million years old.


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