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  • Apollo manned space flight program

    Paper ID



    • W. von Braun








    The purpose of this paper is to present a general review of the content and status of the Apollo Manned Space Flight program. The Apollo program is the largest single space program under development in the United States. Today in the United States more than 300,000 people throughout the country are working on a program that is funded at the rate of three billion dollars a year. The agency responsible for its execution is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The objective of the Apollo program is to provide the United States— and all mankind, for that matter—with a broad-based space-faring capability for the exploration and utilization of outer space. Apollo will provide the means to carry out both manned and unmanned missions in Earth orbit, on and around the Moon, and to the planets. The immediate goal of the Apollo program, the goal which serves as the focal point for the development of this national capability, is a manned lunar landing before 1970. Setting this imaginative goal has been catalytic in marshalling the government, scientific, and especially the industrial forces of the country to establish this broad capability: technological and managerial know-how, actual flight hardware, facilities and transportation, and operational experience. The scope of this paper is limited to the space vehicle, launch complex and supporting activities that will be directly involved in the manned lunar landing mission. It does not cover equally important manned space flight program activities that have performed and are continuing to perform critical first steps which are absolutely essential to the success of the program : the Saturn I program, and its contribution to the advancement of launch vehicle technology; the Saturn IB program, which will launch the Apollo spacecraft into Earth orbit for development tests, lunar mission simulation and crew training; or the immensely important Mercury and Gemini programs, which have made and are making vital contributions in spacecraft development, astronaut training and flight-time, and launch and mission control operations. The first section of the paper describes the Apollo Space Vehicle, including the Saturn V launch vehicle and the Apollo spacecraft. The second section describes the sequence of events comprising the manned lunar landing mission, and the function of each of the space vehicle systems in accomplishing that mission. The third section is a very brief report on the status of the program today, reflecting the fact that the Apollo program has now passed the half-way point and is moving forward at full momentum to that fateful event toward the end of the decade.