The Key Events


October 5-8: NASA conducted formal review of LEM mockup M-5 at Grumman factory.

October 12: U.S.S.R. launched Voskhod I, world's first multi-manned spacecraft.

October 14: AC Spark Plug reported first Apollo guidance system completed and shipped to NAA.

October 27: NASA announced appointment of Maj. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips as Director of Apollo Program.

November 23: NASA gave NAA a formal go-ahead on the Block II spacecraft.

December 7: Douglas Aircraft Company delivered first S-IVB stage to MSFC for testing.

December 8: Apollo Mission A-002 was flown at WSMR, with BP-23 launched by a Little Joe II booster.


January 14-21: NAA completed acceptance tests on the CSM sequential and systems trainers.

January 21-28: Space Technology Laboratories was named sole contractor for the LEM descent engine.

February 9: NAA completed the first ground test model of the S-II stage of the Saturn V.

February 17: Ranger VIII was launched by NASA from Cape Kennedy. It transmitted pictures back to earth before lunar impact.

March 2: MSC decided in favor of an "all-battery" LEM rather than the previously planned fuel cells.

March 17: Crew Systems Division recommended "shirtsleeve" environment be retained in CM.

March 18: U.S.S.R. launched Voskhod II on a 17-orbit mission. Lt. Col. Aleksei Leonov performed man's first "walk-in-space."

March 21: NASA launched Ranger IX, last of series. It transmitted 5,814 pictures of lunar surface to earth.

March 23: Gemini III was launched from Cape Kennedy with astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young aboard; the first U.S. multi-manned mission lasted three orbits.

March 23-24: Part I of the Critical Design Review of the CM Block II crew compartment and docking system was held at NAA.

April 1: The first stage of the Saturn IB booster underwent its first static firing at MSFC.

April 9: Control over manned space flights, after liftoff, was transferred from the Cape Kennedy Control Center to Mission Control Center, Houston.

April 14: Final beam was emplaced in the structural skeleton of the Vertical Assembly Building at KSC.

April 16: MSFC conducted first clustered firing of Saturn V's first stage (S-IC).

April 27-30: Part II of the Block II CM crew compartment and docking system Critical Design Review was held at NAA.

April 28: ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea approved the Crew Systems Division recommendation to retain "shirtsleeve" environment in the CM.

May 19: Apollo mission A-003 was flown at WSMR. Little Joe II booster disintegrated 25 sec after launch but launch escape system worked perfectly.

May 22: NASA launched Project Fire II from Cape Kennedy to obtain test data on heating during reentry.

June 3: Northrop-Ventura began qualification testing of the Apollo earth landing system.

June 3: NASA launched Gemini IV from Cape Kennedy on a Titan II booster. Astronauts James A. McDivitt and Edward H. White II were crew members for the four-day mission. During the flight White made America's first "space walk."

June 7: George E. Mueller, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, approved procurement of lunar surface experiments package.

June 7-13: NAA's Rocketdyne Division began qualification testing on the CM's reaction control system engines.

June 14: A Technical Working Committee was appointed at MSC to oversee the design of the Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory.

June 29: NASA launched pad abort (PA)-2, a test of the launch escape system at WSMR.

June 29: NASA formally announced the selection of six scientist-astronauts for the Apollo program.

June 30: Langley Research Center put its Lunar Landing Research Facility into operation.

July 4-10: NASA approved a Grumman subcontract to Eagle-Picher for the LEM batteries.

July 19: MSC directed Grumman to implement changes to limit the total LEM weight to 14,515 kg (32,000 lbs).

July 30: NASA launched SA-10 from Cape Kennedy, marking the end of the Saturn I program and its 10 successful launches.

August 5: The Saturn V's first stage made a "perfect" full-duration firing at MSFC by burning for the programmed 2.5 min at full thrust.

August 9: Two Saturn milestones occurred: (1) NAA conducted first full-duration captive firing of S-II stage; and (2) Douglas Aircraft Co. static-tested first flight model S-IVB stage.

August 12: Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips listed six key checkpoints in development of Apollo hardware.

August 18: Grumman put "Operation Scrape" into effect in an effort to lighten the LEM.

August 21: Gemini V was launched from Cape Kennedy with astronauts L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., and Charles Conrad, Jr., as crew members. The eight-day flight was the first in which fuel cells were used as primary electrical power source.

August 27: NAA reported ground testing of service propulsion system had been concluded.

September 10: NASA announced a plan to recruit additional pilot-astronauts.

September 13: ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea announced a new plan to control Apollo spacecraft weight.

September 16-23: Grumman established final design parameters for the LEM landing gear.

September 20: MSC recommended to NASA Hq that International Latex Corp. be awarded a contract for development and fabrication of space suits and associated equipment.

September: A total of 13 flights were made in the LLRV, including one in which the lunar simulation mode was flown for the first time.

October 15: Recovery requirements for the Apollo spacecraft were specified by ASPO.

October 20: NASA accepted spacecraft 009 in ceremonies at NAA, first of the kind that would be used on lunar missions.

October 21: MSC announced that the bubble-type helmet designed by Crew Systems Division engineers had been adopted for use in the Apollo extravehicular mobility unit.

November 1: MSC established a Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory Office pending development of a permanent organization to operate the facility.

November 5: NASA announced it would negotiate a contract with International Latex Corp. for fabrication of the Apollo space suit, and a contract with Hamilton Standard for continued development and manufacture of the portable life support system.

November 30: Apollo Mission Simulator No. 1 was shipped by Link Group, General Precision, to MSC.

December 4: Gemini VII, manned by astronauts Frank Borman and James A. Lovell, Jr., was launched from Cape Kennedy on a 14-day mission.

December 5: Hamilton Standard successfully tested a life support back pack designed to meet the requirements of the lunar surface suit.

December 6-17: The Block II CSM Critical Design Review was held at NAA.

December 15-16: Gemini VI-A was launched from Cape Kennedy with astronauts Walter M. Schirra, Jr., and Thomas P. Stafford aboard. The spacecraft rendezvoused with Gemini VII less than six hours after liftoff.

December 31: The SM reaction control system engine qualification was completed.


January 3: OMSF listed operational constraints for Apollo experimenters in order to prevent experiment- generated operational problems.

January 7: MSC outlined the general purpose and plans for the Lunar Sample Receiving Laboratory.

January 8-11: The first fuel system test was successfully conducted at WSTF.

January 20: Apollo mission A-004 was successfully accomplished at WSMR. It was the final suborbital test in the Apollo program.

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