Apollo 9
By: Anna Praiswater

Mission Objective

This mission tested several aspects critical to landing on the Moon, including the LM engines, backpack life support systems, navigation systems, and docking maneuvers. This was done by performing an integrated series of flight tasks with the command module or the service module. All major mission objectives were met and all major spacecraft systems were successfully demonstrated.

Mission Highlights

Apollo 9 was the first space test of the complete Apollo spacecraft, including the third piece of Apollo hardware besides the Command/Service Module and the Lunar Module. It was also the first space docking of two vehicles with an internal crew transfer between them. The Apollo 9 mission gave proof that the Apollo spacecraft were up to this task, on which the lives of lunar landing crews would depend.

Key Details

James A. McDivitt

Russell L. Schweickart
Lunar Module Pilot

David R. Scott
Command Module Pilot

Altitude: 118.63 miles
Inclination: 32.552 degrees
Orbits: 151 revolutions
Duration: 10 days, one hour, 54 seconds
Distance: 4,214,543 miles


March 3, 1969; 11:00 a.m. EST
Launch Pad 39A

March 13, 1969; 12:01 p.m. EST
Atlantic Ocean
Recovery Ship: USS Guadalcanal


Apollo 9 insignia

Apollo 9 Crew (McDivitt, Scott, Schweickart)

Apollo 9 approaching splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean

McDivitt, Scott and Schweickart train for the AS-258 mission in the first block II Command Module, wearing early versions of the block II pressure suit

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