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In this Apollo 17 onboard photo, Mission commander Eugene A. Cernan adjusts the U.S. Flag deployed ~ above the Moon throughout the December 1972 lunar landing mission, which significant the last of NASA"s Apollo Moon landings.(Image credit: NASA)
The Apollo regime was the surname of NASA"s task to land people on the moon in the 1960s and early 1970s. V the success that Apollo 11 in 1969, which put astronauts ~ above the lunar surface for the very first time in history, the U.S. Had the ability to declare success in the race versus the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

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Beginning in 1961, the Apollo program included 11 total priziv.orgflights; four of those experiment equipment, and six of the other seven flights landed human being on the moon, according to NASA. The an initial crewed flight arisen in 1968, and also the final mission developed in 1972.

By the time the Apollo missions involved an end, 12 astronauts had actually walked on or moved over the moon"s surface, conducting clinical research and also snagging rocks to bring back to researcher on Earth. This samples still being used to make brand-new discoveries an ext than 50 year after they were collected.

Related: The Moon ~ above Earth: Where room NASA"s Apollo lunar rocks now?

The Apollo program prospered out that the an are race, a challenge that started in 1957 between the capitalist U.S. And also communist Soviet Union over superiority in V the Russians ahead throughout the start of the race, U.S. President john F. Kennedy tested the newly produced NASA to land males on the moon and return lock safely in his famed 1961 "Moon Speech" at Rice university in Texas.

Preparation for Apollo come from NASA"s Mercury program, i m sorry ran from 1959 to 1963 and also sent one-person crews into orbit to check out if humans can survive and also work in That was complied with by the agency"s Gemini program, i m sorry ran from 1962 come 1966 and included two-person goals that tested many maneuvers and components vital for landing on the moon.

The Apollo program compelled a monumental effort, employing roughly half a million civilization in the unified States, follow to priziv.orgFlight Insider. The program cost a total of $28 billion over its lifetime, or roughly $283 billion when changed for inflation, according to the Planetary Society.

All Apollo rockets introduced from the Kennedy an are Center close to Orlando, Florida. (Pictured here is a Saturn V launched throughout an uncrewed mission, recognized as Apollo 4.) (Image credit: NASA)

NASA developed several novel vehicles specifically for Apollo, most famously the Saturn V rocket. Among the biggest launch vehicles ever before flown, the Saturn V was as tall as a 36-story building and consisted of three stages.

Atop the rocket sat the Apollo command module, a three-person capsule that hosted the astronauts traveling to the moon and back. The within of the ship had around as lot room together the internal of a car, making for reasonably cramped traveling problems during the around week-long lunar voyages.

Finally, there to be the lunar module, which carried two astronauts down to the lunar surface and also landed top top spindly legs. As soon as surface excursions were over and also astronauts had actually climbed ago inside, the lunar module"s top portion fired that is engine and ascended to the command module because that the return to Earth.

Related: NASA"s 17 Apollo moon missions in pictures

The an initial Apollo tests took ar using the Saturn i rocket, a smaller version that the Saturn V that was supplied to test out the engines and also necessary hardware for the program. The very first astronauts were set to paris on Apollo 1, but during a start rehearsal a wiring spark generated a fire the blazed throughout the command module, which caused the tragic deaths of the three-person crew.

The fail was a transforming point because that the program, resulting in considerable redesigns come the command module. That was more than 18 months before NASA tried to send an ext humans into again. During that time, the firm launched 6 uncrewed goals to inspection the power of the Saturn V rocket.

The very first successful crewed launch during Apollo 7 marked the following milestone in the program’s history. Despite astronauts continued to be in earth orbit for its duration, the mission validated the safety and security of sending world to using the Saturn V rocket.

Apollo 8 was the an initial mission come send astronauts all the way to the moon, though the crew did no land ~ above its surface, just circled it. During the event, which emerged on Christmas eve in 1968, the crew take it turns analysis from the book of Genesis and snapped the iconic photo of ours planet recognized as "Earthrise," i m sorry is attributed with helping accumulate the environmental movement.

The culmination of Apollo was the Apollo 11 mission, once the an initial astronauts collection foot ~ above the moon. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and also Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface on July 20, 1969, while Michael Collins flew the command module Columbia end it. Armstrong uttered his iconic words, "that"s one little step for man, one huge leap because that mankind," as he stepped ~ above the moon. The astronauts invested 21 hours and also 36 minute on the surface prior to returning to the command module.

Related: Moon-landing hoax still lives on, 50 years after Apollo 11. However why?

Apollo 13 is remembered as the trip that was saved from near disaster through difficult work and also clever engineering workarounds. Despite the crew never arrived on the moon, their travails were dramatized in the award-winning movie "Apollo 13" around their misadventure.

By the early on 1970s, the high price the the Apollo program and also waning windy interest led to its cancellation. Chairman Richard Nixon and legislators in Congress decided to redirect Apollo"s capital elsewhere, prefer the Vietnam War. Apollo 17 to be the final mission the the program, and the an initial to encompass a scientist, geologist Harrison "Jack" Smith, who helped identify vital rock specimens to bring home.

NASA is currently planning that is Artemis program, which is plan to carry people — consisting of female crew members — come the moon for the very first time due to the fact that the finish of Apollo. Artemis intends to have its first landing in 2024 and build toward a sustained person presence on the moon through 2028.

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin stands on the lunar surface during the an initial moon landing in 1969. (Image credit: Apollo 11/NASA)

Here"s a brief summary of each Apollo mission:

Apollo 1 — Jan. 27, 1967. Astronauts Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Edward White and also Roger B. Chaffee had all to be veterans that NASA"s Mercury or Gemini programs. A disaster including the extremely oxygenated air inside your capsule and a stray spark, along with the vessel"s hatch being daunting to open up from the inside, caused the death of all three men.

Apollo 4 — Nov. 9, 1967. Uncrewed first launch the NASA"s huge Saturn V rocket.

Apollo 5 — Jan. 22, 1968. Uncrewed mission that carried the lunar module to for the very first time.

Apollo 6 — April 4, 1968. Last uncrewed mission the the Apollo program. The launch was designed to check the capability of the Saturn V to inject astronauts into a lunar trajectory. Severe vibrations the the rocket during launch resulted in the mission come be only partially successful.

Apollo 7 — Oct. 11, 1968. Astronauts Walter M. Schirra, Donn Eisele and also R. Walter Cunningham were the first Apollo crew to enter Fairly than head toward the moon, the astronauts invested 11 work in earth orbit testing various contents of their command module.

Apollo 8 — Dec. 21, 1968. Astronauts candid Borman, James Lovell and also William Anders ended up being the first humans to leaving low-Earth orbit, heading on a trajectory that took them roughly the moon and ago to our planet. Your historic flight happened top top an increased schedule. NASA officials make a last-minute decision to head towards the moon after only a single crewed mission roughly the planet in bespeak to easily demonstrate technological superiority end the Soviet Russians.

The blue marble view of earth was very first captured through astronauts throughout NASA"s Apollo 8 mission ~ above Dec. 24, 1968. (Image credit: NASA)

Apollo 9 — march 3, 1969. Astronauts James McDivitt, David Scott and also Russell "Rusty" Schweickart continued to be in planet orbit throughout their 10-day mission, trial and error out measures to dock their command module through the lunar module that would certainly be vital for landing ~ above the moon.

Apollo 10 — might 18, 1969. Astronauts thomas Stafford, man Young and Eugene Cernan got very close to landing on the moon. Their mission connected flying to our herbal satellite and also bringing the lunar module come within about 50,000 feet (15,000 meters) of the moon"s surface, a mission that served as a dress rehearsal because that Apollo 11.

Apollo 11 — July 16, 1969. Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins walk what no humans had ever before done before: reach the moon and have two civilization walk end its surface. Armstrong and Aldrin left historic boot-prints the still remain in the lunar regolith.

Apollo 12 — Nov. 14, 1969. Astronauts Charles "Pete" Conrad, Alan Bean and also Richard Gordon made it through two lightning strikes during liftoff and also reached a various spot top top the moon than Apollo 11, poignant down in a place referred to as the ocean of Storms. Moonwalkers Conrad and also Bean checked out NASA"s Surveyor 3 probe, which had actually landed on the moon two years prior.

Apollo 13 — April 11, 1970. Astronauts James Lovell, Fred Haise and John Swigert suffered after one oxygen tank explosive 56 hrs into their trip to the moon, crippling the mission. The crew was forced to scramble right into the lunar module and use it together a lifeboat, circling the moon without landing and then return safely to Earth. This to be Lovell"s second time around the moon, the very first being on Apollo 8.

The crew the Apollo 13 board the USS Iwo Jima after restore from the Command Module. (Image credit: NASA)

Apollo 14 — Jan. 31, 1971. Astronauts Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell and Stuart Roosa are best remembered for having hit golf balls ~ above the moon. Shepard to be the very first American in an are but he and also his co-pilots collectively had few of the least flight experience of every the Apollo astronauts, top them to be lovingly dubbed "the 3 rookies."

Apollo 15 — July 26, 1971. Astronauts David Scott, James Irwin and Alfred Worden were part of the mission that carried the lunar roving vehicle, regularly known as the moon buggy, because that the an initial time to the moon. Their mission emphasized geological work, and the crew was trained come identify different rocks and also formations the would assist scientists on earth piece with each other the background of our planet and also its herbal satellite.

Apollo 16 — April 16, 1972. Astronauts man Young, Charles M. Duke and Thomas Mattingly landed at the Descartes highlands and also searched because that volcanic rocks throughout their mission. Confounding scientists" expectations, lock found couple of volcanic samples, indicating that the area had actually not been formed through volcanic action.

Apollo 17 — Dec. 7, 1972. Astronauts Eugene Cernan, Harrison Schmitt and Ronald Evans became the final people yet to ever before reach the moon. Your mission continued the emphasis on science, v the astronauts security the many time top top the lunar surface and also picking increase the biggest samples of any kind of in the program.

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