Project Apollo Vol 1
|Project Apollo: The Test Project
Pocket Space Guide #5
by Robert Godwin
Between August of 1963 and July of 1969, when men finally flew an Apollo spacecraft successfully to a lunar landing, the hard-working NASA employees diligently pursued an exhausting regime of test flights. Beginning with the unmanned test flight of the Little Joe QTV (which tested an Apollo shaped structure in flight for the first time) and concluding with the final skimming of the Lunar surface by the crew of Apollo 10, the Apollo Saturn test program stands as one of the greatest engineering achievements in the history of our species. This is not mere hyperbole. The scope of this effort has often been compared to the building of the great pyramids or the Manhattan Project. What is truly remarkable is that the landing on the moon was the culmination of a mere six years of test flights. Admittedly the mighty Saturn rockets and their enormously powerful engines had a heritage that could arguably be traced back to the end of the 19th century, but it was only with the announcement made by President Kennedy in May of 1961, that Americans would go to the moon, that Apollo was conceived. It would be just 36 months from that momentous speech to the first foray into space by an unmanned lunar spacecraft. Such schedules today seem almost inconceivable and are a testament to the youthful spirit of an American people; invigorated by their charismatic President with the promise of a better futurea spacefaring future.
Most histories of the Apollo program gloss over the incredible string of events which comprised the Apollo test program. It is rare to find any mention made of the flights before Apollo 7, which was the first Apollo to carry humans into space. Occasionally people wonder about Apollo 1 through 6 (making the assumption that if there was a number seven there must have been numbers one through six) but the average citizen is hard pressed to find a concise overview of these extremely important missions. This book is an attempt to fill that void.
The compact and concise design of this guide to the Apollo missions belies its enormous content, with pertinent facts and color images for each missionfrom Apollo 1 to Apollo 10. Providing an overall picture of the Apollo program, this guide includes sections on astronauts, mission patches, launch vehicles, command vehicles, landing vehicles, launch dates, mission objectives, flight plans, space suits, life support systems, and triumphs and failures. Both seasoned space buffs and young adults nurturing their interest in the space program will find this a perfect resource for the first 10 Apollo missions
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