Picture of Apollo 9 launch
The major goal of the Apollo 9 mission was to conduct the first tests of the Lunar Module and other equipment which would bring future astronauts to the Moon's surface.
Apollo 9 lifted off on Mar. 3, 1969, with astronauts James McDivitt, David Scott, and Russell Schweickart on board. While in orbit around 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 the 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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