The Apollo Spacecraft - A Chronology.|
[January 21, 1966, through December 19, 1972]
ETR = Eastern Test Range
WS = Wallops Station
KSC = Kennedy Space Center
Source: Astronautics and Aeronautics: Chronology of Science, Technology, and Policy, annual volumes 1966 through 1972 (NASA SP-4007, 1967; SP-4008, 1968; SP-4010, 1969; SP-4014, 1970; SP-4015, 1972; SP-4016, 1972; SP-4017, 1975), Appendixes A, B, and C, and 1973 (NASA SP-4018), p. 282.
Luna 9 (USSR)Launch details not available
Soft-land on moon; take TV photos of lunar surface and measurements of cosmic radiation and transmit to earth.
Apollo-Saturn 201 (AS-201)Saturn IB (ETR)
Unmanned suborbital launch vehicle development test. First flight of Saturn IB and of Apollo spacecraft (CSM 009).
Gemini VIII GATVAtlas-GATV (ETR)
Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle for Gemini VIII rendezvous and docking exercise.
Gemini VIIITitan II (ETR)
Neil A. Armstrong and David R. Scott in orbital space flight to rendezvous with GATV and make first docking in space.
Luna 10 (USSR)Launch details not available
Maneuver spacecraft into vicinity of moon; test systems for putting satellite in orbit around moon.
Gemini IX GATVAtlas-GATV (ETR)
Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle for planned rendezvous and docking mission; failed to orbit after launch. Launch of manned Gemini IX was canceled.
Surveyor 1 (Surveyor A)Atlas-Centaur (ETR)
First U.S. attempt at soft-landing on moon. Spacecraft landed June 2. TV photos were excellent.
Gemini IX-A ATDAAtlas-ATDA (ETR)
Augmented Target Docking Adapter launched into orbit as target vehicle for manned Gemini IX-A rendezvous and docking.
Gemini IX-ATitan II (ETR)
Thomas P. Stafford and Eugene A. Cernan, launched into orbit, rendezvoused with ATDA during 3rd orbit but docking was not possible because ATDA's shroud had not separated. Cernan performed 2hr EVA.
Apollo-Saturn 203 (AS-203)Uprated Saturn I (ETR)
Launch vehicle development test. Orbited Saturn's S-IVB stage for new U.S. weight record-26,535kg.
Gemini X GATVAtlas-GATV (ETR)
Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle for manned Gemini X rendezvous and docking.
Gemini XTitan II (ETR)
John W. Young and Michael Collins made first manned space rendezvous with 2 spacecraft - Gemini X GATV and Gemini VIII GATV. First use of another spacecraft to provide primary and secondary power for docked manned spacecraft. Two EVAs.
Lunar Orbiter 1 (Lunar Orbiter A)Atlas-Agena D (ETR)
Lunar orbital probe. Went into lunar orbit Aug. 14; medium resolution camera took good photos of Apollo landing sites, back of moon, and first view of earth from moon.
Luna 11 (USSR)launch details not available
Orbit the moon, measure lunar radiation. Made observations and transmitted 137 times before batteries failed Oct. 1.
Apollo-Saturn 202 (AS-202)Uprated Saturn I (ETR)
Third test, suborbital, of Uprated Saturn I (Saturn IB) and second test of Apollo heatshield. Service module was fired 4 times; command module was propelled into reentry at 32,000 km per hr.
Gemini XI GATV (Gemini XI)Atlas-GATV (ETR)
Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle for manned Gemini XI spacecraft.
Gemini XI (Gemini XI)Titan II (ETR)
Orbital manned space flight. Charles Conrad, Jr., and Richard F. Gordon, Jr., achieved rendezvous and docking on first revolution; set new manned space flight altitude record, 1,370 kilometers.
Surveyor 2 (Surveyor B)Atlas-Centaur (ETR)
Launched on good trajectory for lunar landing. Failure of 1 of 3 vernier engines to fire during midcourse maneuver caused spacecraft to spin. Crash-landed on the moon Sep. 22.
Luna 12 (USSR)Launch details not available
Orbited the moon, took TV photos of moon and scientific measurements of lunar radiation, meteoroids.
Lunar Orbiter 2 (Lunar Orbiter B)Atlas-Agena D (ETR)
Lunar probe, orbital. By Nov. 25 had taken all planned medium-and high-resolution photos of 13 possible Apollo landing sites.
Gemini XII GATV (Gemini XII)Atlas-GATV (ETR)
Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle for final manned orbital Gemini space flight.
Gemini XII (Gemini XII)Titan II (ETR)
James A. Lovell, Jr., and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., rendezvoused and docked with target vehicle. Aldrin performed 2 standup and 1 tethered EVA and work tasks in space.
Luna 13 (USSR)Not available
Made 2nd successful USSR soft-landing on moon, photographed lunar surface characteristics, measured lunar radiation.
Lunar Orbiter 3 (Lunar Orbiter C)Atlas-Agena B (ETR)
Lunar probe, orbital. Entered orbit Feb. 8, then close lunar orbit. Took 211 medium- and high-resolution photos of Apollo landing sites and lunar features.
Surveyor 3 (Surveyor C)Atlas-Centaur (ETR)
Scientific lunar landing probe. Soft-landed on moon after 3 bounces. Transmitted 6,315 detailed photos of lunar surface.
Soyuz 1 (USSR)Launch details not available
First Soviet manned space flight since Mar.1966. Cosmonaut Vladimir M. Komarov was killed in crash landing after tumbling caused premature spacecraft reentry and parachute straps twisted on opening. First man to die in space flight.
Lunar Orbiter 4 (Lunar Orbiter D)Atlas-Agena D (ETR)
Lunar photographic probe. Transmitted 163 high- and medium-resolution photos of lunar surface, including coverage of 99 percent of moon's front face and much of back face.
Surveyor 4 (Surveyor D)Atlas-Centaur (ETR)
Scientific lunar landing probe. Trajectory was excellent but all communications were lost seconds before attempt at soft landing.
Explorer 35 (IMP-E)Thrust Augmented Thor-Delta (ETR)
Traveled to moon on direct trajectory; on July 21 retromotors slowed spacecraft enough to permit lunar capture; went into elliptical lunar orbit, 7,693 by 800 km; returned data on radiation at lunar distance.
Lunar Orbiter 5 (Lunar Orbiter E)Atlas-Agena D (ETR)
Lunar orbital probe, took 424 photos of lunar surface, filling gaps in lunar coverage; provided detailed coverage of 36 scientific-interest sites and 5 Apollo sites.
Surveyor 5 (Surveyor E)Atlas-Centaur (ETR)
Scientific lunar landing probe. Soft-landed in lunar Sea of Tranquillity. Transmitted 18,006 photos during first lunar day; soil test confirmed basaltic character of lunar soil, similar to earth's.
Surveyor 6 (Surveyor F)Atlas-Centaur (ETR)
Scientific lunar landing probe. Soft-landed in Sinus Medii area, transmitted 30,065 TV photos during first lunar day. On Nov. 17 vernier engines were restarted and spacecraft lifted off lunar surface and landed 2.4 m away.
Apollo 4 (AS-501)Saturn V (ETR)
Launch vehicle and spacecraft development. Launched into earth orbit; S-IVB stage fired again and lifted CSM to apogee of 18,089 km. Service propulsion system powered command module to reentry speed of 11,136 m per sec.
Surveyor 7 (Surveyor G)Atlas-Centaur (ETR)
Scientific lunar landing probe. Soft-landed on moon Jan. 9. During first lunar day, transmitted 21,274 TV photos and operated 3 scientific experiments.
Apollo 5 (AS-204)Saturn IB (ETR)
Launch vehicle and spacecraft development. Apollo 5 was launched into earth orbit; lunar module, in first flight test, separated and fired its ascent and descent engines several times.
Apollo 6 (AS-502)Saturn V (ETR)
Launch vehicle and spacecraft development. Apollo 6 was launched into earth orbit. Three of primary objectives were met but mission was not a success. CM was recovered.
Luna 14 (USSR)Launch details not available
Study near-lunar space.
Reentry FScout (WS)
Suborbital 6,069-m-per-sec reentry test. Reentry F reentered at 6,020 m-per-sec.
RAM C-IIScout (WS)
Suborbital reentry probe. RAM C-II reentered at 27,400 km per hr, measured electrons and ions built up around spacecraft.
Apollo 7 (AS-205)Saturn IB (ETR)
First manned Apollo flight, manned by Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Donn F. Eisele, and R. Waiter Cunningham; confirmed operation of all major systems except lunar module. First live commercial TV from space. Earth-orbital mission landed during 164th revolution on October 22.
Soyuz2 (USSR)Launch details not available
Target for joint experiments with manned spacecraft.
Soyuz 3 (USSR)Launch details not available
Perfect rendezvous techniques in orbit and perform joint experiments with target vehicle. Automatic maneuvering brought spacecraft within 200 m of Soyuz 2 on first orbit. Cosmonaut Georgy T. Beregovoy later made manual maneuvers. No docking. Soft-landed October 30 after 64 orbits.
Apollo 8 (AS-503)Saturn V (ETR)
After 2 revolutions in earth orbit, Apollo 8's 3rd-stage was fired to attain escape velocity and insert spacecraft on lunar trajectory. Manned Spacecraft with Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, Jr., and William A. Anders, entered lunar orbit December 24, stayed for 10 orbits; transmitted live TV of lunar surface to earth; fired spacecraft motor to lunar escape speed December 25; reentered earth's atmosphere December 27. First manned Saturn V flight, first men to escape earth's gravity, first men to orbit moon.
Soyuz 4 (USSR)Launch details not available
Perform tests between 2 manned orbiting spacecraft. Cosmonaut Vladimir A. Shatalov switched to manual control and rendezvoused and docked with Soyuz 5 (launched January 15). Link-up covered on live TV. Landed safely January 17 with 3-man crew.
Soyuz 5 (USSR)Launch details not available
Launched 1 day after Soyuz 4 with cosmonauts Yevegeny V. Khrunov, Boris V. Volynov, and Aleksey S. Yeliseyev aboard. Rendezvoused with Soyuz 4 and docked during l8th orbit. Khrunov and Yeliseyev completed first manned transfer (to Soyuz 4) after 1-hour EVA. Soyuz 5, with Volynov aboard, landed safely January 18.
Apollo 9 (AS-504)Saturn V (KSC)
Earth-orbital manned Apollo flight by James A. McDivitt, David R. Scott, and Russell L. Schweickart. First manned testing of complete Apollo Spacecraft; first manned testing of LM, including rendezvous with CSM; 37-min. EVA by Schweickart; simulated LM landing and takeoff from lunar surface. Landed and recovered March 13.
Apollo 10 (AS-505)Saturn V (KSC)
Lunar-orbital manned Apollo flight by Thomas P. Stafford, Eugene A. Cernan, and John W. Young. After insertion into lunar orbit, crew transposed CSM and docked with LM. SPS fired 76 hrs into mission to insert spacecraft into lunar orbit; second firing circularized orbit at about 100-hrs. Stafford and Cernan entered LM, undocked from CSM and briefly flew station-keeping exercise. LM flew over Apollo 11 landing site 2, and simulated lunar landing by descending to within 14,300 meters of lunar surface. After 8-hr separation, LM docked with CSM, crew transferred, and LM ascent stage was jettisoned. After 61 hrs in lunar orbit, spacecraft was injected into transearth trajectory. One midcourse correction was required; CM landed in Pacific on May 26 and crew and spacecraft were safely recovered.
Luna 15 (USSR)Launch details not available
Make further scientific exploration of moon and near lunar space.
Apollo 11 (AS-506)Saturn V (KSC)
First manned lunar landing mission, crewed by astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Collins. After LM checkout in lunar orbit, Armstrong and Aldrin undocked LM from CSM and descended to land on Sea of Tranquillity at 4:18p.m. EDT July 20. Armstrong took man's first step on moon's surface at 10:56 p.m. and Aldrin followed at 11:15 p.m. Samples were collected, several experiments deployed, and LM lifted off from moon at 1:54 p.m. EDT July 21. Command module and crew landed in Pacific July 24.
Soyuz 6 (USSR)Launch details not available
Launched carrying cosmonauts Georgy S. Shonin and Valery Kubasov. Tested welding techniques in a depressurized spacecraft chamber. Hovered nearby as Soyuz 7 and Soyuz 8 made rendezvous maneuvers. Soft-landed in U.S.S.R. October 16.
Soyuz 7 (USSR)Launch details not available
Launched with cosmonauts Vladislav N. Volkov, Anatoly V. Filipchenko, and Viktor V. Gorbatko aboard. Performed rendezvous maneuvers with Soyuz 8, approaching within 460 m of spacecraft. Soft-landed in U.S.S.R. October 17.
Soyuz 8 (USSR)Launch details not available
Third Soviet manned spacecraft launched in 3 days, with cosmonaut crew of Vladimir A. Shatalov and Aleksey S. Yeliseyev. Rendezvoused with Soyuz 7 and together with Soyuz 6 tested complex system of controlling simultaneous group flight of 3 spacecraft and maneuvering to solve number of problems in developing piloted space system. Soft-landed safely in U.S.S.R. October 18.
Apollo 12 (AS-507)Saturn V (KSC)
Second manned lunar landing mission with crew, Charles Conrad, Jr., Richard F. Gordon, Jr., and Alan L. Bean. Experienced momentary power loss 36 secs after liftoff, after electrical potential discharge from clouds passed through space vehicle to ground. Power was quickly restored. Conrad and Bean undocked LM, descended. and touched down in Ocean of Storms November 19 at 1:55 a.m. EST, 180 meters from Surveyor 3 spacecraft. They performed two EVAs, obtained samples, erected experiments, and deployed ALSEP. Retrieved soil scoop from Surveyor 3. Total lunar stay time 31 hrs 31 min. LM liftoff from moon at 9:26 a.m. EST November 20. Command module and crew landed safely in Pacific November 24.
Apollo 13 (AS-508)Saturn V (KSC)
Third planned lunar landing mission was launched successfully with James A. Lovell, Jr., John L. Swigert, Jr., and Fred W. Haise, Jr., aboard. Mission was aborted 56 hrs into flight toward moon because of SM oxygen tank rupture. LM "Lifeboat" emergency plan was put into effect; LM descent propulsion system placed spacecraft in free-return trajectory around moon. Command module and crew safely landed in Pacific April 17.
Soyuz 9 (USSR)Launch details not available
Soyuz 9 with crew of cosmonauts Andrian G. Nikolayev and Vitaly I. Sevastyanov set new world endurance record for longest manned space flight - 17 days 16 hrs 59 min. Soft-landed in U.S.S.R. on June 19.
Luna 16 (USSR)Launch details not available
First unmanned spacecraft to land on moon and return to earth with lunar samples. Analyses of Sea of Fertility samples indicated same relative abundance of major elements as Apollo 12 Ocean of Storms samples. Returned to earth September 24.
RAM C-IIIScout (WS)
Suborbital reentry probe. Reentered at 7.6 km per sec to compare effectiveness of liquid electrophilic (Freon) with water in alleviating radio blackout during reentry.
Luna 17 (USSR)Launch details not available
Soft-landed in moon's Sea of Rains November 16 and released Lunokhod 1, self-propelled vehicle resembling large potbellied tub, about size of small auto, with 8 spoked wheels, powered by solar energy and batteries. Automatic lunar explorer - equipped with scientific apparatus, instruments, control system, radio, and TV - operated during lunar days and hibernated during lunar nights. By May 22, 1971, it had logged 8,458 m and explored 400,000 sq m.
Apollo 14 (AS-509)Saturn V (KSC)
Third successful manned lunar landing mission. Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Stuart A. Roosa, and Edgar D. Mitchell composed crew. Shepard and Mitchell landed LM at Fra Mauro site February 5. Conducted two EVAs, deployed ALSEP, and used mobile equipment transporter to obtain 43 kg of lunar samples. LM lifted off February 6 and command module and crew splashed down in Pacific February 9.
Salyut 1 (USSR)Launch details not available
World's first manned space laboratory. Placed in orbit as working area for 2 Soviet cosmonaut crews. Reentered October 11 after nearly 6 months in orbit.
Soyuz 10 (USSR)Launch details not available
Cosmonauts Vladimir A. Shatalov, Aleksey S. Yeliseyev, and Nikolay N. Rukavishnikov docked April 24 with unmanned Salyut 1 for 5 1/2 hours. No crew transfer. After separation, circled Salyut 1 for 1 hr; taking pictures. Safely landed April 25 in U.S.S.R.
Soyuz 11 (USSR)Launch details not available
Spacecraft carried cosmonauts Georgy T. Dobrovolsky, Vladislav N. Volkov, and Viktor I. Patsayev docked with unmanned Salyut 1 June 7. Crew transferred and Salyut-Soyuz station became first manned orbiting laboratory in space. Crew conducted experiments, made astronomical observations, transmitted live TV, reared tadpoles, grew vegetables and took photos. Crew transferred to Soyuz 10 and undocked June 29. At 1:35 a.m. June 30 Moscow time, spacecraft's braking engine fired. At end of firing, communication with crew ceased. After normal automatic landing rescue helicopter team found Soyuz 11 crew dead in spacecraft. Crew had died when accidental triggering of exhaust valve decompressed work compartment.
Apollo 15 (AS-510)Saturn V (KSC)
Launched with crew of David R. Scott, Alfred M. Worden, and James B. Irwin. Scott and Irwin landed LM on lunar surface in Hadley-Apennine region July 30. Performed 3 EVAs, deployed ALSEP, obtained 77 kg of lunar samples, took photos, explored Hadley Rille, and drove lunar roving vehicle first time. LM lifted off from moon Aug.2. After LM-CSM docking, subsatellite was launched into lunar orbit from CSM. CM landed in Pacific August 7.
Apollo 15 SubsatelliteFirst subsatellite launched from lunar orbit was spring-ejected from service module's scientific instrument module bay and began scientific studies of moon.
Luna 18 (USSR)Launch details not available
Unmanned lunar probe entered lunar orbit September 7. Made 54 revolutions of moon before landing attempted near Sea of Fertility. Communication ceased upon landing. Believed to have crash-landed.
Luna 19 (USSR)Launch details not available
Unmanned lunar probe entered lunar orbit October 3. All systems operating normally; conducted geophysical research of moon's gravitational field and relayed photos of lunar surface.
Luna 20 (USSR)Launch details not available
Unmanned spacecraft entered lunar orbit February 18 and landed between moon's Sea of Fertility and Sea of Crises February 21. Earth-operated drilling rig penetrated lunar surface to 35 cm; samples were obtained and transferred to container in return capsule and hermetically sealed. Luna 20 remained on moon 21 hrs 39 min, lifted off February 22, and returned to earth February 24. Total time of mission, 11 days and 16 hrs. Analysis of lunar samples indicated area consisted primarily of anorthosite. Findings contrasted with Luna 16 Sea of Fertility samples, which were primarily basaltic rock.
Apollo 16 (AS-511)Saturn V (KSC)
Sixth manned lunar landing mission was launched with John W. Young, Thomas L. Mattingly II, and Charles M. Duke, Jr., as crew. Spacecraft entered lunar orbit April 19. LM undocked and landed in the Descartes region of moon at 9:23 p.m. EST the following day. During lunar stay time of 71 hrs 14 min, Young and Duke completed EVA periods; drove lunar roving vehicle (LRV); deployed ALSEP (accidentally breaking heat flow experiment); explored Survey Ridge, Stone Mountain, South Ray Crater, North Ray Crater, and 2 other sites. Live color TV was transmitted during all EVAs. Ascent stage of the LM lifted off from moon April 24 with 96.6 kg of samples and with live TV coverage from LRV camera.
After docking with CSM and crew and cargo transfer, LM ascent stage was jettisoned, began tumbling, and went into lunar orbit rather than impacting lunar surface. Scientific subsatellite was launched into lunar orbit and CSM was inserted into trajectory for earth. During return trip Mattingly performed 1-hr 24-min EVA to retrieve film from SM camera. CM landed in Pacific Apr. 27 and was recovered by U.S.S. Ticonderoga.
Apollo 16 SubsatelliteScientific subsatellite was spring-ejected from the SM's scientific instrument module bay on April 24. Shaping burn to optimize its orbit was not performed, because of CSM engine problems. Subsatellite's orbit decreased and spacecraft impacted moon May 29 after 425 revolutions.
Apollo 17 (AS-512)Saturn V (KSC)
Final Apollo mission was launched with crew of Eugene A. Cernan, Ronald E. Evans, and Harrison H. Schmitt. CSM/LM entered lunar orbit December 10. LM undocked December 11 and touched down in Taurus-Littrow area of moon at 2:55 p.m. During stay time of 74 hrs 59 min 39 secs, Cernan and Schmitt performed 3 EVAs. They drove lunar roving vehicle to Steno Crater; deployed ALSEP; explored additional stations. Live color TV was transmitted during all 3 EVAs and liftoff from moon December 14.
During stay astronauts collected 115 kg of lunar samples and drove LRV about 35 km. After CSM/LM docking and crew and cargo transfer, ascent stage was jettisoned to impact moon. Impact was recorded by four Apollo 17 geophones and Apollo 12, 14, 15, and 16 ALSEPs. During coast to earth, Evans performed 1-hr 7-min EVA to retrieve film from SM camera. Spacecraft splashed down in mid-Pacific at 2:25 p.m. EST Dec. 19 and was recovered by U.S.S. Ticonderoga. Splashdown ended Apollo manned space flight program.