Apollo Missions

Describe the nature and purposes of the Apollo space programme and its experimental packages (ALSEPs)

The Apollo space missions are thought to be the most important manned space missions to date. The reason is that astronauts landed on the Moon, explored it and brought back samples of Moon rocks.

Six missions landed on the Moon between 1969 and 1972.

Apollo 11 was the first to land on the Moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first to explore the surface while Michael Collins orbited above them in a command module.

Use the links to find out more about the Apollo missions and how they landed on the Moon and returned safely.

The astronauts deployed Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEPS). These experiments included mirrors left there so we can measure the distance to the Moon by laser, seismographs to measure moonquakes and sensors to measure solar radiation.

The Retroflectors left on the Moon have told us that the Moon is moving away from Earth at a rate of 3.8 cm a year.

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Questions

  • Why was the Apollo mission different from other space missions?
  • Describe the purpose of at least one ALSEP?

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Apollo/NASA Apollo 11

Apollo Archive Information about the Apollo Programme

Apollo The Apollo Programme

Space Museum ALSEPs

NASA Spaceflight exploration Apollo programme

Summary

- Apollo was the NASA mission to send humans to the Moon

- 6 successful missions landed Astronauts there
- ALSEPs (Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package ) were left to monitor the Moon

Did you know?

  • The Moon is the only celestial object that humans have visited apart from Earth.
  • 12 Astronauts have walked on the Moon.
  • The footprints left by the Apollo astronauts should last for at least 10 million years.