apollo moon landings

Apollo Moon Landings

List of Apollo Missions – Apollo Manned Moon Landings

On 25 May 1961, President John F. Kennedy set a national goal to land a man on the Moon and return him safely to Earth before the end of the decade. NASA expanded its manned space flight program later to develop the Gemini two-man spacecraft which was followed by the Apollo program including the manned Apollo moon landings. On 21 July 1969 Apollo 11 landed on the moon and Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon, followed around 20 minutes later, by Buzz Aldrin. This achieved the goal and effectively ended the Space Race against the Soviet Union.

Apollo Spacecraft Parts (For Manned Apollo Moon Landings):
  • Command module (CM): Cabin for three astronauts and flight control and the only part that returns to Earth.
  • Service module (SM): Support systems for the command module including propulsion, electrical power, oxygen and water.
  • Command/Service Module (CSM): Reference for the command and service modules when combined together.
  • Lunar module (LM): Spacecraft to transport two astronauts to the surface of the moon. The LM has a descent and an ascent stage:
    • Lower stage (descent) for landing on the Moon.
    • Upper stage (ascent) to propel the astronauts back into lunar orbit.
  • Saturn IB booster rocket: Used for Earth orbit flights.
  • Saturn V booster rocket: Used for flights to the moon.

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MissionCommanderCommand Module PilotLunar Module PilotLaunch DateDuration (h:m:s)Apollo Program Mission Facts, Apollo Mission Records Info & TriviaLaunch Vehicle
Apollo 1Gus GrissomEd WhiteRoger Chaffee27 Feb 1967*2
  • Originally planned to be the first manned mission.
  • Sadly, as a result of a fire in the command module (CM), during a pre-launch test on 27 Jan 1967, the crew all died from asphyxiation from smoke inhalation.
AS-204
Apollo 2Wally SchirraDonn EiseleWalt CunninghamAug 1967*2
  • Cancelled on 22 Dec 1966 because it was deemed unnecessary.
  • The same crew flew on Apollo 7.
AS-201Unmanned26 Feb 19660:37:19
  • First test of Saturn IB and first flight of Block I Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM).
  • After a suborbital flight the command module (CM) landed in the Atlantic Ocean demonstrating the heat shield.
  • Loss of propellant pressure caused the service module (SM) engine to shutdown prematurely.
  • Splashed down on 26 February 1966 in the Southern Atlantic Ocean and recovered by USS Boxer.
AS-201
AS-202Unmanned25 Aug 19661:33:02
  • Longer duration suborbital flight to Pacific Ocean splashdown testing the command module heat shield at higher speed.
  • Successful service module (SM) firings.
  • Splashdown on 25 August 1966, West of Hawaii, recovered by USS Hornet.
AS-202
AS-203Unmanned5 Jul 1966~6:00:00
  • Successfully tested the restartable S-IVB rocket engine stage design for the Saturn V rocket.
  • No Apollo spacecraft was carried.
  • The stage was accidentally destroyed, by tests designed to rupture the tank. It broke into pieces that were not recovered.
AS-203
Apollo 4Unmanned9 Nov 19678:36:59 
  • First Saturn V launch vehicle test flight.
  • Command module (CM) placed into a high Earth orbit and tested the heat shield at re-entry speeds.
  • Successful demonstration of the S-IVB rocket stage restart.
  • Apollo 4 splashed down on 9 November 1967 in the North Pacific Ocean, retrieved by USS Bennington.
AS-501
Apollo 5Unmanned22 Jan 196811:10:00
  • First Earth unmanned flight of the lunar module (LM).
  • Launched on Saturn IB rocket.
  • Ascent and descent engines successfully fired.
  • Fire in the hole landing abort test demonstrated.
  • Uncontrolled reentry; The ascent stage burned up on re-entry 24 January 1968, the descent stage re-entered on 12 February 1968, fell into the Pacific Ocean and was not recovered.
AS-204
Apollo 6Unmanned4 Apr 19689:57:20
  • Attempted demonstration of trans-lunar injection, and direct-return abort using service module (SM) engine.
  • Flight controllers used the SM engine to achieve high speed re-entry repeating the Apollo 4 flight profile.
  • NASA identified fixes for severe vibrations and declared Saturn V man-rated.
  • Apollo 6 splashed down on 4 April 1968 in the North Pacific Ocean, retrieved by USS Okinawa.
AS-502
Apollo 7Wally SchirraDonn EiseleWalt Cunningham11 Oct 1968260:09:03
  • First manned Apollo mission making 163 orbits of the Earth.
  • First manned flight of the Saturn IB.
  • Test flight for the Block II CSM in Earth orbit.
  • First live TV broadcast from inside an American spacecraft.
  • Last manned launch from Cape Kennedy.
  • Apollo 7 splashed down on 22 October 1968 in the Atlantic Ocean, retrieved by USS Essex.
AS-205
Apollo 8Frank BormanJames LovellWilliam Anders21 Dec 1968147:42:00
  • Apollo 8 was the first manned flight to fly around the moon making 10 orbits in 20 hours.
  • First manned flight of the Saturn V.
  • Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders were the first people to see Earth as a whole planet, the far side of the Moon and Earthrise over the lunar horizon.
  • Live TV pictures were broadcast to Earth on Christmas Eve. The crew controversially read the first 10 verses from the Bible, Book of Genesis.
  • First manned spaceflight to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
  • Apollo 8 splashdown was on 27 December 1968 in the North Pacific Ocean, recovered by USS Yorktown.
  • Crew named Time magazine 1968 Men of the Year.
AS-503
Apollo 9James McDivittDavid ScottRussell Schweickart3 Mar 1969241:00:54
  • The crew spent ten days in low Earth orbit testing the lunar module engines, backpack life support systems, navigation systems, and docking maneuvers all crucial for a moon landing.
  • First manned flight of the lunar module.
  • First docking, and extraction, of a LM and two spacewalks (EVA).
  • Apollo 9 CM Gumdrop splashdown was on 13 March 1969 in the North Atlantic Ocean, retrieved by USS Guadalcanal.
AS-504
Apollo 10Thomas StaffordJohn YoungEugene Cernan18 May 1969192:03:23
  • Apollo 10 was the dress rehearsal for the first Moon landing.
  • Everything was tested apart from landing on the Moon.
  • Apollo 10 made the 2002 Guinness Book of World Records for the highest speed by a manned vehicle at 24,791 mph (39,897 km/h) during its return from the Moon on 26 May 1969.
  • John Young became the first human to fly solo around the Moon.
  • The mission’s call signs included the names characters from Peanuts Charlie Brown and Snoopy and they became unofficial mascots. Charles Schulz, the Peanuts creator worked on some NASA mission-related artwork.
  • Apollo 10 CM Charlie Brown splashdown was on 26 May 1969 in the Pacific Ocean, retrieved by USS Princeton.
AS-505
Apollo 11Neil ArmstrongMichael CollinsBuzz Aldrin16 Jul 1969195:18:35
  • Apollo 11 was the first of the Apollo moon landings.
  • Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the moon.
  • On 20 July 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon which was broadcast on live TV to a worldwide audience.
  • Around 20 minutes later Buzz Aldrin joined him to become the second person to walk on the moon. Aldrin’s first words were “Magnificent desolation.”
  • They spent over two hours together outside the spacecraft and collected 47.51 pounds (21.55 kg) of lunar material to bring back to Earth.
  • Michael Collins piloted Columbia command module alone in lunar orbit. In his book Collins reveals Aldrin lobbied to be the first astronaut to walk on the moon and said “I think he [Aldrin] resents not being first on the moon more than he appreciates being second.
  • Apollo 11 CM Columbia splashed down on 24 July 1969 in the Pacific Ocean, retrieved by USS Hornet.
  • The Apollo 11 moon landing fulfilled a national goal set by US President John F Kennedy in 1961 to land a man on the Moon and return him safely to Earth before the end of the decade and effectively ended the Space Race against the Soviet Union.
AS-506
Apollo 12Charles ConradRichard GordonAlan Bean14 Nov 1969248:36:24
  • Apollo 12 was the second of the manned Apollo moon landings.
  • The first rocket launch attended by an incumbent US president, Richard Nixon.
  • Apollo 12 was struck twice by lightning during the first minute after launch which caused serious problems. John Aaron at mission control made an obscure call to switch SCE to the backup power supply which fixed the problem and avoided an aborted mission.
  • Apollo 12 landed with precision (unlike Apollo 11) in the southeastern portion of the Ocean of Storms near the site of the Surveyor 3 unmanned probe and on one of two moonwalks they visited Surveyor. This was the first and only time, so far, any human has encountered a probe sent to another world. They removed some parts to return to Earth.
  • Charles Conrad was shorter than Neil Armstrong which makes sense of this first words as he stepped into the lunar surface “Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me.
  • They collected rocks, took photos (although Alan Bean accidentally left several rolls of exposed film on the lunar surface) and set up a nuclear-powered ALSEP station on the Moon to relay long-term data including seismicity, solar wind flux and magnetic field from the lunar surface to Earth.
  • The crew collected 75.62 lb (34.30 kg) of lunar samples to return to Earth.
  • Richard Gordon, on board the command module Yankee Clipper in lunar orbit, took multi-spectral photographs of the Moon’s surface.
  • Apollo 12 CM Yankee Clipper splashdown was on 24 November 1969 in the Pacific Ocean, retrieved by USS Hornet.
AS-507
Apollo 13James Arthur “Jim” LovellJohn SwigertFred Haise11 Apr 1970142:54:41
  • 55 hours after launch the NASA ground crew heard the now famous “Houston, we’ve had a problem” message. An oxygen tank had exploded and the mission was aborted leaving the astronauts in serious danger.
  • Ingenuity under pressure by the crew, flight controllers and mission control personnel all contributed to their safe return to Earth which was dramatized in the 1995 Oscar winning movie Apollo 13.
  • Set a spaceflight record for the Farthest humans have traveled from Earth.
  • Apollo 13 CM Odyssey splashdown was on 17 April 1970 in the South Pacific Ocean, recovered by USS Iwo Jima.
AS-508
Apollo 14Alan ShepardStuart RoosaEdgar Mitchell31 Jan 1971216:01:58
  • Apollo 14 was the third of the manned Apollo moon landings.
  • The first mission to successfully broadcast color television pictures from the surface of the Moon.
  • On 5 Feb 1971, Alan Shepard (the first US astronaut in space and 47 years the oldest moon visitor, 1923-1998) stepped onto the moon, grabbed two golf balls and struck them with a geological instrument several hundred meters. Edgar Mitchell looked on.
  • The crew collected 94.35 lb (42.8 kg) of lunar samples to return to Earth.
  • Stuart Roosa remained in lunar orbit aboard Command/Service Module (CSM) Kitty Hawk taking photographs and performing experiments. He took 500 seeds from Douglas Fir, Loblolly Pine, Redwood, Sycamore and Sweetgum into Moon orbit and they became know as “Moon Trees.”
  • Apollo 14 CM Kitty Hawk splashdown was on 9 February 1971 in the South Pacific Ocean, retrieved by New Orleans.
AS-509
Apollo 15David ScottAlfred WordenJames Irwin26 July 1971295:11:53
  • Apollo 15 was the fourth of the manned Apollo moon landings.
  • First mission to use the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) which traveled 17.25 miles (27.76 km)
  • Three days on the moon, 4 EVAs totaling 19 hours, 7 minutes, 53 seconds.
  • The crew collected 169.1 lb (76.7 kg) of lunar samples to return to Earth.
  • Pilot Alfred Worden used the Scientific Instrument Module (SIM) to study the Moon in detail using a panoramic camera, mapping camera, laser altimeter, mass and gamma-ray spectrometers.
  • Deployed the first lunar sub-satellite as they left lunar orbit.
  • Adverse publicity: “Apollo 15 postage stamp incident” after the crew admitted they sold 400 special stamps on their return.
  • Good publicity: The crew commissioned Belgian sculptor Paul Van Hoeydonck to create an statuette called “Fallen Astronaut” to commemorate 14 astronauts and cosmonauts who lost their lives in the pursuit of space exploration which David Scott left by the rover, along with a plaque bearing their names.
  • Apollo 15 CM Endeavour splashdown was on 7 August 1971 in the North Pacific Ocean, retrieved by USS Okinawa.
AS-510
Apollo 16John YoungKen MattinglyCharles Duke16 Apr 1972265:51:05
  • Apollo 16 was the fifth of the manned Apollo moon landings.
  • First to land in the lunar highlands.
  • The crew collected 209.89 lb (95.2 kg) of lunar samples in three EVAs.
  • Deployed PFS-2 lunar sub-satellite (unwittingly) into an unstable orbit as they left lunar orbit and it crashed into the lunar surface on 29 May 1972 after 35 days and 425 orbits.
  • Apollo 16 CM Casper splashed down on 27 April 1972 in the Pacific Ocean, retrieved by USS Ticonderoga.
AS-511
Apollo 17Eugene CernanRonald EvansHarrison Schmitt7 Dec 1972301:51:59
  • Apollo 17 was the last of six manned Apollo moon landings.
  • Apollo 17 was the last manned Saturn V launch and only night launch.
  • Harrison Schmitt was the first and only scientist to walk on the moon.
  • The last moonwalk took place on 13 December 1972 by Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan.
  • They collected a total of 243.40 lb (110.40 kg) of lunar material in three EVAs.
  • Eugene Cernan spoke the last words on the moon “I’m on the surface and, as I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come – but we believe not too long into the future – I’d like to just [say] what I believe history will record. That America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.
  • Apollo 17 CM America splashdown was on 19 December 1972 in the Pacific Ocean, retrieved by USS Ticonderoga.
AS-512
Apollo 18Richard GordonVance BrandHarrison SchmittFeb 1972*2Mission cancelled 2 Sep 1970 due to budget cuts.
Apollo 19Fred HaiseWilliam PogueGerald CarrJuly 1972*2Mission cancelled 2 Sep 1970 due to budget cuts.
Apollo 20Pete Conrad or Stuart RoosaPaul WeitzJack LousmaDec 1972 – Feb 1973*2Mission cancelled 4 Jan 1970 because the launch vehicle was needed for the Skylab launch.

Notes About the Apollo Moon Landings, Apollo Missions and Module Abbreviations

  • Bold Astronauts who walked on the moon are bold text
  • LM Lunar module
  • CM Command module
  • SM Service module
  • LRV Lunar Roving Vehicle aka moon buggy
  • EVA Extra-Vehicular Activity or Spacewalk
  • *2 Never launched
Apollo Mission FAQ
  • What happened to Apollo 2 & Apollo 3?
    Following the death of the crew of Apollo 1 on the launchpad on 24 April 1967 NASA announced sequential numbering for all flights, manned or unmanned. The sequence would start with Apollo 4, covering the first three unmanned flights, while retiring the Apollo 1 designation to honor the crew in accordance with their widows’ wishes. Renaming AS-201, AS-202 and AS-203 to Apollo 1-A, Apollo 2 and Apollo 3 was considered but not actioned. They, along with the cancelled Apollo missions have been included in this list (greyed out) for completeness.
  • Were the Moon landings faked?
    There are many conspiracy theories and hoaxes surrounding the Apollo moon landings. ADDucation is satisfied the Apollo moon landings were not faked because there is plenty of independent evidence the moon landings were real from sources not connected with NASA, or even the USA, including photographic evidence of the landing sites.
  • Which Apollo missions landed on the moon?
    There were six manned Apollo moon landings: Apollo 11, Apollo 12, Apollo 14, Apollo 15, Apollo 16 and Apollo 17. Each of the six Apollo moon landings carried two of the twelve astronauts that walked on the moon.

ADDucation Lists Related to Apollo Moon Landings


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