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Learn about planets outside our solar system through Exoplanets and Alien Solar Systems by Tahir Yaqoob, Ph.D., a book in our online store book collection.
Picture of Apollo 9 launch
NASA

Apollo 9

The major goal of the Apollo 9 mission was to conduct the first tests of the Lunar Module and other new space equipment. The Lunar Module was the latest piece of hardware designed to safely carry astronauts to the Moon's surface, and would be used repeatedly by future Apollo missions.

Apollo 9 lifted off on Mar. 3, 1969, with astronauts James McDivitt, David Scott, and Russell Schweickart on board, becoming the first flight with all the equipment necessary for a lunar landing. During 152 orbits of Earth, they released the Lunar Module and later reattatched it to the Space Module, in conditions similar to those around the Moon. The astronauts also tested a new space suit designed with a built-in life support system.

Apollo 9, though not as famous as other Apollo missions, was a success, giving scientists much valuable information about safely reaching the Moon, a goal finally achieved by Apollo 11.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF