Space Programs

The Apollo Missions

What did the early Apollo missions achieve?

Three unpiloted Apollo missions were flown in 1967 and 1968 as test flights. The first successful piloted mission, Apollo 7, was launched on October 11, 1968; three astronauts orbited Earth for eleven days. Two months later, the crew of Apollo 8 became the first humans to escape Earth’s gravitational field and orbit the Moon. Apollo 9 and Apollo 10 had flights in early 1969, and were used for final preparation runs for the landing mission in July.


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