Apollo program

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The Apollo programme (or Project Apollo) consisted of a series of manned and unmanned NASA space flights from 1961 until 1975. Its main goal was to land men to the Moon, and its total cost was about $25.4 milliard.

Launch vehicles[edit | edit source]

The Apollo programme used four types of launch vehicles (LV):

  • Little Joe II: unmanned sub-orbital launch escape system development.
  • Saturn I: unmanned sub-orbital and orbital hardware development.
  • Saturn IB: unmanned and manned Earth orbit development and operational flights.
  • Saturn V: unmanned and manned Earth orbit and lunar flights.

The Marshall Space Flight Centre, which designed the Saturn rockets, referred to the flights as Saturn-Apollo (SA), whereas Kennedy Space Centre referred to the flights as Apollo-Saturn (AS). This is why the unmanned Saturn 1 flights are referred to as SA, and the unmanned Saturn 1B are referred to as AS. Dates given below are dates of launch.

Unmanned flights[edit | edit source]

Saturn I[edit | edit source]

Flight LV Serial No. Launch Date Launch Time Remarks
SA-1 S-101 27 October 1961 15:06 GMT Test of the Saturn 1 Rocket
SA-2 S-102 25 April 1962 14:00 GMT Test of the S-1 Rocket and carried 109 m3 of water into the upper atmosphere to investigate effects on radio transmission and changes in local weather conditions
SA-3 AS-103 16 November 1962 17:45 GMT Repeat of the SA-2 flight
SA-4 AS-104 28 March 1963 20:11 GMT Test effects of premature engine shutdown
SA-5 AS-105 29 January 1964 16:25 GMT First flight of live second stage
SA-6 (A-101) AS-106 28 May 1964 17:07 GMT Tested the structural integrity of a boilerplate Apollo Command and Service Module (CSM)
SA-7 (A-102) AS-107 18 September 1964 17:22 GMT Carried the first programmable computer on the Saturn I vehicle; last test flight
SA-9 (A-103) AS-109 16 February 1965 14:37 GMT Carried Pegasus A micro-meteorite satellite plus a CSM boilerplate
SA-8 (A-104) AS-108 25 May 1965 07:35 GMT Carried Pegasus B micro-meteorite satellite plus a CSM boilerplate
SA-10 (A-105) AS-110 30 July 1965 13:00 GMT Carried Pegasus C micro-meteorite satellite plus a CSM boilerplate

Pad abort tests[edit | edit source]

Flight Launch Date Launch Time Remarks
Pad Abort Test-1 7 November 1963 16:00 GMT Launch Escape System (LES) abort test from launch pad
Pad Abort Test-2 29 June 1965 13:00 GMT LES pad abort test of near Block-I CM

Little Joe II[edit | edit source]

Flight Launch Date Launch Time Remarks
QTV 28 August 1963 13:05 GMT Little Joe II qualification test
A-001 13 May 1964 13:00 GMT LES transonic test failed
A-002 8 December 1964 15:00 GMT LES maximum altitude, Max-Q abort test
A-003 19 May 1965 13:01 GMT LES canard maximum altitude abort test
A-004 20 January 1966 15:17 GMT LES test of maximum weight, tumbling Block-I CM

Unmanned Apollo-Saturn IB and Saturn V[edit | edit source]

Some incongruity in the numbering and naming of the first three unmanned Apollo-Saturn (AS), or Apollo flights, is due to the posthumous honorary renaming of the flight which would have been AS-204, to Apollo 1. This manned flight was to have followed the already-launched unmanned AS-201, AS-202, and AS-203 flights. After the fire which killed the AS-204 crew on the pad during a test and training exercise, further required unmanned Apollo flights with the redesigned capsule were designated Apollo 4, 5, and 6. The first manned Apollo flight was thus Apollo 7. The assignment of "Apollo 1" to a flight which was never launched thereby required that at least one of the first three previous unmanned flights be left without a simple "Apollo" number.

Flight Rocket LV Serial No. Launch Date Launch Time Remarks
AS-201 Saturn IB AS-201 26 February 1966 16:12 GMT First test flight of Saturn IB rocket
AS-203 Saturn IB AS-203 5 July 1966 14:53 GMT Investigated effects of weightlessness on fuel tanks of S-IVB. Sometimes informally called Apollo 2.
AS-202 Saturn IB AS-202 25 August 1966 17:15 GMT Sub-orbital test flight of Command and Service Module. Sometimes informally called Apollo 3.
Apollo 4 Saturn V AS-501 9 November 1967 12:00 GMT First test of the Saturn V booster
Apollo 5 Saturn IB AS-204 22 January 1968 22:48 GMT Test of the Saturn IB booster and Lunar Module
Apollo 6 Saturn V AS-502 4 April 1968 16:12 GMT Test of the Saturn V booster
Skylab 1 Saturn INT-21 AS-513 14 May 1973 17:30 GMT Unmanned launch of Skylab 1 workshop using Saturn INT-21 (two-stage version of the Saturn V booster). Last flight of Saturn V booster.

Manned flights[edit | edit source]

Flight Rocket LV Serial No. Commander Command Module Pilot Lunar Module Pilot CM Name LM Name Launch Date Launch Time Duration
Apollo 1 Saturn IB AS-204 Gus Grissom Edward White Roger Chaffee N/A No LM 21 February 1967
Unlaunched – On 27 January 1967 Gus Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee were killed when a fire erupted in their Apollo spacecraft during a test on the launch pad.
Apollo 7 Saturn IB AS-205 Wally Schirra Donn Eisele Walter Cunningham N/A No LM 11 October 1968 15:02 GMT 10d 20h
09m 03s
First manned Apollo flight, first manned flight of the Saturn IB. Only manned Apollo launch not from LC 39.
Apollo 8 Saturn V AS-503 Frank Borman Jim Lovell William Anders N/A No LM 21 December 1968 12:51 GMT 06d 03h
00m 42s
First manned flight around the Moon, first manned flight of the Saturn V
Apollo 9 Saturn V AS-504 James McDivitt David Scott Rusty Schweickart Gumdrop Spider 3 March 1969 16:00 GMT 10d 01h
00m 54s
First manned flight of the Lunar Module
Apollo 10 Saturn V AS-505 Thomas Stafford John Young Eugene Cernan Charlie Brown Snoopy 18 May 1969 16:49 GMT 08d 00h
03m 23s
First manned flight of the Lunar Module around the Moon
Apollo 11 Saturn V AS-506 Neil Armstrong Michael Collins Buzz Aldrin Columbia Eagle 16 July 1969 13:32 GMT 08d 03h
18m 35s
First manned landing on the Moon
Apollo 12 Saturn V AS-507 Pete Conrad Richard Gordon Alan Bean Yankee Clipper Intrepid 14 November 1969 16:22 GMT 10d 04h
36m 24s
First precise manned landing on the Moon. Recover part of Surveyor 3 probe.
Apollo 13 Saturn V AS-508 Jim Lovell Jack Swigert Fred Haise Odyssey Aquarius 11 April 1970 19:13 GMT 05d 22h
54m 41s
Oxygen tank explodes en route, forcing cancellation of landing
Apollo 14 Saturn V AS-509 Alan Shepard Stuart Roosa Edgar Mitchell Kitty Hawk Antares 31 January 1971 21:03 GMT 09d 00h
01m 58s
Alan Shepard, the first American in space, plays golf on the Moon
Apollo 15 Saturn V AS-510 David Scott Alfred Worden James Irwin Endeavour Falcon 26 July 1971 13:34 GMT 12d 07h
11m 53s
First flight with the Lunar Rover vehicle
Apollo 16 Saturn V AS-511 John Young Ken Mattingly Charles Duke Casper Orion 16 April 1972 17:54 GMT 11d 01h
51m 05s
First landing in the lunar highlands
Apollo 17 Saturn V AS-512 Eugene Cernan Ronald Evans Harrison Schmitt America Challenger 7 December 1972 05:33 GMT 12d 13h
51m 59s
Final Apollo lunar flight, first night launch, only flight with a professional geologist

Cancelled lunar flights[edit | edit source]

Flight Commander Command Module Pilot Lunar Module Pilot Planned flight month Cancellation date
Apollo 18 Richard Gordon Vance Brand Harrison Schmitt February 1972 2 September 1970
Budget cuts – NOTE: The Apollo 15 designation was re-used as Apollo 16 became 15, 17 became 16, and 18 became 17.
Apollo 19 Fred Haise William Pogue Gerald Carr July 1972 2 September 1970
Budget cuts
Apollo 20 Pete Conrad or Stuart Roosa Paul Weitz Jack Lousma December 1972 to February 1973 4 January 1970
Saturn INT-21 Launch vehicle needed to launch Skylab

Post-Apollo flights using Apollo hardware and Saturn IB[edit | edit source]

Flight Rocket LV Serial No. Commander Pilot Science Pilot Launch Date Launch Time Duration
Skylab 2 Saturn IB AS-206 Pete Conrad Paul Weitz Joseph Kerwin 25 May 1973 13:00 GMT 28d 00h
49m 49s
First crew of the Skylab Space Station
Skylab 3 Saturn IB AS-207 Alan Bean Jack Lousma Owen Garriott 28 July 1973 11:10 GMT 59d 11h
09m 34s
Second Skylab crew. SM thruster malfunction nearly necessitated a rescue mission.
Skylab 4 Saturn IB AS-208 Gerald Carr William Pogue Edward Gibson 16 November 1973 14:01 GMT 84d 01h
15m 31s
Third and final Skylab crew. Penultimate flight of Apollo.
Flight Rocket LV Serial No. Commander Command Module Pilot Docking Module Pilot Launch Date Launch Time Duration
Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP, a.k.a. Apollo 18) Saturn IB AS-209 Thomas Stafford Vance Brand Deke Slayton 15 July 1975 12:20 GMT 09d 01h
Final flight of both Apollo and the Saturn IB. Rendezvous and docking with Soyuz 19 spacecraft. Inadvertent entry of toxic gases into the cabin atmosphere created a potentially life-threatening health risk to the astronauts during re-entry.

Launch Complex (LC) utilisation[edit | edit source]

  • LC 34: SA-1, SA-2, SA-3, SA-4, AS-201, AS-202, AS-204, AS-205
  • LC 37A: no launches
  • LC 37B: SA-5, A-101 (SA-6), A-102 (SA-7), A-103 (SA-9), A-104 (SA-8), A-105 (SA-10), AS-203, AS-204
  • LC 39A: AS-501, AS-502, AS-503, AS-504, AS-506, AS-507, AS-508, AS-509, AS-510, AS-511, AS-512, AS-513
  • LC 39B: AS-505, AS-206, AS-207, AS-208, AS-209

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Apollo programme summary report, NASA, April 1975 (27 MB)
  2. Chariots for Apollo, NASA, 1979 (133 MB)