Project Apollo ( Apollo Program, Moon Landing, Lunar Landing, Lunar Module, Lunar Orbit Rendezvous...)  

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    Project Apollo, the American space program to land men on the moon, originated in 1960. On July 28-29, 1960, the Apollo program was announced to US industry representatives. On September 1, The Apollo Project Office was formed under the Space Task Group (STG) Flight Systems Division. In late October, Convair, GE and Martin were selected to prepare feasibility studies for the Apollo spacecraft.

    Numerous committees were formed within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to develop lunar mission concepts. On February 7, 1961, the final report of the Low Committee (Manned Lunar Landing Task Group) outlined "A Plan for Manned Lunar Landing" within the decade using either Earth Orbit Rendezvous (EOR) or direct ascent technique.

    On May 5, STG completed the first draft of Apollo spacecraft specifications, and on May 22, the 2nd draft was completed. On May 25, President Kennedy proposed a manned lunar landing within the decade to Congress. On June 10, the Lundin Committee recommended the Earth Orbit Rendezvous method using the conceptual Saturn C-3 (S-IB-2 4x F-1; S-II-C3 2x J-2; S-IV 6x RL-10) launch vehicle to accomplish the manned lunar landing mission.

    In August, the Heaton Committee (Ad Hoc Task Group for Study of Manned Lunar Landing by Rendezvous Techniques) recommended Earth Orbit Rendezvous using the conceptual Saturn C-4 (S-IB-4 4x F-1; S-II-4 4x J-2; S-IVB 1x J-2) for the manned lunar landing.
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  Key Apollo Documents Online

The Apollo Spacecraft: A Chronology, SP-4009 (1975), dates every step in the design, development, construction, and use of the Apollo lunar spacecraft, from ideas in 1923 to the final flight in 1974.

Chariots for Apollo: A History of Manned Lunar Spacecraft, SP-4205 (1979), covers the development of the Apollo Command, Service, and Lunar Modules from 1957 to July, 1969. .pdf version

Key Apollo Source Documents 11 .pdfs

Apollo By The Numbers: A Statistical Reference SP-4029 (2001)

Where No Man Has Gone Before: ...Apollo Lunar Exploration SP-4214 (1989) .pdf version

"Before This Decade is Out...": Personal Reflections on the Apollo Program SP-4223 (1999)

Enchanted Rendezvous: John C. Houbolt and the Genesis of the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous Concept, M'graph 4 (1995)

Project Apollo: The Tough Decisions, Monograph 37, SP-4537 (2005), 174-page, 2 MB .pdf

JSC Apollo Program Summary Report, JSC-09423 (1975) 10 .pdfs 4-6 MB each

Apollo Expeditions... SP-350 (1975)

What Made Apollo a Success? SP-287 (1970)

An Annotated Bibliography of the Apollo Program Monograph 2 (1994)

    On November 1, 1961, the Space Task Group was renamed as the Manned Spacecraft Center. On November 28, North American Aviation was selected as principal contractor for the Apollo spacecraft under MSC direction. In December, the configuration of the Saturn C-5 (Saturn-V) lanuch vehicle was determined. Boeing had been chosen as prime contractor for the first stage, and Douglas Aircraft as prime contractor for the third stage.
    The prime contractor for the 2nd stage was not announced until November 7, 1962: North Amerian Aviation (NAA). This choice was surprising, because NAA had already received the Apollo Command & Service Module contract, and because the Rocketdyne division of NAA was prime contractor for the F-1 and J-2 engines which would power all three stages of the Saturn V launch vehicle.

    America's first manned orbital flight was accomplished by John Glenn in the Mercury spacecraft Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962. In March, the Apollo Spacecraft Project Office was relocated to the Manned Spacecraft Center near Houston, Texas, and on July 20, NASA announced that the Mission Control Center for Apollo would be located at the Manned Spacecraft Center.

    On July 11, 1962 NASA announced that the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous mode would be used the manned lunar landing mission, and that the Saturn C-IB (Saturn IB) launch vehicle would be developed to test the Apollo spacecraft in Earth orbit missions.

    The Lunar Orbit Rendezvous mode for lunar landing missions had been first suggested within NASA and the US aerospace industry in 1960. At Langley Research Center early that year, Bill Michael, a member of the Center's Lunar Exploration Working Group, wrote an unpublished paper entitled Weight Advantages of Use of Parking Orbit for Lunar Soft Landing Mission. Later on the same morning that Michael presented his calculations to his supervisor, an industry group from Vought Astronautics briefed Langley personnel on their own internal Manned Lunar Landing and Return (MALLAR) study. The Vought group, led by Thomas E. Dolan, explained the benefits of a "modular" spacecraft approach with a separate Lunar Landing Module—which required Lunar Orbit Rendezvous. With the concept in mind, Langley's John D. "Jaybird" Bird began designing lunar "bugs" or "schooners" that would land on the moon after descending from a "mother ship."

    Dr. John C. Houbolt, assistant chief of the Dynamic Loads Division at Langley Research Center, was the leading expert on rendezvous in space. In early 1960, Houbolt realized the advantages of Lunar Orbit Rendezvous, and thereafter became its principle advocate.

    But convincing others at NASA that LOR was the best way to go would take almost two and a half years. To begin with, most engineers felt that any scheme involving rendezvous was too complicated and risky; therefore they preferred "direct ascent" plans which would required at least a Saturn C-8 (with a 12 million pounds thrust 1st stage, 8 F-1 engines) or an even larger "Nova" class launch vehicle.

    After President Kennedy made his "before this decade is out" speech, it gradually became obvious that the enormous rocket required to accomplish a direct ascent mission could not possibly be available in time. So the majority of engineers changed their preference to an Earth Orbit Rendezvous (EOR) plan. This would have used two or more launch vehicles (probably Saturn Vs). One would launch the spacecraft, and the other carry fuel which would be transferred to the craft in Earth orbit. Or the spacecraft and fuel might be launched in segments which would be joined together in Earth orbit.

    Both direct ascent and EOR presented difficulties in spacecraft design:

    1. For one vehicle to make the trip, land on the moon, return to Earth, and a portion of it reenter the Earth's atmosphere would have required a far larger spacecraft than the eventual Apollo CSM and LM combined. The fuel for the return to Earth, and the reentry capsule, would have to be carried to the lunar surface and back up to orbit. This much larger, heavier spacecraft would be far more difficult to land on the moon than a smaller, lighter one would be.

    2. The shape of such a dual-purpose craft was troublesome. Pilots need to see where they are going. How could a single craft be designed which would allow the pilots to look down at the lunar surface, while allowing them to recline facing upward during ascent to Earth orbit and, later, while reentering the Earth's atmosphere? Solutions were suggested, but none were satisfactory.
Enchanted Rendezvous: John C. Houbolt and... Lunar Orbit Rendezvous..., Monograph 4 (1995)

    For these reasons, by late 1961, engineers at the Manned Spacecraft Center had begun to support Lunar Orbit Rendezvous. And by the spring of 1962 some key officials at NASA Headquarters in Washington were also sold on LOR. However, unanimity was desired, and the Saturn launch vehicle design engineers at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama, led by Wernher von Braun, still preferred Earth Orbit Rendezvous.
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    In mid May, Joseph F. Shea, Deputy Director of the Office of Manned Space Flight, informed Von Braun that it was likely that LOR was going to be selected. This would likely result in less work for Von Braun's Marshall Space Flight Center, but, according to Shea, Von Braun was assured that efforts would be made to give MSFC more work. The turning point came on June 7, 1962, when, after 6 hours of MSFC engineers presenting their case for EOR to Shea, Von Braun surprised his own "rocket team" by declaring that they now preferred Lunar Orbit Rendezvous.

    Von Braun said:

    "...It is absolutely mandatory that we arrive at a definite mode decision within the next few weeks, preferably by the first of July, 1962... If we do not make a clear-cut decision on the mode very soon, our chances of accomplishing the first lunar landing expedition in this decade will fade away rapidly...

    "We believe [Lunar Orbit Rendezvous] offers the highest confidence factor of successful accomplishment within this decade... We agree with the Manned Spacecraft Center that the designs of a maneuverable hyperbolic re-entry vehicle and of a lunar landing vehicle constitute the two most critical tasks in producing a successful lunar spacecraft. A drastic separation of these two functions is bound to greatly simplify the development of the spacecraft system."
Remarks by Wernher von Braun about Mode Selection for the Lunar Landing Program, 7 June 1962

Project Apollo Spaceflights     table adapted from Wikipedia and substantially improved

Flight Launch Vehicle
& Spacecraft
Crew Dates Mission Results

Saturn IB AS-201
NASA documents:
Aeroelastic Character.
RF & Telemetry Systems
Flight Safety Plan
Postflight Trajectory

NASA documents:
Weight & Balance
Propulsion Performance

1966 02 26
Suborbital CSM flight

NASA documents:
AS-201 Mission Directive 1965
AS-201 Mission Directive 1964
AS-201 Automated Control System
First test of Saturn IB and Block I Apollo Command and Service Modules; demonstrated heat shield; propellant pressure loss caused premature SM engine shutdown

NASA documents:
AS-201 Postlaunch Report 443 page, 471 MB .pdf
NTRS search: AS-201 - SA-201 - CSM-009

Saturn IB AS-203
NASA documents:
S-IVB Test Plan
Aeroelastic Character.
Operational Trajectory
Postflight Trajectory

(no spacecraft)

1966 07 05
Test liquid hydrogen behavior in Earth orbit

NASA documents:
AS-203 Cryo Tank Modeling
AS-203 Control System Info
No Apollo spacecraft carried; successfully verified restartable S-IVB stage design for Saturn V. Additional testing designed to rupture the tank inadvertently destroyed the stage.

NASA documents:
AS-203 Low Gravity LH2 Orbital Experiment

NASA videos at YouTube:
Aerial View of AS-203 Launch

Saturn IB AS-202
NASA documents:
Operational Trajectory
Postflight Trajectory

NASA documents:
Weight & Balance
Propulsion Performance
Reentry Aerodynamics

1966 08 25
Suborbital CSM flight

NASA documents:
AS-202 Mission Directive
MIT G&N System Data
MPAD Reentry G&N Equations

Longer duration to Pacific Ocean splashdown; CM heat shield tested to higher speed; successful SM firings

NASA documents:
AS-202 Postlaunch Report 574 pages, 21 MB
NTRS search: AS-202 - CSM-011
Apollo 1

Saturn IB AS-204

NASA documents:
Readiness Review
Delta CDR
Requests for Changes
CMD Grissom
CMP White
LMP Chaffee

  Block I CSM Earth orbital flight (up to 14 days)
Cabin fire broke out in pure oxygen atmosphere during launch rehearsal test on 27 January 1967, killing all three crewmen and destroying the CM before planned February 21 launch.

NASA documents:
photo of CSM-012 interior after fire
Apollo 4

Saturn V AS-501
NASA documents:
AS-501 Flight Report
Postflight Trajectory
J-2 Engine Performance

NASA documents:
Readiness Review
Entry Aerodynamics

1967 11 09
First flight of Saturn V launch vehicle, and first orbital CSM flight Successfully demonstrated S-IVB third stage restart and tested CM heat shield at lunar re-entry speeds

NASA documents:
Apollo 4 Mission Report - Sup 7
Analysis of AS-501 Earth Photography
NTRS search: Apollo 4 - AS-501

NASA videos at YouTube:
AS-501 Pre-Launch Activity: part 1 - part 2
Apollo 4 Mission Video: part 1 - part 2
Apollo 5

Saturn IB AS-204
NASA documents:
Results of AS-204

NASA documents:
LM DPS Analysis

1968 01 22
First Lunar Module flight in Earth orbit

NASA documents:
MPAD Apollo 5 Mission Rules Verif.
Successfully fired descent engine and ascent engine; demonstrated "fire-in-the-hole" landing abort test. Used the Saturn IB originally slated for Apollo 1.

NASA documents:
Apollo 5 Mission Report - Sup 2 - Sup 3 - Sup 4
Apollo 5 MPAD Postflight Trajectory Analysis
Apollo 5 Final Flight Evaluation
NTRS search: Apollo 5 - AS-204

NASA videos at YouTube:
Apollo 5 Mission Video: part 1 - part 2
Apollo 6

Saturn V AS-502
NASA documents:
AS-502 Flight Report
Postflight Trajectory
J-2 Engine S-II - S-IVB

NASA documents:
Consumables Analysis


1968 04 04
CSM test: trans-lunar injection with direct abort to high-speed re-entry

NASA documents:
MPAD Flight Rules Verification
Severe "pogo" vibrations caused two second-stage engines to shut down prematurely, and third stage restart to fail. SM engine used to achieved high-speed re-entry, though less than Apollo 4. NASA identified vibration fixes and declared Saturn V man-rated.

NASA documents:
Analysis of AS-501 Earth Photography
NTRS search: AS-502 - Apollo 6 - CSM-020

NASA videos at YouTube:
Apollo 6: S-II-502 First Static Test - S-IC Preparation
Apollo 7

NASA pages:
Apollo Flight Journal

Saturn IB AS-205
NASA documents:
Results of AS-205

NASA documents:
CSM-101 Systems
CMD Schirra
CMP Eisele
LMP Cunningham

1968 10 11
Block II CSM Earth orbital test

NASA documents:
Apollo 7 Press Kit
Apollo 7 Flight Plan
Apollo 7 Crew Training Summary
Apollo 7 Rendezvous Procedures
Successful 11-day flight. First live television broadcast from a US space flight

NASA documents:
Apollo 7 Mission Report
NTRS search: AS-205 - Apollo 7 - CSM-101

NASA pages:
Apollo 7 Voice Transcripts

NASA videos at YouTube:
Mission Video: Flight of Apollo 7
Apollo 8

NASA pages:
Apollo Flight Journal

Saturn V AS-503
NASA documents:
AS-503 Flight Manual
AS-503 Flight Report


Good engineering data on the entire vehicle:
Apollo/Saturn V
Space Vehicle
Selected Structural Element
Review Report

CMD Borman
CMP Lovell
LMP Anders

1968 12 21
Lunar orbit (CSM only)

NASA documents:
Apollo 8 News Briefing 1968 11 12
Apollo 8 Press Kit
Apollo 8 Crew Training Summary
Apollo 8 Mission Rules
Apollo 8 Flight Plan: 1&2 - 3-5
First manned lunar flight, improvised because LM was not ready for first manned orbital test. Ten lunar orbits in twenty hours; first humans to see lunar far side and Earthrise with own eyes; Live television pictures broadcast to Earth

NASA documents:
Apollo 8 Mission Report - S-1 - S-2 - S-4
"Apollo 8: Man Around the Moon"
Apollo 8 Technical Crew Debriefing: V-1 - V-2
Apollo 8 Flight Evaluation
NTRS search: AS-503 - Apollo 8 - CSM-103

NASA pages:
Apollo 8 Voice Transcripts

NASA videos at YouTube:
Mission Video: Debrief: Apollo 8 part 1 - part 2
Apollo 9

NASA documents:
Apollo Flight Journal

Saturn V AS-504

CSM-104 Gumdrop
NASA documents:
CSM-104 Systems

LM-3 Spider
CMD McDivitt
CMP Scott
LMP Schweickart

1969 03 03
Earth orbit CSM / LM test

NASA documents:
Apollo 9 Crew Training Summary
Apollo 9 Mission Rules
Apollo 9 Flight Plan
Ten days in Earth orbit, demonstrated LM propulsion, rendezvous and docking with CSM. EVA tested lunar Portable Life Support System (PLSS).

NTRS search: AS-504 - Apollo 9 - CSM-104

NASA pages:
Apollo 9 Voice Transcripts

NASA videos at YouTube:
Apollo 9 Video: Three To Make Ready part 1 - part 2
Apollo 10

NASA pages:
Apollo Flight Journal

Saturn V AS-505
NASA documents:
Tech Info Summary
AS-505 Flight Report
Postflight Trajectory
S-4B-505N Report

CSM-106 Charlie Brown

LM-4 Snoopy
NASA documents:
Consumables Analysis
CMD Stafford
CMP Young
LMP Cernan

1969 05 18
"Dress rehearsal" for lunar landing

NASA documents:
Apollo 10 Press Kit
Apollo 10 Preflight Managers Info
Apollo 10 Crew Training Summary
Apollo 10 Mission Rules
Apollo 10 Color TV
LM descended to 8.4 nautical miles (15.6km) without landing

NASA documents:
Apollo 10 Postflight Mgrs Summary
Apollo 10 Technical Crew Debriefing
Apollo 10 Mission Report - S-2 - S-7 - S-11
NTRS search: AS-505 - Apollo 10 - CSM-106

NASA pages:
Apollo 10 Voice Transcripts

NASA videos at YouTube:
Apollo 10 Video:
    To Sort Out the Unknowns part 1 - part 2
Apollo 11

NASA pages:
Lunar Surface Journal
Apollo Flight Journal

Saturn V AS-506
NASA documents:
AS-506 Flight Report
Postflight Trajectory

CSM-107 Columbia

LM-5 Eagle
NASA documents:
LM-5 Structures
LM-5 Factory Test Plan
LM-5 Construction Log
CMD Armstrong
CMP Collins
LMP Aldrin

1969 07 16
First lunar landing
site: Sea of Tranquility

NASA documents:
Apollo 11 Press Kit pt 1 - pt 2
Preflight Managers Info pt 1 - pt 2
Apollo 11 Flight Plan
Apollo 11 Crew Training Summary
Apollo 11 Mission Rules
Annotated Crew Training Summary
Apollo 11 Mission Rules
Lunar Surface Procedures
Apollo 11 EASEP Background
Westinghouse Lunar Camera
Apollo 11 CM/LM Stowage List
Single EVA in direct vicinity of LM. Navigation errors and computer alarms overcome

NASA documents:
Apollo 11 Postflight Managers Summary
Apollo 11 Technical Crew Debriefing: V-1 - V-2
Apollo 11 Sample Catalog
Apollo 11 Preliminary Science Report
Apollo 11 Mission Report - S-5 - S-10
Apollo 11 Entry Postflight Analysis
NTRS search: AS-506 - Apollo 11 - CSM-107

NASA pages:
Apollo 11 Voice Transcripts

NASA videos at YouTube:
Apollo 11 Video:
    For All Mankind part 1 - part 2 - part 3
Apollo 12

NASA pages:
Lunar Surface Journal
Apollo Flight Journal

Saturn V AS-507
NASA documents:
AS-507 Flight Manual
Launch Checklist
Preflight Trajectory
AS-507 Flight Report
Postflight Trajectory
Abort/Malfunction Analysis
Lightning Incident

CSM-108 Yankee Clipper
NASA documents:
CSM-108 SPS Evaluation

LM-6 Intrepid
NASA documents:
LM-6 Factory Test Plan
CMD Conrad
CMP Gordon
LMP Bean

1969 11 14
Precision lunar landing
site: Ocean of Storms

NASA documents:
Apollo 12 Press Kit
Apollo 12 Flight Plan
Preflight Managers Info pt 1 - pt 2
Apollo 12 Crew Training Summary
Apollo 12 Mission Rules
Apollo 12 CMP Solo Book
Apollo 12 CSM Rescue Book
Apollo 12 LM Timeline Book
Apollo 12 LM Data Card Book
Apollo 12 LM G&N Dictionary
LM Rendezvous Abort Book
Lunar Surface Checklist
Commander Cuff Checklist
Lunar Landmark Maps
Apollo 12 CM/LM Stowage List
Successful landing near Surveyor 3 probe; two EVAs; returned Surveyor parts to Earth; first controlled LM ascent stage impact after jettison; first use of deployable S-band antenna; two lightning strikes after liftoff with brief loss of fuel cells and telemetry; lunar TV camera damaged by accidental exposure to sun.

NASA documents:
Apollo 12 Mission Report S-2 - S-4 - S-5
Apollo 12 Postflight Managers Summary
Apollo 12 Technical Crew Debriefing
Apollo 12 Lunar Sample Catalog
Apollo 12 Lunar Sample Info
Properties of Lunar Samples
Apollo 12 Magnetometer
Apollo 12 Bio Containment
Surveyor 3 TV Cable - Scoop - Analysis - Effects
Apollo 12 Preliminary Science Report
NTRS search: AS-507 - Apollo 12 - CSM-108

NASA pages:
Apollo 12 Voice Transcripts

NASA videos at YouTube:
Apollo 12 Video: Pinpoint for Science part 1 - part 2
Apollo 13

NASA pages:
Lunar Surface Journal

Saturn V AS-508
NASA documents:
AS-508 Flight Report

CSM-109 Odyssey

LM-7 Aquarius
CMD Lovell
CMP Swigert
LMP Haise

1970 04 11
Lunar landing (aborted)

NASA documents:
Apollo 13 Press Kit
Apollo 13 Crew Training Summary
Apollo 13 Mission Rules
Apollo 13 CM/LM Stowage List
Apollo 13 ALSEP (readable)
Apollo 13 ALSEP (searchable)
Apollo 13 TV
Landing aborted after SM oxygen tank explosion on outward leg; LM used as crew "lifeboat" for safe return. First S-IVB stage impact on Moon as active seismic test.

NASA documents:
Apollo 13 Crew Technical Debriefing
Apollo 13 Misson Report
Apollo 13 Mission Operations Report
NTRS search: AS-508 - Apollo 13 - CSM-109

NASA pages:
Apollo 13 Voice Transcripts

NASA videos at YouTube:
Apollo 13 Videos:
    Houston, We've Got a Problem part 1 - part 2
    This is Mission Control part 1 - part 2
Apollo 14

NASA pages:
Lunar Surface Journal

Saturn V AS-509
NASA documents:
AS-509 Flight Report
Postflight Trajectory

CSM-110 Kitty Hawk

LM-8 Antares
NASA documents:
LM Descent
DPS Performance
CMD Shepard
CMP Roosa
LMP Mitchell

1971 01 31
Lunar landing
site: Fra Mauro

NASA documents:
Apollo 14 Press Kit
Apollo 14 Crew Training Summary
Apollo 14 Mission Rules
Apollo 14 Lunar Surface Checklist
Apollo 14 Lunar Surface Procedures
Modular Equip. Transporter Manual
Successful landing at site intended for Apollo 13; mission overcame docking problems, faulty LM abort switch and delayed landing radar acquisition; first color video images from the lunar surface; first materials science experiments in space; two EVAs

NASA documents:
Apollo 14 Mission Report
Apollo 14 Preliminary Science Report
Apollo 14 Crew Technical Debriefing
Apollo 14 PLSS/OPS Report
Apollo 14 EMU Mission Log
Apollo 14 Lunar Sample Catalog
Apollo 14 GNC Performance
NTRS search: AS-509 - Apollo 14 - CSM-110

NASA pages:
Apollo 14 Voice Transcripts

NASA videos at YouTube:
Apollo 14 Video: Mission to Fra Mauro part 1 - part 2
Apollo 15

NASA pages:
Lunar Surface Journal
Apollo Flight Journal

Saturn V AS-510
NASA documents:
AS-510 Flight Report
Postflight Trajectory

CSM-112 Endeavour
NASA documents:
Launch Checklist
Guidance Checklist
Systems Checklist
CM Software
Entry Checklist

LM-10 Falcon
NASA documents:
LM-10+ Diagrams
Activation Checklist
LM Descent
LM Cue Cards
LM Data Cards

NASA documents:
LRV Stowage
Systems Handbook
Operations Handbook
Mobility Performance
CMD Scott
CMP Worden
LMP Irwin

1971 07 26
Extended lunar landing
site: Hadley-Apennine

NASA documents:
Apollo 15 Press Kit
Apollo 15 Flight Plan
Apollo 15 Crew Training Summary
Apollo 15 Mission Rules
MCC Operational Configuration
Apollo 15 Lunar Surface Procedures
First "J series" mission with 3-day lunar stay and extensive geology investigations; first use of lunar rover (17.25 miles (27.8km) driven); 1 lunar "standup" EVA, 3 lunar surface EVAs, plus deep space EVA on return to retrieve orbital camera film from SM.

NASA documents:
Apollo 15 Mission Report
Mission Operations Report - S-1 - S-2 - S-3 - S-4
Apollo 15 Technical Crew Debriefing
Apollo 15 Systems Debriefing
"On the Moon With Apollo 15"
Apollo 15 Preliminary Science Report
Apollo 15 Lunar Sample Catalog pt 1 - pt 2 - pt 3
Landing Site Geology Transcript
Apollo 15 KREEP Volcanic Flows
Apollo 15 Mare Basalt Fragment
Apollo 15 Coarse Fine Lunar Samples
Hadley Apennine Exploration Traverses
CEMERLL Laser Reflector Array
Apollo 15 Time & Motion Study
Preliminary Orbital Science Results
Subsatellite Magnetometer Experiment
Apollo 15 Failure & Anomaly List
Main Parachute Failure
Apollo 15 Loss of CM TV Picture
NTRS search: AS-510 - Apollo 15 - CSM-112

NASA pages:
Apollo 15 Voice Transcripts

NASA videos at YouTube:
Apollo 15 Video:
    In the Mountains of the Moon part 1 - part 2
Apollo 16

NASA pages:
Lunar Surface Journal
Apollo Flight Journal

Saturn V AS-511
NASA documents:
AS-511 Flight Report

CSM-113 Casper

LM-11 Orion
NASA documents:
LM Timeline Book
LM Data Card Book

NASA pages:
Surface Checklist

CMD Young
CMP Mattingly
LMP Duke

1972 04 16
Extended lunar landing
site: Descartes Highlands

NASA documents:
Apollo 16 Press Kit
Apollo 16 Flight Plan
Apollo 16 Crew Training Summary
Apollo 16 Mission Rules
Apollo 16 LM/CM Stowage
Apollo 16 ALSEP Fam. Man.

NASA pages:
Apollo 16 Lunar Surface Procedures
Apollo 16 Cuff Checklists
Only landing in lunar highlands; malfunction in a backup CSM yaw gimbal servo loop delayed landing and reduced stay in lunar orbit; no ascent stage deorbit due to malfunction; 3 lunar EVAs plus deep space EVA

Apollo 16 Mission Report
Apollo 16 Preliminary Science Report
Technical Crew Debriefing
Apollo 16 Lunar Sample Catalog: pt 1 - pt 2 - pt 3
Apollo 16 Time and Motion Studies
NTRS search: AS-511 - Apollo 16 - CSM-113

NASA pages:
Apollo 16 Voice Transcripts
"On the Moon With Apollo 16"
USGS: Apollo 16 Landing Site Geology
Apollo 16 Postflight Spacesuit Inspection

NASA videos at YouTube:
Apollo 16 Video: Nothing so Hidden part 1 - part 2
Apollo 17

NASA pages:
Lunar Surface Journal

Saturn V AS-512
NASA documents:
AS-512 Flight Report

CSM-114 America

LM-12 Challenger
NASA documents:
LM Data Card Book

NASA documents:
Tech Info Summary
Systems Handbook
CMD Cernan
CMP Evans
LMP Schmitt

1972 12 07
Extended lunar landing
site: Taurus-Littrow

NASA documents:
Apollo 17 Press Kit
Apollo 17 Flight Plan
Apollo 17 Mission Requirements
Apollo 17 Lunar Surface Procedures
Apollo 17 Mission Rules
Apollo 17 ALSEP Fam.
Apollo 17 Crew Training Summary

NASA pages:
Apollo 17 Lunar Surface Checklist
Apollo 17 Surface Cuff Checklists
Apollo 17 PLSS/OPS/BSLSS Briefing
Last Apollo lunar landing; most recent human flight beyond low Earth orbit (as of 2011); only lunar mission with a scientist (geologist); 3 lunar EVAs plus deep space EVA

NASA documents:
Apollo 17 Mission Report
Apollo 17 Technical Crew Debriefing
Apollo 17 Preliminary Science Report
Lunar Sample Catalog: pt 1 - pt 2 - pt 3 - pt 4
NTRS search: AS-512 - Apollo 17 - CSM-114

NASA pages:
Apollo 17 Voice Transcripts
USGS: Apollo 17 Landing Site Geology
Apollo 17 Traverse Gravimeter Experiment (TGE)
Apollo 17 Image Library

NASA videos at YouTube:
Apollo 17 Video:
    On the Shoulders of Giants part 1 - part 2
Apollo 18, 19 & 20

Saturn V None flew Cancelled Extended lunar landings Cancelled to free one Saturn V to launch Skylab and to cut costs

Project Apollo Boilerplate Tests     NTRS search: Apollo boilerplate documents available online

Flight Launch Vehicle
& Spacecraft
Site Date Mission Results

Escape Tower (LES)
NASA documents:
LES Experience Report

NASA documents:
BP-6 Description Manual
White Sands

1963 11 07 (a) Determine aerodynamic stability characteristics of the Apollo escape configuration during a pad abort.
(b) Demonstrate the capability of the escape system to propel a command module to a safe distance from a launch vehicle during a pad abort.
(c) Demonstrate launch-escape timing sequence.
(d) Demonstrate proper operation of the launch-escape tower release device.
(e) Demonstrate proper operation of the tower jettison and pitch-control motors.
(f) Demonstrate earth-landing timing sequence and proper operation of the parachute subsystem of the earth-landing system.
(a) The Apollo escape configuration was stable during the pad-abort flight... the vehicle stability was less than predicted during the powered phase of flight.
(b) The cormmand module at apogee exceeded the minimum altitude and range for a pad abort by approximately 970 feet & 1,529 feet.
(c) The launch-escape timing sequence was demonstrated to be adequate for a pad-abort mission.
(d) The escape-tower released cleanly and at the proper time with little effect on spacecraft motions.
(e) The pitch-control motor produced the predicted initial spacecraft motions... The tower-jettison motor satisfactorily jettisoned the tower.
(f) The earth-landing timing sequence was demonstrated to be adequate for a pad-abort mission. The parachute subsystem performed as required...

NASA documents:
Apollo PA-1 Postlaunch Report

PA-1 Photo Montage

Little Joe II

NASA documents:
BP-12 Description Manual
White Sands

1964 05 13 Transonic Abort
(High Dynamic Pressure Abort)
All 1st-order test objectives and two of the three 2nd-ordertest objectives were satisfied.
Unsatisfied 2nd-order test objective:
Demonstrate proper operation of the applicable components of the earth-landing subsystem.

During the deployment of the three main parachutes, a parachute riser chafed against a simulated reaction-control subsystem motor and drogue disconnect guide assembly (horsecollar). The riser subsequently broke after main parachute line stretch, and the command module descended safely to the ground on the two remaining main parachutes.

NASA documents:
Apollo A-001 Postlaunch Report 309 pages

Saturn I SA-6

NASA documents:
Postflight Trajectory

NASA documents:
BP-13 Description Manual

1964 05 28 First flight of Saturn launch vehicle with Apollo boilerplate spacecraft

NASA documents:
A-101 Mission Directive
SA-6 Telemetry System

Von Braun, Mueller & Rees at Launch
After launch, one of the eight first-stage H-1 engines shut off 24 seconds early, but the remaining seven engines burned an additional two seconds to compensate, and the guidance system corrected for course deviations... Telemetry was obtained from 106 measurements until end of battery life on the fourth orbit. Eight movie cameras mounted on the Saturn I recorded propulsion and fuel operations, were ejected, and recovered. The spacecraft re-entered Earth's atmosphere on 1 June 1964 on its 54th orbit.

NASA documents:
Apollo A-101 Postlaunch Report 217 pages
Manned Space Flight Network Analysis
NTRS search: SA-6 - A-101

Saturn I SA-7

NASA documents:
BP-15 Description Manual

1964 09 18 To demonstrate the compatibility of the spacecraft with the launch vehicle, to determine the launch and exit environmental parameters for design verification, and to demonstrate the alternate mode of escape-tower jettison, utilizing the launch-escape and pitch-control motors.

All mission test objectives were fulfilled by the time of orbital insertion, and additional data were obtained by telemetry through the Manned Space Flight Network until the end of effective battery life during the fourth orbital pass. Radar skin tracking was continued by the network until the spacecraft reentered over the Indian Ocean during its 59th orbital pass.

One of the boilerplate SM RCS quads carried thermocouples to verify that system could withstand launch aerodynamic heating, but data was discarded because BP RCS unlike flight hardware and test thermocouples not right for purpose. Tested again on SA-8 & SA-10.
NASA documents:
Apollo A-102 Postlaunch Report 331 pages

Little Joe II


White Sands
1964 12 08 Maximum Dynamic Pressure Abort
To demonstrate capability of the launch escape system in the maximum dynamic pressure region of the Saturn trajectory with conditions approximating the altitude limit at which the Saturn emergency detection system would signal an abort.

Saturn I SA-9
NASA documents:
Postflight Trajectory

NASA documents:
BP-16 Specification

Pegasus A

1965 02 16 The SA-9 mission was the first Saturn with an operational payload, the meteoroid detection satellite Pegasus A.
Apollo/Saturn Space Vehicle SA-9, fourth of six Saturn I Block II vehicles, was launched at 0937 EST on February 16, 1965, from Pad 37B at Cape Kennedy. All test objectives were successfully accomplished. The S-IV stage, IU, and the Apollo spacecraft were injected into a near-earth orbit. The Pegasus A payload, installed in the Service Module... functioned as a micrometeoroid measurement system as planned.

NASA documents:
SA-9 Firing Test Report
SA-9 Vehicle & Launch Comp. Functional Descrip.
v VIII H-1 Engine
v I RP-1 Fuel System - v II LOX System
v IX RL-10A3 Engine - v III LH2 System
NTRS search: SA-9

Little Joe II 12-51-2

White Sands
1965 05 19 plan: High altitiude abort

(a) To demonstrate launch escape vehicle performance at an altitude approximating the upper limit for the canard subsystem.
(b) To demonstrate orientation of the launch escape vehicle to a "main heat shield forward" attitude after abort.

NASA documents:
A-003 Mission Directive
actual: Low altitude abort

The purpose of Apollo Mission A-003 (BP-22) was to demonstrate the high-altitude abort capability of the Apollo launch escape vehicle. However owing to breakup of the Little Joe II launch vehicle, abort occurred earlier than planned. The launch escape vehicle demonstrated its capability of escaping from an unscheduled catastrophic launch vehicle breakup.

NASA documents:
Flight Test Report Boilerplate 22
NTRS search: A-003

Saturn I SA-8

NASA documents:
BP-26 Specification

Pegasus B
1965 05 25 Micrometeoroid Experiment and Service Module RCS
SA-8 was the fifth flight test of the Saturn I, Block II vehicle, which includes an active S-IV stage. This was the second flight test with a micrometeoroid experiment, Pegasus B. In addition, this was the fourth flight test with the adaptive guidance in closed loop during the S-IV powered phase.

Boilerplate SM was fitted with a single RCS quad A engine package (engine housing and four engines). The internal components of the quad were not installed. Twelve thermocouples were installed to verify the capability of the engines to withstand aerodynamic heating during launch.

NASA documents:
SA-8 Postflight Trajectory
SA-8 Flight Test Data Report
SA-8 to SA-10 Electrical Power and SysInt
NTRS search: SA-8

escape tower only

NASA documents:
BP-23A Specification
White Sands
1965 06 29 To demonstrate the capability of the launch escape tower, with a canard subsystem and boost protective cover, to abort from the launch pad and recover.

NASA documents:
PA-2 Mission Directive
The objectives of Apollo Mission PA-2, the second pad abort, were successfully accomplished with the unmanned test vehicle, Boilerplate 23A, equipped with the Block I type launch escape subsystem {LES). The primary purpose of the mission was to verify vehicle performance in a pad abort when the vehicle configuration included Block I control weight, a canard subsystem, a boost protective cover, and an apex-cover jettison subsystem. The Boilerplate 23A test vehicle, refurbished Boilerplate 23, was successfully launched on schedule, without checkout or countdown holds, from Launch Complex 36 at White Sands Missile Range with liftoff at 06.00:01.448 MST June 29, 1965.

Boilerplate 23-A Flight Test Report

Saturn I SA-10


Pegasus C
1965 07 30 A successful flight- will insert the spent S-IV stage and payload consisting of an Apollo boilerplate (BP-9) and a Meteoroid Technology Satellite (Pegasus C) into a 535 km circular orbit.

NASA documents:
SA-10 Flight Mechanical Summary
SA-10 was the sixth and last flight test of the Saturn I, Block II vehicle which includes an active S-IV stage. This was the third flight test with a Pegasus micrometeorold experiment. In addition, this was the fifth flight test with guidance in closed loop during the S-IV powered flight.

Boilerplate SM was fitted with a single RCS quad A engine package (engine housing and four engines). The internal components of the quad were not installed. Twelve thermocouples were installed to verify the capability of the engines to withstand aerodynamic heating during launch.

NASA documents:
SA-10 Postflight Trajectory
NTRS search: SA-10

Little Joe II

White Sands
1965 05 19 Power on tumbling boundary abort
Apollo spacecraft 002 was of a modified Block I type configuration...
This was the first completed mission of a two-stage Little Joe II launch vehicle, and the first second-stage application of Algol motors.
1st- and 2nd-stage ignition occurred as planned...
Command module-service module separation at abort initiation was satisfactory although the main heat shield suffered limited blast damage from the pyrotechnic cutting of the tension ties...
The power-on tumbling boundary abort showed the satisfactory performance of the launch-escape vehicle and also the structural integrity of the launch-escape vehicle airframe structure.

NASA documents:
A-004 Postlaunch Report

NTRS search: A-004

Apollo Experience Reports: Lessons Learned from Project Apollo     NTRS search: Apollo Experience Reports (115)

Guidance and Control Systems - Unmanned Missions 1975

Guidance, Navigation & Control System 1976

Launch Escape Propulsion Subsystem 1973

Spacecraft Structure Subsystem 1974

Power Generation System 1972

Cryogenic Storage System 1973

CSM Electrical Power Distribution 1974

Electrical Wiring Subsystem 1974

CSM Instrumentation 1973

CSM Controls & Displays 1976

Battery Subsystem (CSM & LM) 1972

Spacecraft Pyrotechnic Systems 1973

Service Propulsion Subsystem 1973

CSM Reaction Control System 1973

CSM Environmental Control System 1973

Crew Couches 1973

Thermal Protection for Launch 1973

Thermal Protection Subsystem 1974

Protection Against Radiation 1973

Pressure Vessels 1972

Lunar Module Structural Subsystem 1973

LM Environmental Control System 1972

Mission Planning for LM Descent & Ascent 1972

Descent Propulsion System 1973

Ascent Propulsion System 1973

LM Stabilization & Control System 1972

Lunar Module Landing Gear 1972

Lunar Module Reaction Control System 1972

Lunar Module Electrical Power 1972

Lunar Module Communications System 1972

Development of the Extravehicular Mobility Unit 1976

The Effects of Lunar Dust on EVA Systems 2007

Television System 1974

Mission Planning for Apollo Entry 1972

Aerothermodynamics Evaluation 1972

Voice Communications 1972

Flight Anomaly Resolution 1975

Postflight Testing of Command Modules 1973

Early Apollo Concepts (Direct Ascent)

Martin Apollo Configurations - June 1961

Apollo General Dynamics Proposal 1961

Apollo Lunar Module     NTRS search: Apollo LM documents online (84)

...The LEM LIFE Magazine March 14, 1969

The Moon Landing "Spider" by Wernher von Braun Popular Science May, 1969

LM-5 Structures is a 61-page .pdf with drawings and descriptions of the structures of the Lunar Module, specifically detailing the Eagle LM used in the Apollo 11 lunar landing.

LMA790-1, Lunar Excursion Module Familiarization Manual

LMA790-2, Lunar Module LM-10 Through LM-14
    Vehicle Familiarization Manual

LMA790-3-LM, Apollo Operations Handbook, Lunar Module:
    Subsystems Data - Operational Procedures

Apollo Lunar Module Landing Gear 1972

A study of lunar module navigation systems accuracies for powered decent, ascent, and aborts. Project Apoll

Lunar module 7, 8, and 9 elementary functional diagrams

Lunar module 10 and sub elementary functional diagrams

Simulator study of pilot control over the lunar module during ascent from the lunar surface by using visual guidance cues 1968

Lunar module pilot control considerations

Apollo experience report: Lunar module reaction control system 1972

Lunar Module SpaceCraft Assembly & Test, Grumman Bethpage - LM Systems

Field Guide to American Spacecraft: Lunar Modules

Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle

Lunar Roving Vehicle is a 14-page .pdf with drawings and descriptions of the Lunar Rover used during the Apollo 17 lunar explorations.

Lunar Rover Operations Handbook

Lunar Roving Vehicle: Historical Origins, Development, and Deployment

LRV Handcontroller Design Approval

Navigation System of the Lunar Roving Vehicle

ALSJ Rover Links

Apollo Command Module and Service Module

North American Aviation Apollo CSM News Reference H (Apollo 12 type) Missions

CSM 104 (Apollo 9) Command and Service Module Systems Handbook

Apollo Operations Handbook, Block II: Spacecraft

Virtual Apollo Guidance Computer Document Library

Apollo Human Centrifuge Program Summary 1964, 76 pages

Field Guide to American Spacecraft: Apollo CM/CSMs

Saturn V, Saturn IB, and Saturn I: Apollo Launch Vehicles

MSFC-MAN-507, Saturn V Flight Manual, SA-507

Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo/Saturn Launch Vehicles, SP-4206 (1996), describes the development of the Saturn I, IB, and V launch vehicles that carried the Apollo spacecraft.

Saturn Illustrated Chronology .pdf

Saturn SA-2 flight evaluation

Saturn C-5 Launch Facilities by Kurt Debus

Saturn V Apollo Launch Operations Plan March 1963 by Rocco A. Petrone

Vehicle Assembly Building Fact Sheet 1966

Crawler Transporter Steering and Jel Systems 1975 by V. L. Davis

Moonport: A History of Apollo Launch Facilities and Operations SP-4204 (1978) .pdf version

History of the F-1 Rocket Engine by Robert Biggs, Rocketdyne F-1 Lead Engineer

F-1 Rocket Engine Operating Instructions 310 MB .pdf

Maintenance Plan for Saturn F-1, H-1 and J-2 Rocket Engines

F-1 Rocket Engine Technical Manual: Engine Data 281 page .pdf

History of the F-1 Combustion Stability Program, Volume 1, Book 1 94 page .pdf

Apollo TV

Apollo TV 12 MB .pdf

Apollo Unified S-Band System NASA TM-X-55492 .pdf

Lunar TV Camera: Statement of Work (Final Draft) NASA/MSC, 15 August 1966

Apollo Lunar Television Camera: Operations Manual Westinghouse 1968

More Apollo TV links from the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal

  NASA History, Space Exploration History

The NASA History Office has countless pages of history information and images to view, accessible from this subject listing page, or keyword searchable.

Project Apollo is a very nice independent reference to the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn launch vehicles that took men to the moon. The Apollo Program from the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, is an online exhibit covering the entire Apollo lunar landing program. And The Project Apollo Archive is a similar site, with a large archive of nice photos.
    The Apollo Lunar Surface Journal covers all lunar landing missions, with links to most of the best materials available, including photos and .pdf files. Apollo Mission Traverse Maps from the USGS show the EVA paths from Apollo 11, 12, 14, and 15.
    The Virtual Apollo Guidance Computer Document Library includes links to downloadable .pdfs of original Apollo flight plans, Gemini and Apollo Familiarization Manuals, Crew Debriefings, and many other interesting documents.

    S/CAT Remembered is a site about the Grumman factory and team that built the Apollo Lunar Modules, including photos of LM construction. Also see NorthropGrumman's Lunar Module 15th Anniversary page.

A Field Guide to American Spacecraft shows the current locations (or states the final disposition) of most US spacecraft, including Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo spacecraft, boilerplates, trainers, Lunar Modules, etc., plus X-15s and more. For example, the Lunar Module built for cancelled Apollo 18 is at the Cradle of Aviation Museum, Mitchell Field, Long Island, NY, and the LM for cancelled Apollo 20 was scrapped (how dumb can they be?). But whatever happened to the LM for cancelled Apollo 19 is unknown.

My Little Space Museum has good photos of and info about Apollo lunar spacesuits, the cancelled Soviet manned moon landing program, and more.

  The Mission Transcript Collection in .pdf format

The Mission Transcript Collection
"The Mission Transcript Collection: US Human Spaceflight Missions from Mercury Redstone 3 to Apollo 17", is the online access to CD-ROMs (no longer available) containing full transcripts (in .pdf format) from every manned space flight from the first Mercury mission to the final Apollo mission. This is almost 45,000 pages of presumably uncensored text, from both air to ground transmissions and onboard voice recorders. The original URL for this material went dead a couple years ago, but is now online at a new address.

  NASA Books (NASA Special Publications) & NASA Articles Online

Some of the books below are Adobe .pdf files, which are nice for reading materials offline. If you would like to read NASA's .html online books, like most of those below, when you are offline, you can "harvest" the pages and images for free using HTTrack, a very useful freeware website capture and offline browsing tool. HTTrack also works well with groups of .pdf files linked to from a page or directory.

Skylab Books

Skylab: A Chronology SP-4011 (1977)

Skylab: Our First Space Station SP-400 (1977)

Skylab: A Guidebook EP-107

Living and Working in Space: A History of Skylab SP-4208 (1978) .pdf

Skylab: Classroom in Space SP-401 (1977)

Skylab's Astronomy and Space Sciences SP-404 (1979)

A New Sun: The Solar Results from Skylab SP-402 (1979)

MSFC-MAN-206, Skylab Saturn IB Flight Manual.

CSM 116-119, Skylab Command Service Module Systems Handbook

Saturn 5 Flight Report, SA-513, Skylab 1

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Books

The Partnership: A History of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project SP-4209 (1978)

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