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The Apollo project was the U. S. project to land a man on the moon. Apollo is also the collective name of the spacecraft, comprising the Apollo Lunar Module (LM, or LEM), the Apollo Command Module (CM), and the Service Module (SM). The Apollo spacecraft were launched with the Saturn-1b booster (for missions to Earth orbit) and with the Saturn V booster (for missions to orbit or land on the moon).

The Apollo project comprised 14 launches, plus an additional three launches of Apollo spacecraft in the Skylab project:

  • Apollo 1, a mission to test the Command Module in Earth orbit, had a fire in the spacecraft on the launch pad, resulting in the deaths of three astronauts. It did not launch.
  • The numbers Apollo 2 and 3 were not used. The spacecraft which would have flown these missions were used as test items in the redesign of the Apollo spacecraft following the Apollo-1 fire.
  • Apollo 4 was the first flight of the Saturn V.
  • Apollo 5 was the first flight of the Apollo Lunar Module.
  • Apollo 6 was the final unmanned test launch of the Saturn V.
  • Apollo 7 was the first launch of the Apollo spacecraft, testing the Command and Service Module spacecraft in Earth orbit.
  • The Apollo 8 mission was the first mission in which humans orbited the moon, and the test launch of the Saturn-V booster with the full-up, manned Apollo capsule.
  • Apollo-9 tested the Lunar Module spacecraft in Earth orbit.
  • The Apollo 10 mission tested the Lunar Module (as well as the Command and Service Modules) in orbit around the moon without landing:

, Apollo 12, Apollo 14, Apollo 15, Apollo 16, and Apollo 17.

  • The Apollo 13 mission failed to land, but succeeded in returning the astronauts safely after a fly-by of the moon.
  • Finally, the Apollo spacecraft was used in three missions to the Skylab space station in Earth orbit and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP)

The Apollo missions are to date the main source of lunar samples.

The Six Missions that Landed on the Moon

  • Apollo 11 was the first mission to land humans on the moon. After setting down in Mare Tranquillitatis, Commander Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the Moon. July 20, 1969 More: GFDL:Apollo 11
  • Apollo 12 with 'Pete' Conrad in command landed in Oceanus Procellarum.
  • Apollo 14 landed about 100 miles East of the Apollo 12 site. The commander for this team was Alan Shepard.
  • Apollo 15 was the first of the ambitious J missions. Commander David Scott and his teamate explored a considerable area including Hadley Rille riding the lunar rover vehicle.
  • Apollo 16 set down at Descartes with John Young in command.
  • Apollo 17 landed in the Taurus_Littrow area. Commander Eugene Cernan and geologist "Jack" Schmitt carried out a demanding trek to learn more about lunar rocks. Thus ended the Apollo exploration program, December 1972

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