The national effort that enabled Astronaut Neil Armstrong to speak those words as he stepped onto the lunar surface fulfilled a dream as old as humanity. Project Apollo’s goals went beyond landing Americans on the moon and returning them safely to Earth. They included:
Establishing the technology to meet other national interests in space.
Achieving preeminence in space for the United States.
Carrying out a program of scientific exploration of the Moon.
Developing human capability to work in the lunar environment.
Rocket and Spacecraft
The flight mode, lunar orbit rendezvous, was selected in 1962. The boosters for the program were the Saturn IB for Earth orbit flights and the Saturn V for lunar flights.
Apollo was a three-part spacecraft: the command module (CM), the crew’s quarters and flight control section; the service module (SM) for the propulsion and spacecraft support systems (when together, the two modules are called CSM); and the lunar module (LM), to take two of the crew to the lunar surface, support them on the Moon, and return them to the CSM in lunar orbit.
All Apollo Articles
Learn more about the selection of Apollo astronauts, development of the Apollo spacecraft, details about each of the missions, and much more.
The first crewed flight of the Apollo program. The mission objectives were to demonstrate the Command and Service Module (CSM) with crew performance; demonstrate mission support facilities’ performance during a…
The primary objectives of this mission were to explore the Fra Mauro region centered around deployment of the Apollo Lunar Surface Scientific Experiments Package, or ALSEP; lunar field geology investigations;…
The Apollo Flight Journal is a resource for those interested in the Apollo flights to the Moon and covers eleven human flights of the Apollo program, relating the parts of the missions not on the lunar surface.
Apollo Lunar Surface Journal
The Apollo Lunar Surface Journal is a record of the lunar surface operations conducted by the six pairs of astronauts who landed on the Moon from 1969 through 1972.
NASA History's Apollo Publications
Download chronologies, management and program histories and other in-depth publications about the Apollo program.
Remembering Apollo 1
Biographies, reports, bibliographies and other resources relating to the Apollo 1 tragedy that took the lives of Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee.
Annotated Bibliography of the Apollo Program
Compiled by Roger D. Launius and J.D. Hunley, this selective, annotated bibliography includes works judged to be most essential for researchers seeking to learn more about the Apollo program's varied history.