Apollo Program

external image jfk_anniversary_300_0.jpgThe idea of the Apollo program began with a 1961 speech from President John F Kennedy famously challenging our nation’s best scientists to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. It was the age of the cold war and the United States and USSR were tirelessly competing for supremacy in space exploration (famously known as the “Space Race”). In the famous address Kennedy remarked, “No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important in the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.” The goal was very clear, but also required ingenuity and a massive increase in funding toward the NASA program (a 30% increase). It was initially clear that the U.S. would have to catch up to the U.S.S.R. before in space technology before thinking of landing a man safely on the moon. Before Kennedy had even given the famous address in 1961, U.S.S.R. astronaut Yuri Gagarin had become the first man in space on April 12, 1961. In order to be the first to land on the moon the U.S. would need to make up this lost time.

With the goal of a moon landing made clear NASA and the Apollo program immediately got to work figuring out every aspect of the voyage like which launch unit to use, the different types Command Modules (also called the CM-essentially the crew cabin of the space ship), which mission mode to use, and how to fit all of the massive expenses under the given U.S. budget. Endless testing began and eventually the Apollo Program began sending ships into space, gradually moving towards the overall goal of safely reaching the moon.
The Apollo Mission
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Unmanned Missions

Manned Missions
  • Apollo 7
  • Apollo 8
  • Apollo 9
  • Apollo 10
  • Apollo 11
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