MISSIONS TO THE MOON BY NASA. Apollo 7 Mission, Apollo 11 Mission, SpaceX


Do you know how many missions to the moon by NASA have been successful? Or Which was the first mission to the moon? Or How many manned missions to the moon have been accomplished?

The moon has attracted humankind’s interest for thousands of years. From early civilization to the current space industry, the moon has been a matter of inexplicable phenomenon and scientific curiosity.

NASA Space Mission
Credits- Nasa.gov

The Moon is the only heavenly body that has ever been explored by humans and the only natural satellite of Earth. The average distance between the moon and earth is 3,84,400 km, which requires on average 3 days to reach the lunar surface. Being the closest celestial body to our planet, the moon has captivated our interest, resulting in countless missions in order to study and explore lunar soil.

Apollo 7 Mission
Credits- Nasa.gov

Some missions to the moon have brought a prodigious achievement in the space industry which has left honorable marks in history. 

The Apollo Programme 

Missions to the moon is the revolutionary progress of space and technology, and this growth’s head start was the Apollo Programme by NASA, which involves the first manned mission to the moon. The Apollo Program was carried out by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which succeeded in preparing and landing the first humans on the Moon from 1968 to 1972.

Project Apollo’s goals were beyond just landing humans on the moon and bringing them back safely on earth. In summary the goals were:

  1. To conduct study for scientific exploration of the moon.
  2. To develop human capability to work in lunar space.
  3. To establish the technology to meet national interests in space and technology.
  4. To achieve excellence in space for the United Nation.
  • Missions Overview –

In total there were 14 missions during the Apollo Program (1961-1972). The most crucial mission of the program was the Apollo 11 Mission:

Apollo 11 was the first spaceflight by the US to successfully land humans on the moon. It was launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida, on July 16 at 13:32 UTC, and it was the fifth crewed mission of NASA’s Apollo program.

Commanded by Neil Armstrong, the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle was landed on 16 July 1969 at 20:17 UTC and Armstrong became the first man to step on the moon. Armstrong. The second man on the moon was the lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin, who along with Armstrong explored the site which they called Tranquility Base.

They collected 21.5kg of lunar material to bring back to Earth as pilot Michael Collins flew the Command Module Columbia in lunar orbit, and was on the Moon’s surface for 21 hours, 36 minutes before lifting off to rejoin Columbia. Later the Eagle assembled with Columbia at 21:24 UTC on July 21, and the two docked and rejoined Collins. Apollo 11 began its journey home, safely splashing down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24 1969. 

Summary of all Missions

Mission  Timeline  Summary 
Apollo 1 27 January 1967 A tragedy struck on the launch pad during a preflight test and we lost the lives of our first ever crew to fly to the moon due to fire in the command module.
Apollo 7 11 October to 22 October 1968 First Apollo Mission to get to space with crew for testing spacecraft systems.
Apollo 8 21 December to 27 December 1968 First crewed flight around the moon, by spending 20 hours orbiting around the moon.
Apollo 9 3 March to 13 March 1969 The first to carry a lunar module into orbit and test system modules through a spaceflight around the moon by crew.
Apollo 10  18 May to 26 May 1969 A full dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing of Apollo 11 with two astronauts descended to a distance of 14.3 KM above Lunar Surface.
Apollo 11 16 July to 24 July 1969 First Crewed landing on the moon. “One small step for man, a Giant leap for mankind.”
Apollo 12 14 November to 26 November 1969 Second crewed mission to the moon for studying effects of the lunar environment on the spacecraft.
Apollo 13 11 April to 17 April 1970 Apollo 13 was called a “successful failure,” because the crew never landed on the Moon, but they came back home safely, after an explosion crippled their ship. 
Apollo 14 31 January to 9 February 1971 Third crewed mission to the moon where the crew spent more than nine hours outside the lunar module and conducted experiments.
Apollo 15 26 July to 7 August 1971 The first of the Apollo “J” missions – designed for longer stays on the Moon – the mission carried a lunar rover, which crew members used while they were on the surface for more than 18 hours.
Apollo 17 7 December to 19 December 1972 The Sixth and final crewed mission of the Apollo Program, it  highlights the most extensive lunar exploration of the program, with three moonwalks that each lasted more than seven hours while the crew stayed on the Moon for more than three days. 
Artemis 1 16 November 2022 Uncrewed test of Orion spacecraft in lunar flyby and lunar Distant retrograde orbit for future crewed missions of Artemis Program.
  • Upcoming Future Missions:

Future missions to the moon by NASA are as follows:

  1. dearMoon project with collaboration with SpaceX in 2023 for space tourism and art projects.
  2. Artemis 2 crewed a test of the Orion spacecraft in 2024 in collaboration with Canada.
  3. Artemis 3 fly “Fly the First women and Next man” to the moon in 2025.
  4. Artemis 4, to conduct the second Artemis crewed landing to the moon in 2027.


NASA’s missions to the moon have not only provided insights of lunar regolith but also unravels the origin of the earth and the universe beyond. It was a levitating beginning and an evolving progress in the space industry.

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