List of Apollo missions

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Launch of AS-506 space vehicle on July 16, 1969, at pad 39A for mission Apollo 11 to land the first men on the Moon

The Apollo program was a United States human spaceflight program carried out from 1961 to 1972 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which landed the first astronauts on the Moon.[1] The program used the Saturn IB and Saturn V launch vehicles to lift the Command/Service Module (CSM) and Lunar Module (LM) spacecraft into space, and the Little Joe II rocket to test a launch escape system which was expected to carry the astronauts to safety in the event of a Saturn failure.[2] Uncrewed test flights beginning in 1966 demonstrated the safety of the launch vehicles and spacecraft to carry astronauts, and four crewed flights beginning in October 1968 demonstrated the ability of the spacecraft to carry out a lunar landing mission.

Apollo achieved the first crewed lunar landing on the Apollo 11 mission, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed their LM Eagle in the Sea of Tranquility and walked on the lunar surface, while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit in the CSM Columbia, and all three landed safely on Earth on July 24, 1969.[3] Five subsequent missions landed astronauts on various lunar sites, ending in December 1972 with twelve men having walked on the Moon[4] and 842 pounds (382 kg) of lunar rocks and soil samples returned to Earth, greatly contributing to the understanding of the Moon's composition and geological history.[5]

Two Apollo missions were failures: a 1967 cabin fire killed the entire Apollo 1 crew during a ground test in preparation for what was to be the first crewed flight;[6] and the third landing attempt on Apollo 13 was aborted by an oxygen tank explosion en route to the Moon, which disabled the CSM Odyssey's electrical power and life support systems, and made the propulsion system unsafe to use. The crew circled the Moon and were returned safely to Earth using the LM Aquarius as a "lifeboat" for these functions.[7]

Uncrewed test flights

From 1961 through 1967, Saturn launch vehicles and Apollo spacecraft components were tested in uncrewed flights.

Saturn I

The Saturn I launch vehicle was originally planned to carry crewed Command Module flights into low Earth orbit, but its 20,000-pound (9,100 kg) payload capacity limit could not lift even a partially fueled Service Module, which would have required building a lightweight retrorocket module for deorbit. These plans were eventually scrapped, in favor of using the uprated Saturn IB to launch the Command Module with a half-fueled Service Module for crewed Earth orbit tests. This limited Saturn I flights to Saturn launch vehicle development, CSM boilerplate testing, and three micrometeroid satellite launches in support of Apollo.

MissionLV Serial NoLaunchRemarksRefs
SA-1Saturn I


October 27, 1961

15:06 GMTLaunch Complex 34

Test of Saturn I first stage S-I; dummy upper stages carried water[1][8][9]
SA-2Saturn I


April 25, 1962

14:00 GMTLaunch Complex 34

Dummy upper stages released 22,900 U.S. gallons (86,685 L) of water into upper atmosphere, to investigate effects on radio transmission and changes in local weather conditions[1][8][9]
SA-3Saturn I


November 16, 1962

17:45 GMTLaunch Complex 34

Repeat of SA-2 mission[1][8][9]
SA-4Saturn I


March 28, 1963

20:11 GMTLaunch Complex 34

Test premature shutdown of a single S-I engine[1][8][9]
SA-5Saturn I


January 29, 1964

16:25 GMTLaunch Complex 37B

First flight of live second stage. First orbital flight.[1][8][9]
AS-101Saturn I


May 28, 1964

17:07 GMTLaunch Complex 37B

Tested first boilerplate Apollo command and service module (CSM) for structural integrity[1][9]
AS-102Saturn I


September 18, 1964

17:22 GMTLaunch Complex 37B

Carried first programmable-in-flight computer on the Saturn I vehicle; last launch vehicle development flight[1][9]
AS-103Saturn I


February 16, 1965

14:37 GMTLaunch Complex 37B

Carried first Pegasus micrometeorite satellite (Pegasus A) in addition to boilerplate CSM[1][9]
AS-104Saturn I


May 25, 1965

07:35 GMTLaunch Complex 37B

Carried Pegasus B and boilerplate CSM[1][9]
AS-105Saturn I


July 30, 1965

13:00 GMTLaunch Complex 37B

Carried Pegasus C and boilerplate CSM[1][9]

There was some incongruity in the numbering and naming of the first three uncrewed Apollo-Saturn (AS), or Apollo flights. This is due to AS-204 being renamed to Apollo 1 posthumously. This crewed flight was to have followed the first three uncrewed flights. After the fire which killed the AS-204 crew on the pad during a test and training exercise, uncrewed Apollo flights resumed to test the Saturn V launch vehicle and the Lunar Module; these were designated Apollo 4, 5 and 6. The first crewed Apollo mission was thus Apollo 7. Simple "Apollo" numbers were never assigned to the first three uncrewed flights, although renaming AS-201, AS-202, and AS-203 as Apollo 1-A, Apollo 2 and Apollo 3, had been briefly considered.[6]

Saturn IB

The Saturn I was converted to the Uprated Saturn I, eventually designated Saturn IB, by replacing the S-IV second stage with the S-IVB, which would also be used as the third stage of the Saturn V with the addition of on-orbit restart capability. This increased the payload capacity to 46,000 pounds (21,000 kg), enough to orbit a Command Module with a half-fueled Service Module, and more than enough to orbit a fully fueled Lunar Module.

Two suborbital tests of the Apollo Block I Command and Service Module, one S-IVB development test, and one Lunar Module test were conducted. Success of the LM test led to cancellation of a planned second uncrewed flight.

MissionLV Serial NoLaunchRemarksRefs
AS-201Saturn IB


February 26, 1966

16:12 GMTLaunch Complex 34

First test of Saturn IB and Block I Apollo CSM. Suborbital flight landed the CM in the Atlantic Ocean, demonstrating the heat shield. Propellant pressure loss caused premature SM engine shutdown.[1][6][8][9]
AS-203Saturn IB


July 5, 1966

14:53 GMTLaunch Complex 37B

No Apollo spacecraft; instrumentation and video observed on-orbit behavior of S-IVB liquid hydrogen fuel in support of restart capability design for Saturn V. Deemed a success, despite inadvertent destruction of S-IVB during final overpressure tank rupture test.[1][6][8][9]
AS-202Saturn IB


August 25, 1966

17:15 GMTLaunch Complex 34

Suborbital flight to Pacific Ocean splashdown. CM heat shield tested to higher speed; successful SM firings.[1][6][8][9]
Apollo 5Saturn IB


January 22, 1968

22:48 GMTLaunch Complex 37B

First flight of LM successfully fired descent engine and ascent engines; demonstrated "fire-in-the-hole" landing abort test.[1][8][9]

Launch escape system tests

From August 1963 to January 1966, a number of tests were conducted at the White Sands Missile Range for development of the launch escape system (LES). These included simulated "pad aborts", which might occur while the Apollo-Saturn space vehicle was still on the launch pad, and flights on the Little Joe II rocket to simulate Mode I aborts which might occur while the vehicle was in the air.[1]

Pad Abort Test number 2. A capsule is suspended underneath a rocket section with three exhaust plumes
Pad Abort Test 2 with boilerplate command module
MissionLaunch vehicleLaunchRemarksRefs
QTVLittle Joe IIAugust 28, 1963

13:05 GMT Launch Complex 36

Little Joe II qualification test[1][9]
Pad Abort Test 1NoneNovember 7, 1963

16:00 GMT Launch Complex 36

Launch escape system (LES) abort test from launch pad[1][9]
A-001Little Joe IIMay 13, 1964

13:00 GMT Launch Complex 36

LES transonic test, success except for parachute failure[1][9]
A-002Little Joe IIDecember 8, 1964

15:00 GMT Launch Complex 36

LES maximum altitude, Max-Q abort test[1][9]
A-003Little Joe IIMay 19, 1965

13:01 GMT Launch Complex 36

LES canard maximum altitude abort test[1][9]
Pad Abort Test 2NoneJune 29, 1965

13:00 GMT Launch Complex 36

LES pad abort test of near Block-I CM[1][9]
A-004Little Joe IIJanuary 20, 1966

15:17 GMT Launch Complex 36

LES test of maximum weight, tumbling Block-I CM[1][9]

Saturn V

Prior to George Mueller's tenure as NASA's Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight starting in 1963, it was assumed that 20 Saturn Vs, with at least 10 unpiloted test flights, would be required to achieve a crewed Moon landing, using the conservative one-stage-at-a-time testing philosophy used for the Saturn I. But Mueller introduced the "all-up" testing philosophy of using three live stages plus the Apollo spacecraft on every test flight. This achieved development of the Saturn V with far fewer uncrewed tests, and facilitated achieving the Moon landing by the 1969 goal. The size of the Saturn V production lot was reduced from 20 to 15 units.[10]

Three uncrewed test flights were planned to human-rate the super heavy-lift Saturn V which would take crewed Apollo flights to the Moon. Success of the first flight and qualified success of the second led to the decision to cancel the third uncrewed test.

MissionLV Serial NoLaunchRemarksRefs
Apollo 4Saturn V


November 9, 1967

12:00 GMTLaunch Complex 39A

First flight of Saturn V rocket; successfully demonstrated S-IVB third stage restart and tested CM heat shield at lunar re-entry speeds.[1][8][9]
Apollo 6Saturn V


April 4, 1968

16:12 GMTLaunch Complex 39A

Second flight of Saturn V; severe "pogo" vibrations caused two second-stage engines to shut down prematurely, and third stage restart to fail. SM engine used to achieve high-speed re-entry, though less than Apollo 4. NASA identified vibration fixes and declared Saturn V man-rated.[1][8][9]

Alphabetical mission types

The Apollo program required sequential testing of several major mission elements in the runup to a crewed lunar landing. An alphabetical list of major mission types was proposed by Owen Maynard in September 1967.[11][12] Two "A-type" missions performed uncrewed tests of the CSM and the Saturn V, and one B-type mission performed an uncrewed test of the LM. The C-type mission, the first crewed flight of the CSM in Earth orbit, was performed by Apollo 7.

The list was revised upon George Low's proposal to commit a mission to lunar orbit ahead of schedule, an idea influenced by the status of the CSM as a proven craft and production delays of the LM.[13] Apollo 8 was reclassified from its original assignment as a D-type mission, a test of the complete CSM/LM spacecraft in Earth orbit, to a "C-prime" mission which would fly humans to the Moon. Once complete, it obviated the need for the E-type objective of a medium Earth orbital test. The D-type mission was instead performed by Apollo 9; the F-type mission, Apollo 10, flew the CSM/LM spacecraft to the Moon for final testing, without landing. The G-type mission, Apollo 11, performed the first lunar landing, the central goal of the program.

The initial A–G[11][14] list was expanded to include later mission types:[1]: 466  H-type missions—Apollo 12, 13 (planned) and 14—would perform precision landings, and J-type missions—Apollo 15, 16 and 17—would perform thorough scientific investigation. The I-type objective, which called for extended lunar orbital surveillance of the Moon,[15] was incorporated into the J-type missions.[1]: 466 

Alphabetical mission types of the Apollo Program
Mission typeMissionsDescription
A"Unmanned flights of launch vehicles and the CSM, to demonstrate the adequacy of their design and to certify safety for men."[14][a]
BApollo 5"Unmanned flight of the LM, to demonstrate the adequacy of its design and to certify its safety for men."[14]
CApollo 7"Manned flight to demonstrate performance and operability of the CSM."[14]
C′Apollo 8"Command and service module manned flight demonstration in lunar orbit."[1]: 466 
DApollo 9"Manned flight of the complete lunar landing mission vehicle in low Earth orbit to demonstrate operability of all the equipment and (insofar as could be done in Earth orbit) to perform the maneuvers involved in the ultimate mission."[14]
E"Manned flight of the complete lunar landing mission vehicle in Earth orbit to great distances from Earth."[14]
FApollo 10"A complete mission except for the final descent to and landing on the lunar surface."[14]
GApollo 11"The initial lunar landing mission."[14]
H"Precision manned lunar landing demonstration and systematic lunar exploration."[1]: 466 
I"Reserved for lunar survey missions." (Not used)[15]
J"Extensive scientific investigation of Moon on lunar surface and from lunar orbit."[1]: 466 

Crewed missions

The Block I CSM spacecraft did not have capability to fly with the LM, and the three crew positions were designated Command Pilot, Senior Pilot, and Pilot, based on U.S. Air Force pilot ratings. The Block II spacecraft was designed to fly with the Lunar Module, so the corresponding crew positions were designated Commander, Command Module Pilot, and Lunar Module Pilot regardless of whether a Lunar Module was present or not on any mission.[16]

Seven of the missions involved extravehicular activity (EVA), spacewalks or moonwalks outside of the spacecraft. These were of three types: testing the lunar EVA suit in Earth orbit (Apollo 9), exploring the lunar surface, and retrieving film canisters from the Scientific Instrument Module stored in the Service Module.[17]

MissionPatchLaunch dateCrewLaunch vehicle[b]CM nameLM nameDurationRemarksRefs
Apollo 1
Apollo 1 mission patch
February 21, 1967

Launch Complex 34 (planned)

Gus Grissom
Ed White
Roger B. Chaffee
Saturn IB
Never launched. On January 27, 1967, a fire in the command module during a launch pad test killed the crew and destroyed the module. This flight was originally designated AS-204, and was renamed to Apollo 1 at the request of the crew's families.[1][8][18][19][20]
Apollo 7
Apollo 7 mission patch
October 11, 1968

15:02 GMTLaunch Complex 34

Wally Schirra
Donn F. Eisele
Walter Cunningham
Saturn IB
10 d 20 h 09 m 03 sTest flight of Block II CSM in Earth orbit; included first live TV broadcast from American spacecraft.[1][8][21][22][23]
Apollo 8
Apollo 8 mission patch
December 21, 1968

12:51 GMTLaunch Complex 39A

Frank Borman
James Lovell
William Anders
Saturn V


06 d 03 h 00 m 42 sFirst circumlunar flight of CSM, had ten lunar orbits in 20 hours. First crewed flight of Saturn V.[1][8][24][25][26]
Apollo 9
Apollo 9 mission patch
March 3, 1969

16:00 GMTLaunch Complex 39A

James McDivitt
David Scott
Rusty Schweickart
Saturn V


GumdropSpider10 d 01 h 00 m 54 sFirst crewed flight test of Lunar Module; tested propulsion, rendezvous and docking in Earth orbit. EVA tested the Portable Life Support System (PLSS).[1][8][27][28][29]
Apollo 10
Apollo 10 mission patchogo
May 18, 1969

16:49 GMTLaunch Complex 39B

Thomas P. Stafford
John Young
Eugene Cernan
Saturn V


Charlie BrownSnoopy08 d 00 h 03 m 23 s"Dress rehearsal" for lunar landing. The LM descended to 8.4 nautical miles (15.6 km) from lunar surface.[1][8][30][31][32]
Apollo 11
Apollo 11 pission patch
July 16, 1969

13:32 GMTLaunch Complex 39A

Neil Armstrong
Michael Collins
Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin
Saturn V


ColumbiaEagle08 d 03 h 18 m 35 sFirst crewed landing in Sea of Tranquility (Tranquility Base) including a single surface EVA.[1][8][3][33]
Apollo 12
Apollo 12 mission patch
November 14, 1969

16:22 GMTLaunch Complex 39A

Charles (Pete) Conrad
Richard F. Gordon Jr.
Alan Bean
Saturn V


Yankee ClipperIntrepid10 d 04 h 36 m 24 sFirst precise Moon landing in Ocean of Storms near Surveyor 3 probe. Two surface EVAs and returned parts of Surveyor to Earth.[1][8][34][35]
Apollo 13
Apollo 13 mission patch
April 11, 1970

19:13 GMTLaunch Complex 39A

James Lovell
Jack Swigert
Fred Haise
Saturn V


OdysseyAquarius05 d 22 h 54 m 41 sIntended Fra Mauro landing cancelled after SM oxygen tank exploded. LM used as "lifeboat" for safe crew return. First S-IVB stage impact on Moon for active seismic test.[1][8][36][7]
Apollo 14
Apollo 14 mission patch
January 31, 1971

21:03 GMTLaunch Complex 39A

Alan Shepard
Stuart Roosa
Edgar Mitchell
Saturn V


Kitty HawkAntares09 d 00 h 01 m 58 sSuccessful Fra Mauro landing. Broadcast first color TV images from lunar surface (other than a few moments at the start of the Apollo 12 moonwalk.) Conducted first materials science experiments in space. Conducted two surface EVAs.[1][8][37][38]
Apollo 15
Apollo 15 misison patch
July 26, 1971

13:34 GMTLaunch Complex 39A

David Scott
Alfred Worden
James Irwin
Saturn V


EndeavourFalcon12 d 07 h 11 m 53 sLanding at Hadley–Apennine. First extended LM, three-day lunar stay. First use of Lunar Roving Vehicle. Conducted three lunar surface EVAs and one deep space EVA on return to retrieve orbital camera film from SM.[1][8][39][40]
Apollo 16
Apollo 16 mission patch
April 16, 1972

17:54 GMTLaunch Complex 39A

John Young
Ken Mattingly
Charles Duke
Saturn V


CasperOrion11 d 01 h 51 m 05 sLanding in Descartes Highlands. Conducted three lunar EVAs and one deep space EVA.[1][8][41][42]
Apollo 17
Apollo 17 mission patch
December 7, 1972

05:33 GMTLaunch Complex 39A

Eugene Cernan
Ronald Evans
Harrison Schmitt
Saturn V


AmericaChallenger12d 13 h 51 m 59 sLanding at Taurus–Littrow. First professional geologist on the Moon. First night launch. Conducted three lunar EVAs and one deep space EVA.[1][8][9][43]

Canceled missions

Several planned missions of the Apollo program were canceled for a variety of reasons, including changes in technical direction, the Apollo 1 fire, hardware delays, and budget limitations.

  • Before the Apollo 1 fire, two crewed Block I spacecraft missions were planned, but then it was decided that the second one would give no more information about the spacecraft performance not obtained from the first, and could not carry out extra activities such as EVA, and was canceled.
  • The Saturn V's all-up testing strategy and relatively good success rate accomplished the first Moon landing on the sixth flight, leaving ten available for Moon landings through Apollo 20,[44] but waning public interest in the program led to decreased Congressional funding, forcing NASA to economize. First, Apollo 20 was cut to make a Saturn V available to launch the Skylab space station whole instead of building it on-orbit using multiple Saturn IB launches.[45] Eight months later, Apollo 18 and 19 were also cut to further economize, and because of fears of increased chance of failure with a large number of lunar flights.[46][47]
As plannedAs flown
MissionTypeDateLanding siteCDRCMPLMPMissionLaunch dateLanding siteCDRCMPLMP
Apollo 12HNovember 1969Ocean of StormsPete ConradRichard F. Gordon Jr.Alan BeanApollo 12November 14, 1969Ocean of StormsPete ConradRichard F. Gordon Jr.Alan Bean
Apollo 13HMarch 1970Fra Mauro highlandsAlan ShepardStuart RoosaEdgar MitchellApollo 13April 11, 1970FailedJim LovellJack SwigertFred Haise
Apollo 14HJuly 1970Censorinus craterJim LovellKen MattinglyFred HaiseApollo 14January 31, 1971Fra Mauro highlandsAlan ShepardStuart RoosaEdgar Mitchell
Apollo 15HNovember 1970Littrow craterDavid ScottAlfred WordenJames IrwinCANCELED September, 1970
Apollo 16JApril 1971Tycho craterJohn YoungJack SwigertCharles DukeApollo 15July 26, 1971Hadley RilleDavid ScottAl WordenJames Irwin
Apollo 17JSeptember 1971Marius HillsGene CernanRonald EvansJoe EngleApollo 16April 16, 1972Descartes HighlandsJohn YoungKen MattinglyCharles Duke
Apollo 18JFebruary 1972Schroter's ValleyRichard F. Gordon Jr.Vance BrandHarrison SchmittApollo 17December 7, 1972Taurus-LittrowGene CernanRonald EvansHarrison Schmitt
Apollo 19JJuly 1972Hyginus RilleFred HaiseWilliam PogueGerald CarrCANCELED September, 1970
Apollo 20JDecember 1972Copernicus craterStuart RoosaDon L. LindJack LousmaCANCELED January 4, 1970

See also

There were two NASA post-Apollo crewed spaceflight programs that used Apollo hardware:[48]


  1. ^ Although the A-type designation was used in official documents to refer only to Apollo 4 and Apollo 6,[1]: 466  specifically their uncrewed orbital flights of the CSM and use of the Saturn V rocket, Samuel C. Phillips also used the A-type designation to refer to AS-201, AS-203 and AS-202: "A. Unmanned flights of launch vehicles and the CSM, to demonstrate the adequacy of their design and to certify safety for men. Five of these flights were flown between February 1966 and April 1968; Apollo 6 was the last."[14]
  2. ^ Serial number displayed in parentheses


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External links