Monday, January 23, 2006

Crew and mission control of Apollo 9

The hatch is closed and locked. Good show. On March 3, 1969, in preparation for the first lunar landing mission, Apollo 9 was launched on a ten-day mission to test the lunar module and its rendezvous and docking capabilities. Orbiting the earth at a height of 120 miles, astronauts James A. McDivitt, David R. Scott, and Russell L. Schweickart ran the lunar hardware through an intensive series of tests and procedures. On March 6, Schweickart engaged in a thirty-seven-minute space walk to test the Apollo space suit and hatch operation. On March 13, Apollo 9 safely returned to earth, splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean. Two months later, the astronauts of Apollo 10 took the first complete Apollo spacecraft around the moon in a dry run for the scheduled July landing mission. Then, on July 16, with the world watching, Apollo 11 was launched on the first lunar landing mission. Four days later, astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon.


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