Call Signs

 

Mission

Command Module

Lunar Module

Apollo 7

“Apollo 7”.

None.

 

 

 

Apollo 8

“Apollo 8”.

None.

 

 

 

Apollo 9

“Gumdrop”. Derived from the appearance of the

spacecraft when transported on Earth. During shipment,

it was wrapped in blue wrappings giving appearance of

a wrapped gumdrop.

“Spider”, derived from its bug‑like configuration.

 

 

 

Apollo 10

“Charlie Brown”, from a character in comic strip

Peanuts© drawn by Charles L. Schulz. As in the comic,

the CM “Charlie Brown” would be the guardian of the

LM “Snoopy.”

“Snoopy,” after the beagle dog character in the same comic strip. The name referred to the fact that the LM would be “snooping” around the lunar surface in low orbit. Also, at the Manned Spacecraft Center, Snoopy was symbol of quality performance. Employees who did outstanding work were awarded a silver Snoopy pin.

 

 

 

Apollo 11

“Columbia”, after “Columbiad”, the canon used to launch Jules Verne’s moonship (commonly thought to be the moonship itself which was referred to only as “the projectile”); also used because of the close relationship of the word to the United States’ origins.

“Eagle,” after the eagle selected for the mission insignia.

 

 

 

Apollo 12

“Yankee Clipper”, selected from names submitted by employees of the command module prime contractor.

“Intrepid”, selected from names submitted by employees of the lunar module prime contractor.

 

 

 

Apollo 13

“Odyssey,” reminiscent of the long voyage of Odysseus

of Greek mythology.

“Aquarius,” after the Egyptian god Aquarius, the water carrier. Aquarius brought fertility and therefore life and knowledge to the Nile Valley, as the Apollo 13 crew

hoped to bring knowledge from the Moon.

 

 

 

Apollo 14

Kitty Hawk”, the site of the Wright brothers’ first flight in Kitty Hawk, NC.

Antares”, for the star on which the LM oriented itself for lunar landing.

 

 

 

Apollo 15

“Endeavor,” for the ship which carried Captain James Cook on his 18th-century scientific voyages.

“Falcon,” named for the USAF Academy mascot by

Apollo 15’s all-Air Force crew.

 

 

 

Apollo 16

Casper”, named for a cartoon character, “Casper

the Friendly Ghost,” because the white Teflon suits worn

by the crew looked shapeless on television screens.

“Orion,” for a constellation, because the crew would

depend on star sightings to navigate in cislunar space.

 

 

 

Apollo 17

America”, as a tribute and a symbol of thanks to the American people who made the Apollo program possible.

“Challenger,” indicative of the challenges of the future, beyond the Apollo program.

 

Excerpted and edited from Astronaut Mission Patches and Spacecraft Callsigns, by Dick Lattimer, unpublished draft in JSC History Office; Space Patches From Mercury to the Space Shuttle; and various NASA documents.

 

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