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 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.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books
on science education!
You might also be interested in:
Driven by a recent surge in space research, the Apollo program hoped to add to the accomplishments of the Lunar Orbiter and Surveyor missions of the late 1960's. Apollo 11 was the name of the first mission...more
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was one of the most important exploration tools of the past two decades, and will continue to serve as a great resource well into the new millennium. The HST found numerous...more
Apollo 12 was launched on Nov. 14, 1969, surviving a lightning strike which temporarily shut down many systems, and arrived at the Moon three days later. Astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean descended...more
Apollo 15 marked the start of a new series of missions from the Apollo space program, each capable of exploring more lunar terrain than ever before. Launched on July 26, 1971, Apollo 15 reached the Moon...more
NASA chose Deep Impact to be part of a special series called the Discovery Program on July 7, 1999. The Discovery program specializes in low-cost, scientific projects. In May 2001, Deep Impact was given...more
The Galileo spacecraft was launched on October 19, 1989. Galileo had two parts: an orbiter and a descent probe that parachuted into Jupiter's atmosphere. Galileo's main mission was to explore Jupiter and...more
During 1966 through 1967, five Lunar Orbiter spacecrafts were launched, with the purpose of mapping the Moon's surface in preparation for the Apollo and Surveyor landings. All five missions were successful....more