Apollo Expeditions to the Moon


Apollo mission patches
Apollo mission patches
1958JulyNational Aeronautics and Space Act signed into law establishing NASA.
 OctoberMercury program begun; six successful manned flights would occur.
 NovemberSpace Task Group officially organized, at Langley Field, Va., to implement the manned satellite project, known later as Project Mercury.
1959AprilFirst group of astronauts is selected for manned spaceflight program.
 DecemberSaturn configuration and development program are approved.
1960FebruaryRanger project for lunar hard landings is formally authorized.
 MayLunar soft-landing program, later renamed Surveyor, commences.
 JulyApollo approved as name of advanced manned spaceflight program.
1961MayFirst U.S. suborbital manned spaceflight, by Astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr., in a Redstone rocket-boosted Mercury capsule named Freedom 7.
 MayPresident Kennedy proposes broad, accelerated space program, including manned lunar landing within the decade, in a special message to the Congress.
 AugustCape Canaveral selected as the launch site for manned lunar fights.
 NovemberThe Space Task Group redesignated as the Manned Spacecraft Center.
1962FebruaryFirst U.S. orbital manned spaceflight by Astronaut John H. Glenn, Jr., in an Atlas-boosted Mercury capsule named Friendship 7.
 JulySelection of lunar orbit rendezvous flight mode for Apollo missions.
1963MayFirst U.S. long duration spaceflight, by Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., aboard an Atlas-boosted Mercury, Faith 7; last flight in the Mercury program.
 AugustLunar orbiter program, to team with Ranger and Surveyor, approved.
1964MayFirst flight of an Apollo-configured spacecraft with a Saturn vehicle (two-stage Saturn I), launched from Cape Kennedy; craft, upper stage orbited.
 JulyCloseup television pictures of lunar surface are sent by Ranger VII.
1965MarchFirst U.S. two-man orbital spaceflight, by Astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young in Titan II-boosted Gemini III.
 JuneFirst U.S. extravehicular activity, Astronaut Edward H. White II maneuvering from Gemini IV piloted by Astronaut James A. McDivitt.
 DecemberFirst Piloted rendezvous in space, by Astronauts Schirra and Stafford in Gemini VI with Gemini VII, Astronauts Borman and Lovell aboard.
1966FebruaryFirst launch of the Saturn IB (two stage) with an Apollo spacecraft.
 MarchFirst docking in space, made by Astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and David R. Scott aboord a Titan-boosted Gemini VIII.
 JuneSuccessful on first attempt, Surveyor I softlands on the lunar surface and reports back on soil bearing strength and surface temperatures.
 AugustFirst U.S. spacecraft to orbit the Moon, Lunar Orbiter I sends back Surveyor and Apollo landing site photos.
1967JanuaryFlash fire kills Apollo 1 Astronauts Grissom, White, and Chaffee in command module atop a Saturn I booster at Launch Complex 34.
 NovemberFirst flight of the Saturn V is a success; Apollo 4 placed in orbit.
1968JanuaryFirst flight test of the lunar module, in Earth orbit, in Apollo 5.
 OctoberFirst manned Apollo flight, by Astronauts Schirra, Eisele, and Cunningham, in the Saturn IB-boosted Apollo 7.
 DecemberAstronauts Borman, Lovell, and Anders become first men to orbit the Moon, in the Saturn V-boosted CSM of Apollo 8.
1969MarchFirst manned flight of the lunar module, in Earth orbit, by Astronauts McDivitt and Schweickart with Astronaut Scott piloting CSM, in Apollo 9.
 MayFirst lunar module orbit of the Moon, by Astronauts Stafford and Cernan with Astronaut Young manning the orbiting command module, in Apollo 10.
 JulyAstronauts Armstrong and Aldrin become first men to land on the Moon; Astronaut Collins pilots the command module orbiting the Moon, in Apollo 11.
 NovemberAstronauts Conrad and Bean walk on the Moon, while Astronaut Gordon pilots command module, in Apollo 12.
1970AprilRuptured oxygen tank aborts Apollo 13 mission. Astronauts Lovell, Swigert, and Haise return safely to Earth.
1971JanuaryThird successful manned lunar landing, Apollo 14, places Astronauts Shepard and Mitchell on Moon, while Astronaut Roosa pilots CSM.
 JulyLunar Roving Vehicle used for first time on Moon, by Astronauts Scott and Irwin, while Astronaut Worden pilots the command module, in Apollo 15.
1972AprilFifth successful lunar landing mission places Astronauts Young and Duke on Moon, while Astronaut Mattingly pilots command module, in Apollo 16.
 DecemberApollo program's longest mission, Apollo 17. Astronauts Cernan and Schmitt land on the Moon while Astronaut Evans pilots CSM.

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