Apollo Moon Landing Program

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The Soviet Union began to gain some attention in 1957 as they sent the first man-made satellite into space. Soon after Sputnik, the first man-made satellite, made its way to space President John F. Kennedy introduced the thought of how important starting a space exploration team would be for the United States. President Kennedy encouraged the Apollo program with a goal, to have a man walk on the moon by the end of the decade. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration other-known as NASA immediately began testing methods to could safely get a man not only to space but walking on the Moon.

Once the space race had begun NASA didn’t hesitate in testing. Less than a year after President Kennedy talked to congress NASA developed the Saturn 1. NASA’s goal for the Saturn program was to test the propulsion, structure, and aerodynamics of each craft. With each launch of a new Saturn space craft the test got more rigorous. The very first test of the SA-1 went perfectly, flying 215 miles from the Kennedy space station deeming the first successful flight of a U.S. spacecraft test. The testing of the S-2 and S-3 carried 30,000 gallons of water that was released in the atmosphere to test how the water reacted to the temperatures and how the radio transmissions responded rom that altitude. As the crafts released the water observers from the ground were able to see ice clouds form. As the tests continued NASA successfully completed 10 Saturn missions finally making the spacecraft safe enough to begin un-crewed missions.

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In preparation for NASA’s un-crewed missions NASA completed the Saturn V which would be like most of the un-crewed crafts. Saturn V was propelled by NASA’s F-1 engines that sat under a fuel tank and a lox tank that would deploy from the craft. Above the tanks was another set of the F-1 engines with its own lox and fuel tank. Above the tanks was service module which held the important parts of the ship including; oxygen, fuel cells, and batteries. Neat the top of the craft was a fuel tank and different J-1 engine for the lunar module and Apollo capsule which sat at the top of the Saturn V spacecraft. The Saturn V spacecraft stood over 400 feet tall which is more than 53 stories in a building. This massive spacecraft was configured to carry each Apollo mission to the Moon and was said to be “one of the most powerful rockets to ever fly.”

With the test’s seeming to go as planed they are not quite over as NASA just begins their un-crewed tests. The un-crewed missions had one major goal in mind, making a safe spacecraft for people to fly to space. For NASA to be able to achieve this goal they have to make a spacecraft that is structurally sound and has all the required protection including subsystems and heat shields. The first un-crewed Apollo-Saturn mission NASA endeavored on was mission AS-201. This was a very short Mission only lasting 37 minutes however was an adequate flight. NASA now had data to improve upon their spacecraft so a few months later in August of 1966 NASA had their second un-crewed mission. The second mission went better with a ninety-three-minute flight time. During the third un-crewed mission (AS-203) NASA was able to get the spacecraft in orbit. Mission AS-203 was able to orbit the earth four times before coming back down with no recovery of the ship. With the AS-203 gone NASA developed the next mission as the first mission to be called Apollo. With this fourth un-crewed test Apollo 4 would “demonstrate structural and thermal integrity, as well as compatibility of launch vehicle and spacecraft.” During the time of NASA's un-crewed missions, they also came up with a symbol for the Apollo program.

The Apollo emblem is a disc circumscribed by a band displaying the words Apollo and NASA. The center disc bears a large letter 'A' with the constellation Orion positioned so its three central stars form the bar of the letter. To the right is a sphere of the Earth, with a sphere of the Moon in the upper left portion of the center disc. The face on the Moon represents the mythical god, Apollo. A double trajectory passes behind both spheres and the central stars.

During the testing of Apollo 4, NASA created a situation to replicate the environment the spacecraft would come through if it were coming from the Moon. The test was to make sure the heat shield would stay intact. Apollo 5 began to go further not only testing the spacecraft heat shield but testing the lunar module of the spacecraft. Apollo 6 was the final un-crewed mission which showed how the Saturn v would perform under the estimated weight.

Apollo 7 would not be the very first crewed mission. There was an Apollo 1 the first mission that would have been crewed however it turned into a great tragedy. On January 27th of 1967 NASA attempted to do the first crewed mission to space. Unfortunately on take off a fire got into the command module killing the three brave men who hoped to be the first in space. Virgil Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee lost their lives that day in an attempt to make history. After many more un-crewed test missions Apollo 7 would be the first crewed mission to space. Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele and Walt Cunningham could be the first astronaut to orbit the Earth. In less than 20 minutes Apollo 7 what orbit the Earth more than 140 miles high. NASA was well on its way to getting to the Moon. All systems are a go, that's what the Apollo 8 mission was all about. Apollo 8 was sent into space to refine and test the equipment of the spacecraft. The Apollo 8 spacecraft didn't only test the new technology but also held the first people to see the far side of the Moon. The Apollo 9 mission was sent to me an orbit around Earth. During this crewed mission NASA would test the spacecraft systems such as the command module and the service module. NASA's main focus for this mission was to test the docking and undocking capabilities of their spacecraft. The Apollo 10 mission set out as the first completely crewed Apollo mission around the Moon. During the flight Apollo 10 also was able to take the first colored photographs of our Earth.

One of the most historic days in the United states history I was about to take place. On July 16th 1969 NASA set out to put the first man on the Moon. 8 years after President John F. Kennedy gave NASA the goal of getting a man on the moon they were about to do it. At 9:32 A.M. Apollo 11 took off from The landing Pad with pilot Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, commander Neil Armstrong, and module pilot Michael Collins. Apollo 11 landed on the moon about 42 minutes after Apollo 11 launched from Earth. After about 20 minutes Neil Armstrong would be the first man to step foot on the Moon and say the iconic line “that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. After 8 days Apollo 11 landed back on Earth and was recovered by the USS Hornet.

For the astronauts on Apollo 11 to safely land on the Moon they would need a craft that can function completely out of our Earth’s orbit. Apollo's lunar module we’ll split into two sections an upper and a lower. In the upper section of the lunar module NASA had “the crew compartment, system displays and controls, S-band and radar antennae, a reaction control system (RCS), fuel and oxidizer tanks and oxygen tanks”. In the lower area of the lunar module was almost like a storage house for the astronauts as it held everything they would need whenever they walked on the moon.

After the astronauts walked the Moon and set the flag they were tasked the chore of getting home safely. Without the Apollo command module of the Apollo 11 ship there would be no way to enter back to Earth safely. The Apollo team had to come back to earth at a specific trajectory in order to maintain control. The command module had to withstand heats up to 5000 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the command module got to a certain altitude NASA was able to deploy three parachutes.

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Apollo Moon Landing Program. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/apollo-moon-landing-program/
“Apollo Moon Landing Program.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/apollo-moon-landing-program/
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Apollo Moon Landing Program [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 25 [cited 2024 May 30]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/apollo-moon-landing-program/

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