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On May 25 1961, just twenty days after Alan Shepards fifteen minute sub-orbital flight, President John F. Kennedy said "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth." Eight years later Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the Moon.

Apollo is without a doubt one of the most amazing accomplishments of the human species. By the end of 1972, twenty-four men had travelled a quarter of a million miles from the Earth to the Moon, three made the trip twice, and twelve of them walked on the Moon.

Thousands of photographs, hours of video, and about 841 pounds of Moon rock were returned to Earth by the astronauts. Many scientific experiments, including a laser reflector used to messure the distance between the Earth and Moon, were left on the lunar surface and some of them are still used today.

Apollo wasn't all about the Moon though. In 1973 the Skylab space station was launched on top of a Saturn V rocket, and in 1975 the United States and Russian docked their Apollo/Soyuz spacecrafts.

Main Objectives

  • Land a man on the moon and return him safely to the Earth
  • Gather lunar rocks and soil samples
Earth Orbit Missions
  • Apollo 1 *
    January 28, 1967
    Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Edward White, Roger Chaffee
  • Apollo 7
    October 11-22, 1968
    Walter Schirra, Donn Eisele, Walt Cunningham
  • Apollo 9
    March 3-13, 1969
    James McDivitt, David Scott, Russell Schweickart
Lunar Orbit and Lunar Swingby Missions
  • Apollo 8
    December 21-27, 1968
    Frank Borman, James Lovell, William Anders
  • Apollo 10
    May 18-26, 1969
    Eugene Cernan, John Young, Thomas Stafford
  • Apollo 13
    April 11-17, 1970
    James Lovell, Fred Haise, John Swigert
Lunar Landing Missions
  • Apollo 11
    July 16-24, 1969
    Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin
  • Apollo 12
    November 14-24, 1969
    Charles "Pete" Conrad, Richard Gordon, Alan Bean
  • Apollo 14
    January 31 - February 9, 1971
    Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, Edgar Mitchell
  • Apollo 15
    July 26 - August 7, 1971
    David Scott, James Irwin, Alfred Worden
  • Apollo 16
    April 16-27, 1972
    John Young, Thomas K. Mattingly, Charles Duke
  • Apollo 17
    December 7-19, 1972
    Eugene Cernan, Harrison Schmitt, Ronald Evans
  • Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
    July 15-24, 1975
    American Crew: Thomas Stafford, Vance Brand, Donald Slayton
    Russian Crew: Valeriy Nikolayevich Kubasov, Alexei Arhipovich Leonov

*Apollo 1 was intended to be an orbital test of the new Apollo capsule but it was cancelled after a fire on the launch pad killed the three astronauts.

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Last Updated on July 30, 2001