The Apollo program was the name of the program carried out by NASA with the aim of landing a man on the moon. The idea for the program was conceived in 1960 and began in 1961 after President Kennedy agreed to support the program. On May 25, 1961, he announced that the United States would attempt to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade. The program cost $24 billion and employed 400,000 people. On July 20, 1969 the program reached the goal when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon. The program ended in 1972 after a number of successful moon landings. Continue, reading to find out more about the number of Apollo missions.
How many Apollo missions were there?
The only unmanned Apollo missions that were officially known as “Apollo” were Apollo 4, Apollo 5 and Apollo 6. However, there were many other unmanned missions and test flights conducted in the early stages of the program.
There were a total of 12 manned Apollo missions that began with Apollo 1. Unfortunately this mission did not go to plan and all 3 astronauts were killed during a test launch fire in 1967. This was a major setback to the program and required major redesign work. The next manned mission was Apollo 7, which was a successful mission that provided the first live broadcast from a US space flight. Apollo 8 was the first manned lunar flight and marked the first time that humans had seen the dark side of the moon. Apollo 9 and 10 both made important tests and the later mission included a partial descent to the moon. Apollo 11 made the first successful moon landing and Apollo 12 followed later the same year. Apollo 13 was an unsuccessful moon landing due to oxygen tank explosion on route to the moon (all the astronauts survived). Apollo 14-17 were all successful missions.
Did you know?
Although not officially designated Apollo 1 because the mission never took place, the widows of the astronauts asked that the name would be reserved for the failed mission. The request was granted and the official name was recorded as Apollo 1, “first manned Apollo Saturn flight – failed on ground test.”