Chariots for Apollo: A History of Manned Lunar Spacecraft|
Searching for Order
For the most part, 1965 was a good year for manned space flight. Gemini astronauts flew five missions, all successful, one lasting two weeks and including the world's first rendezvous in space. A series of unmanned flights banished many old specters of doom: three Pegasus satellites proved micrometeoroids were not as hazardous in near-earth space as some had prophesied, and two Ranger spacecraft, before crashing on the moon, sent back pictures that gave some assurance that Surveyor and Apollo could safely fly to and land on the lunar surface. Apollo's eventual success seemed certain, but first all its far-flung pieces had to be brought together in some semblance of order. For Apollo, therefore, 1965 was a trying, yet fruitful, year.