Between 1961 and 1975, NASA conducted the Apollo program. It was badass and included 12 manned Apollo missions and six moon landings. Humans walked around on the moon! The Apollo astronauts were a crack team of dudes supported by some really smart NASA guys (and gals!) on the ground. So what the heck happened up there in space during the Apollo missions? This list of all manned Apollo missions will enlighten and amaze you!
Don't think space travel is cool? Well, what in the world is wrong with you? The space race galvanized the American people, who have maybe never been as excited, on the whole, about anything else ever.
Of course, some people think the moon landing was faked (and some people have even voted for it as a conspiracy theory they actually believe in), but Buzz Aldrin (or really, Buzz Aldrin's fists) had a few choice words (knuckles) for at least one moon-landing denier on that front.The Apollo missions accomplished all kinds of things that have spurred innovation and science here on Earth and in the worlds of space travel and space exploration. So why not take a moment to learn about these amazing feats, accomplished by some very smart human beings?!
Sadly, Apollo 1 never got off the ground. On January 27, 1967, a fire erupted in the command module during a test on the launch pad. The fire destroyed the module and tragically killed astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee. NASA learned a great deal from the accident, changing many dangerous design flaws and making sure to always put astronaut safety at the forefront.
Start Date: Jan 27 1967
Astronauts: Roger B. Chaffee, Gus Grissom, Edward Higgins White
Apollo 7 featured the first TV broadcast from an American spacecraft and saw astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele, and Walter Cunningham hanging out in space for 11 days. They completed 163 earth orbits and restored confidence in the Apollo program after the failures of Apollo 1.
Start Date: Oct 11 1968
Astronauts: Wally Schirra, Walter Cunningham, Donn F. Eisele
End Date: Oct 22 1968
You know that famous Earthrise photo? Yeah, this one. It was snapped during Apollo 8. This mission is where things really got going, as it marked the first time a manned space mission left Earth's orbit, orbited the moon, and came back safely. It was also the first time humans saw, with their own little eyes, the dark side of the moon and Earth as a whole planet. Cool!
Start Date: Dec 21 1968
Astronauts: William Anders, Jim Lovell, Frank Borman
End Date: Dec 27 1968
Apollo 9 had the distinction of being the first flight of the Command/Service Module with the Lunar Module (LM). The crew was made up of James McDivitt, David Scott, and Rusty Schweickart, who tested all kinds of neat stuff that would be incredibly important for landing on the moon. They made sure that the LM, the craft in which moonwalkers would actually land on the moon (pretty important!), would work just great.
Start Date: Mar 03 1969
Astronauts: David Scott, Rusty Schweickart, James McDivitt
End Date: Mar 13 1969