July 16: During a meeting with government officials, Korolev and Glushko pitch the idea of developing a super-heavy rocket.
Oct. 4: The R-7 rocket launched the world's first artificial satellite -- Sputnik-1.
Nov. 3: The R-7 rocket launched Sputnik-2, carrying dog Laika.
March 1: The first launch attempt of the Jupiter missile fails.
May 1: US Navy conducts a test launch of the Vanguard rocket.
Oct. 23: US Navy conducts a test launch of the Vanguard rocket.
Dec. 6: US Navy attempts to launch the Vanguard (TV-3) satellite. The launcher fails after two seconds in flight.
May 15: Sputnik-3 enters orbit.
June 30: The Soviet Government signs a decree approving the studies of nuclear rocket propulsion.
Sept. 23: The first attempt to launch a E-1 (Luna) probe fails, as its rocket explodes 93 seconds after launch.
Oct. 12: The second attempt to launch E-1 (Luna) probe fails, as its rocket explodes 104 seconds after launch.
Dec. 4: The third attempt to launch E-1 (Luna) probe fails after 245 seconds in flight.
Jan. 31: Explorer-1, the first US satellite reaches orbit.
March 18: NACA completes a research memorandum on an astronaut-carrying capsule. (Not released until July 1961)Aug. 15: Wernher von Braun and his team in Huntsville, Ala. receives an assignment to develop a heavy launcher, later designated Saturn-1.
Aug. 17: A Thor-Able rocket, carrying US Air Force's Pioneer lunar probe, explodes 77 seconds after launch.
Oct. 1: The US Congress approves the creation of NASA (to succeed NACA).
Oct. 11-12: A Thor-Able rocket failes to deliver the Pioneer-1 probe into the lunar orbit.
Nov. 8: The Thor-Able rocket failes to deliver Pioneer-2 probe toward the Moon.
Dec. 6-7: The Juno-2 rocket failes to deliver Pioneer-3 probe toward the Moon.
Jan. 2: The Luna-1 (E-1), the first spacecraft to escape Earth orbit, is launched.
June 18: Launch of E-1A lunar impact mission failed at T+152 seconds due to flight control problem.
Sept. 12: The USSR launches the Luna-2 probe, the first man-made object to impact the Moon.
Sept. 14: The Luna-2 successfully impacts the lunar surface.
Oct. 4: The Luna-3, the first man-made object to photograph far side of the Moon is launched.
Oct. 7: The USSR obtains first photos of the Moon's far side.
Dec. 10: The Soviet Government issues a decree, authorizing a variety of space development programs, including the 8K78 (Molniya) launcher, a closed-cycle engine. The N1 program was not approved, however.
Dec. 30: Korolev approves a preliminary design of three versions of the heavy rockets with nuclear engines.
March 3-4: A Juno-2 rocket sent the Pioneer-4 probe toward the Moon.
June 8: Wernher von Braun and his group at Redstone Arsenal issue a first part of the study of a "Lunar Military Outpost" for the US Army, called Project Horizon. The Saturn-I and Saturn-II rockets were to resupply the base. (138)
Nov. 4: NASA's Wallops center launches Little Joe-1A rocket to test emergency escape system for the Mercury spacecraft.
Nov. 26: The Atlas-Able rocket, carrying Pioneer-5 (P-3) lunar orbiter, fails to reach orbit.
January: In a meeting with leaders of the rocket industry, Nikita Khrushchev authorizes the development of an array of projects, aimed at militarization of space, among them the N1 rocket.
Feb. 12: Glushko proposes the R-20 super-heavy booster. (84)
March 14: Korolev reports to the government about his readiness to submit a proposal about heavy launcher. (84)
March 16: The first group of 20 pilots starts training for manned space flight. (84)
April 15: The attempt to launch the E-3 lunar probe failed due its launcher failure.
April 19: The attempt to launch the E-3 lunar probe failes on pad.
June 20: The Soviet rocket industry adopts an ambitious plan for space exploration, including manned missions to the Moon, Mars and Venus.
June 23: The government issues a decree, authorizing a preliminary design of the N1 super-heavy rocket during 1961-1963.
Sept. 9: Korolev signs an addendum to the experimental project of a heavy launcher, entitled "On possible characteristics of space rockets employing hydrogen."
Sept. 27: In a letter, Korolev urges Soviet officials to develop liquid hydrogen rocketry.
A US project of the Nova rocket
Nov. 21 launch failure
April 29: The first test firing of the 1st stage engines of the Saturn-1 rocket in Huntsville, Ala. (10)
July 29: NASA announces Project Apollo with the goal of human expedition to the Moon.
Sept. 13: The Space Task Group meets to discuss requirements for companies that would submit bids for Project Apollo.
Sept. 25: The Atlas-Able 5A rocket fails to deliver the Pioneer-6 (P-30) lunar orbiter on its assigned trajectory.
Oct. 25: NASA selects General Dynamics, General Electric and Martin to conduct individual feasibility studies of a piloted spacecraft for the Apollo project.
Nov. 21: The first attempt to launch the Mercury-Redstone system ends in on-pad failure, but escape rocket saves the unmanned capsule.
Dec. 15: The Atlas-Able 5B rocket carrying Pioneer-6 (P-31) lunar orbiter explodes shortly after launch.
John C. Houbolt from NASA's Langley Research Center advocates a plan of lunar expedition involving a rendezvous in the lunar orbit between a mother ship and a lander. (10)
Jan. 15: Korolev writes a letter to Rudnev proposing an N1-launched military space station. (84)
Jan. 31: "Extended" Council of Chief Designers on the N1 design is held in Baikonur.
Feb. 15: Top military officials send a letter to the Soviet government urging the Kremlin to limit the nation's civilian space program conducted at the expense of the military buildup.
March 26: Korolev writes to Ustinov that a four-stage (Molniya) rocket can provide a soft-landing of an unmanned probe on the lunar surface. (52)
April 7: Brezhnev, Kozlov and Ustinov propose to slash funding for non-military space program.
April 12: Yuri Gagarin completes world's first manned space flight.
May 13: A government decree, entitled "On Reconsideration of the Plans for Space Vehicles in the Direction of the Defense Purposes," postpones the first test launch of the N1 rocket for 1965 and limits its developmet to a prliminary design for the time being.
August: Gherman Titov completes a day-long flight aboard Vostok-2.
January: A NASA committee led by George Low (the Apollo spacecraft program manager) completes studies of a manned lunar-landing program, considering a direct-ascent trajectory using large Nova-type launch vehicles and an Earth-orbit rendezvous technique using Saturn-type rockets.
Jan. 31: The Redstone rocket launched the first Mercury spacecraft, carrying chimpanzee Ham.
Feb. 23: The Atlas-Agena rocket launched the Ranger-1 spacecraft into the Earth orbit.
April 20: In the wake of Gagarin's flight, President Kennedy sends a memo to his vice president asking about a prospective "space program which promises dramatic results in which we could win?"
April 28: Vice President Lyndon Johnson writes to President Kennedy that an expedition to the Moon could be accomplished by the US as early as 1966 or 1967, ahead of the USSR.
May 5: Alan Shepard completes a suborbital flight.
May 15: General Dynamics, GE, and Martin submit final reports on the Project Apollo study contracts.
May 25: John Kennedy, speaking at a joint session of Congress, calls for the human Moon landing before the end of the decade which would require an acceleration of the US space program.
Fall: North American Aviation receives the contract for the development of the Apollo spacecraft.
June 11: An "ad hoc" committee chaired by William Fleming favors direct flight from the Earth to the Moon launched by a Nova rocket, as the best scenario for the lunar expedition. (10)
July 28: NASA issues a request for proposal to 12 companies for development of the Apollo spacecraft.
Aug. 9: NASA selects the Instrumentation Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, to develop the guidance and navigation system for the Apollo spacecraft.
Sept. 19: NASA announces that the newly established Manned Spacecraft Center would be located at Houston, Texas.
Oct. 25: NASA sets a day-long flight as the ultimate goal of the Mercury project, instead of a three-orbit mission.
Oct. 27, 10:06 a.m. ET: The Saturn-1 (SA-1) experimental rocket lifts off on its first suborbital test mission, lasting 8 minutes 4 seconds and reaching an altitude of 137 kilometers.
Nov. 18: The Atlas-Agena rocket launches Ranger-2 spacecraft into the Earth orbit.
Nov. 28: NASA announces awarding a contract for the Apollo spacecraft program to North American's Space Division.
Dec. 21: The first four major Apollo subcontractors were announced: Collins Radio for telecommunications systems; Garrett Corporation's Ai Research Division for environmental control equipment; Honeywell Inc. for the stabilization and control system; and Northrop Corporation's Ventura Division for parachute landing system.
A NASA "ad hoc" committee chaired by Nicholas Golovin favors rendezvous of the two craft launched by Saturn C-5 rockets in the Earth orbit for the lunar expedition. (10)
March 5: In letters to the government, Korolev proposes the development of the Soyuz spacecraft and the N2 rocket, as the first step toward the bigger N1 launch vehicle. (84)
April 16: Nikita Khrushchev signs a decree, limiting the development of the N1 booster to a preliminary study and to an economic assessment of the project. At the same time, the development of the UR-500 booster has been authorized along with the development of the Soyuz complex for the circumlunar mission with the crew of two.
April 29: The Soviet government issues Decree No. 409-183 assigning OKB-52 design bureau to develop the UR-500 rocket. (210)
July 2-16: An expert commission led by Mastislav Keldysh evaluates and approves the preliminary design of the N1, scheduling the beginning of the flight tests for 1965.
August: Two manned spacecraft, Vostok 3 and 4, orbit the Earth.
Sept. 24: The government decree jump-starts the N1 project and schedules the readiness of the launch facilities in 1965. Three months are given for the formulation of military and scientific applications of the super-heavy vehicle.
Apollo lunar module concept
Jan. 22: The first Apollo engineering order is issued for fabrication of the first mockups of the Apollo command and service modules.
Jan. 26-28: The Ranger-3 probe failed to reach the lunar surface.
Feb. 9: NASA announces that GE was awarded a contract to provide integration analysis of the total Apollo space vehicle, including launch vehicle and spacecraft, to assure reliability of the entire system. GE was also chosen to develop and operate equipment to check out the Apollo systems.
Feb. 13: Lockheed Propulsion Company is selected to design and build the solid-propellant launch-escape rocket for Apollo.
February: John Glenn completes the first US manned orbital flight.
March 2: Marquardt Corp. is selected to design and build the reaction-control rocket engines for the Apollo spacecraft.
March 3: Aerojet-General Corp. is named as subcontractor for the Apollo service propulsion system.
March 9: Pratt and Whitney is selected to build the Apollo fuel cell system to supply electricity.
March 16: The Titan-2 ICBM, crucial for the Gemini project, flies its first test mission. (141)
March 29: McDonnell delivered the first mockup of the Gemini spacecraft for inspection to NASA.
April 11: President Kennedy designates the Apollo project to be of the highest national priority.
April 23-26: The Ranger-4 probe hit the lunar surface, but failed to transmit photos.
April 25: A Saturn-1 rocket flies a suborbital test mission.
Mid-year: NASA concludes that the rendezvous in the lunar orbit between the mother craft and the lunar excursion module would be the best scenario for the lunar expedition.
July 5: D. Brainerd Holmes, NASA director of manned spaceflight informs the House space committee of the US Congress that the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous, LOR, was chosen as the scenario for the lunar expedition. (139)
July 21: NASA announces the decision to build a launch complex for the Advanced Saturn (later Saturn-5) rocket at Merrit Island, Fla, near Cape Canaveral. (139)
Sept. 11: President Kennedy visits Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. (10)
September: Grumman presents its proposal on the design of the lunar module (LM) to NASA.
Oct. 18: The Ranger-5 probe fails to reach the lunar surface.
Nov. 7: NASA confirms the use a lunar module and lunar-orbit-rendezvous for Project Apollo. The agency also announces that Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation was contracted to build the lunar module.
Nov. 16: The third Saturn-1 (SA-3) rocket with dummy second and third stages flies a 4-min. 55-sec. suborbital test mission, reaching an altitude of 167 kilometers and releasing water to study ionesphere.
Jan. 4: A E-6 lunar lander fails in the Earth orbit.
Feb. 3: A E-6 lunar lander fails to reach orbit.
Beginning of February: Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Defense put forward proposals for the applications of the N1 heavy launcher.
April 2: A E-6 lunar lander lifts off but misses the Moon. Announced as Luna-4.
June: Valentina Tereshkova, the world's first woman in space, completes orbital flight aboard Vostok-6.
Dec. 3: A Government decree sets the first launch of the 7K Earth-orbiting spacecraft in 1964, and 9K, 11K vehicles for a circumlunar mission in 1965 or 1966.
Dec. 24: A Government decree distributes assignments for the launch infrastructure for the N1 rocket.
Jan. 25: Wernher von Braun and his team starts the development of the Saturn-5 rocket. (10)
March 28: A Saturn-1 (SA-4) rocket flies a suborbital test mission.
April 2: NASA orders 13 flight-rated Gemini spacecraft.
June 12: During a senate testimony, NASA Administrator James Webb announces that there would be "no further Mercury shots," ending Alan Shepard's hope that he would orbit the Earth in a future Mercury flight.
Aug. 28: A Little Joe II rocket launches a mockup of the Apollo spacecraft and its escape system to an altitude of 7,320 meters from White Sands, NM, reaching the speed of 1.1 Mach and the range of 15 kilometers.
Oct. 4: McDonnell delivers the first flight-rated Gemini spacecraft to Cape Canaveral.
March 21: The E-6 lunar lander fails to reach orbit.
April 20: The E-6 lunar lander fails to reach orbit.
June 19: A Government decree, officially reschedules the first launch of the N1 rocket to 1966.
July 27: Military Industrial Commission, VPK, considers a five-year plan for space exploration. (84)
October 12: The first three-member crew orbits Earth onboard the Voskhod spacecraft.
Jan. 29: The fifth Saturn-1 rocket (SA-5) flies its first mission with a live second stage featuring six liquid hydrogen engines, which deliver it into high orbit.
Jan. 30-Feb. 2: The Ranger-6 probe lifts off and hits the lunar surface in the Sea of Tranquility, but fails to transmit photos due to a short circuit.
April 8-12: A Titan-2 rocket launches the first unmanned Gemini-1 spacecraft.
May 13: A Little Joe-2 rocket launches the mockup of the Apollo spacecraft and its escape system LES from White Sands, NM.
May 28: A Saturn-1 rocket flies a test mission.
July 28: Ranger-7 relays high-resolution pictures of the lunar surface before impacting the Moon.
Sept. 18: A Saturn-1 rocket flies a test mission.
Dec. 8: Little Joe-2 rocket launches a mockup of the Apollo spacecraft and its escape system, LES, from White Sands, NM.
Jan. 26: A technical commission chaired by Mstislav Keldysh is formed to access the N1 project.
Feb. 10: The plan of development of the L3 system had been approved after evaluation by the Keldysh commission from the Academy of Sciences.
March 12: The E-6 lunar lander failed to leave Earth orbit. Announced as Kosmos-60.
March 18: Alexei Leonov conducts the world's first spacewalk during Voskhod-2 mission.
April 10: The E-6 lunar lander failed to reach Earth orbit.
May 9: The E-6 lunar lander crashed into the lunar surface. Announced as Luna-5.
June 8: The E-6 lunar probe missed the Moon. Announced as Luna-6.
June 30: Chelomei approves the preliminary design of the LK complex for a circumlunar mission around the Moon.
July 22: Zond-3 images part of the Moon's far side.
Aug. 26: The meeting of key space officials gives go ahead to the L1 project.
Sept. 8: The Military Industrial Commission of the Presidium of the Soviet of Ministers issues Decision No. 201 allocating 18 launches of the 8K82K rocket for the L1 test flight program.
Oct. 4: The E-6 lunar lander crashes into the lunar surface. Announced as Luna-7.
Oct. 25: the Soviet government issues a decree "On the consolidation of resources of development organizations of the industry on the development of the complex of rocket and space means for the flight around the Moon," formally consolidating the effort of the industry on the circumlunar mission with the UR-500K-L1 complex.
Dec. 7, 00:51 Moscow Time: The E-6 lunar lander crashed into the lunar surface. Announced as Luna-8.
Jan. 19: A Titan-2 rocket launches the unmanned Gemini-2 spacecraft on a suborbital test mission.
Feb. 16: The Saturn-1 rocket launches the Pegasus-1 satellite and the Apollo "boilerplate"mockup.
Feb. 17: Ranger-8 lifts off.
Feb. 20: The Ranger-8 probe hits the Moon, relaying high-resolution pictures of the lunar surface before the impact.
February: US astronauts Dick Gordon, Buzz Aldrin, Dave Scott, Neil Armstrong, and Rusty Schweikart travel to Nevada to meet geology experts from USGS to study craters like those found on the lunar surface.
March 2: NASA's Atlas-Centaur-5 rocket fails at launch from Cape Canaveral's LC-36A pad during an attempt to test the "direct ascent" trajectory for the Surveyor lunar lander program.
March 21-24: The Ranger-9 probe hits the Moon, relaying high-resolution pictures of the lunar surface before the impact.
March 23: A Titan-2 rocket launches the Gemini-3 spacecraft on the first manned mission, lasting 4 hours 53 minutes.
April 16: A cluster of five F-1 engines for the Saturn-5 rocket is test-fired for the first time in Huntsville, Ala.
May 19: The Little Joe II rocket launches a mockup of the Apollo spacecraft and its escape system, LES, from White Sands, NM. The launch failed.
May 25: A Saturn-1 SA-8 rocket launches the Pegasus-2 satellite and the Apollo "boilerplate"mockup.
June 3-7: Edward White completes first US spacewalk during the Gemini-4 mission.
July 30: The final Saturn-1 rocket launches the Pegasus-3 satellite and the Apollo "boilerplate"mockup.
Aug. 21-29: Gemini-5 crew completes 8-day, 120-orbit flight.
Aug. 26: President Lyndon Johnson announced the beginning of the Manned Orbital Laboratory, MOL, project.
Dec. 4-18: Gemini-7 spends two weeks in orbit -- enough time to complete a lunar expedition.
Dec. 15-16: Gemini-6A completes a rendezvous with Gemini-7.
Jan. 14: Sergei Korolev, de-facto head of the Soviet space program, dies during a botched surgery in Moscow.
Jan. 20: The first unsuccessful attempt to conduct live test firing of the 3rd stage of the N1 rocket (Block V) at NIIKhIMMash's EU-16 facility in Zagorsk.
Feb. 3: Luna-9 completes soft landing on the lunar surface.
March 1: The E-6S lunar orbiter failed to leave Earth orbit. Announced as Kosmos-111.
March 31: Luna-10, the first spacecraft to orbit the Moon, is launched.
Aug. 24: The E-6LF No. 101 lunar orbiter heads to lunar orbit under name Luna-11 to image lunar surface.
Oct. 22: The E-6LF lunar orbiter is launched; announced as Luna-12.
Dec. 11: Test of emergency escape system for the Soyuz spacecraft in Vladimirovka. (52)
Dec. 21: The Luna-13 is launched; completes soft landing on the surface of the Moon on Dec. 24.
Lunar Orbiter lifts off
Earth over the Moon by Lunar Orbiter-1
Feb. 26: The first Saturn-1B (AS-201) rocket launches Block I of the first Apollo spacecraft on its first 15-minute suborbital test mission reaching an altitude of 425 kilometers. The Apollo's command module then splashes down in the Atlantic successfully testing its heat shield.
March 16: Gemini-8 completes first manual docking with the Agena-8 target stage.
April 23: NASA conducts the successful test of Structural and Dynamic Test Vehicle (S-II-T) at a newly build facility in Lousiana. The S-II-T was a cluster of 5 J-2 rocket engines that was the core of the second stage of the Saturn-5 rocket.
May 6: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center announces that it received the first uprated J-2 engine from Rocketdyne, which would be used on Saturn-5 rockets beginning with the launch of the Apollo-9 mission.
May 17: The Agena Target Vehicle, ATV, lifts off but fails to reach orbit, requiring to delay the Gemini-9 mission scheduled for launch on the same day.
May 30: Surveyor-1 is launched. The first US spacecraft to complete soft-landing on the surface of the Moon on June 2.
June 3-6: The Gemini-9 mission.
July 5: The Saturn-1B rocket delivers a 26.5-ton test version of the 2nd Apollo spacecraft into the low Earth orbit.
July 18-21: The Gemini-10 mission.
Aug. 10 - Oct. 19: The Lunar Orbiter-1 conducts a mission to map the Moon.
Aug. 23: Lunar Orbiter-1 beams back the first photo of the Earth over the Moon.
Aug. 25: The Saturn-1B rocket launches the 3rd Apollo test spacecraft on a suborbital trajectory.
Sept. 12: The Gemini-11 mission is launched.
Sept. 20-23: The Surveyor-2 lander crashes on the lunar surface.
Nov. 3: The Titan-3 rocket launched a mockup of the MOL station.
Nov. 6, 1966 - Oct. 11, 1967: The Lunar Orbiter-2 conducts a mission to map the Moon.
Nov. 11-15: The Gemini-12 mission.
April 8: The UR-500K rocket launches a prototype of the L1 circumlunar spacecraft No. 3P. A second firing of the Block D fails in orbit. Announced as Kosmos-154.
April 24: Vladimir Komarov dies on landing after the Soyuz-1 test flight.
May 17: The E-6LS lunar orbiter failed to leave Earth orbit. Announced as Kosmos-159.
Sept. 28: The UR-500K failed to deliver L1 spacecraft into orbit due to the failure of the 1st stage.
Oct. 27: A test flight of the unmanned Soyuz spacecraft, announced as Kosmos-186.
Jan. 27: Three astronauts die in a fire during training inside the command module of the the Apollo spacecraft on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral.
Feb. 5 - Oct. 9: The Lunar Orbiter-3 conducts a mission to map the Moon.
Feb. 23: NASA begins stacking stages of the first Saturn-5 vehicle (No. AS-501) for the Apollo-4 mission.
April 17-20: NASA's Surveyor-3 robotic lander flies to the lunar surface.
May 4-Oct. 6: The Lunar Orbiter-4 conducts a mission to map the Moon.
July 14-17: The Surveyor-4 lander crashes on the lunar surface.
Aug. 1-Jan. 31, 1968: The Lunar Orbiter-5 conducts a mission to map the Moon.
Sept. 8-11: The Surveyor-5 lander reaches the lunar surface.
Nov. 4: NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George Mueller releases the planned schedule for Apollo missions to be flown in 1968 and 1969, leading to a lunar landing.
Nov. 7 The Surveyor-6 lifts off.
Nov. 9: The first Saturn-5 rocket launches an unmanned Apollo-4 spacecraft into the Earth orbit.
Nov. 9: The Surveyor-6 lands on the lunar surface.
Feb. 7: The E-6LS lunar orbiter fails to reach the Earth's orbit.
March 2: The UR-500K rocket launches the L1 spacecraft into a test flight announced as Zond-4. Its reentry capsule self-destructed during the reentry.
April 7: The launch of the Luna-14 lunar orbiter to test DRK long-range communications system.
April 23: An UR-500K rocket fails to deliver the L1 No. 7L spacecraft into orbit.
July 14: An on-pad explosion of the upper stage killed one person. Craft damaged.
Sept. 15-21: The Zond-5, a prototype of the spacecraft for manned circumlunar missions, flies around the Moon and splashes down in the Indian Ocean.
Nov. 10-17: The Zond-6 flies around the moon and lands in the USSR.
Jan. 7-10: The Surveyor-7 lander reaches the lunar surface.
Jan. 22-Feb. 11: The Saturn-1B rocket launches an unmanned Apollo-5 mission, testing the first lunar module in the Earth orbit.
Feb. 8: The Apollo Site Selection Board announces five potential landing sites on the first expedition during the Apollo-11 mission.
Feb. 10: NASA conducts a full-duration captive firing of the second stage for a Saturn-5 rocket which would be used to launch the Apollo-9 mission in 1969. It was 4th flight version of the S-II stage.
April 4: The second Saturn-5 rocket launches an unmanned Apollo-6 spacecraft.
April 27: NASA Administrator James E. Webb approves the plan to fly the third Saturn-5 mission with a crew. Webb based his decision on the work of engineers who quickly understood and fixed the problems encountered during the Apollo-6 mission on April 4.
May 6: Lunar Landing Research Vehicle crashes, but its pilot, Neil Armstrong, ejects safely.
August: In the wake of the Soviet Zond (L1) flights, and due to the delays with the development of the LM-3 lunar module (originally scheduled to fly during the Apollo-8 mission in the Earth's orbit), NASA considers sending the Apollo-8 spacecraft into the lunar orbit. The flight test of the lunar module in the Earth's orbit would be then deferred to the Apollo-9 mission. (140)
Aug. 9: Apollo Spacecraft Program Manager George M. Low proposes sending the second Apollo flight with a crew on a circumlunar mission in meetings with key officials from the Manned Spacecraft Center, MSC, in Houston, the Marshall Space Flight Center, MSFC, and the Kennedy Space Center, KSC.
Aug. 14: Representatives from MSC, MSFC and KSC attend the meeting in Washington, DC, on August 14, with NASA Deputy Administrator Thomas O. Paine and Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips, the senior NASA Headquarters officials present. (NASA Administrator James E. Webb and Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller were attending a conference in Vienna). The group discusses the feasibility of Low’s proposal and agrees that it was technically possible to accomplish a circumlunar flight with Apollo-8 in December.
In additional discussions are held during the week of Aug. 14, including with Administrator Webb, who agrees to plan for a December 6 Apollo-8 launch, despite a more suitable launch date of December 20. No formal decision about a lunar mission would be made until after a successful Apollo-7 flight in October, which would prove the space-worthiness of the Apollo Command and Service Module in Earth orbit.
Aug. 19: NASA's Deputy Administrator Thomas O. Paine announces that the lunar module was dropped from the Apollo-8 mission scheduled to launch in December on the first Saturn-5 rocket to carry the crew. No mention is made of a plan to send the Apollo-8 into the orbit around the Moon.
Oct. 9: A Saturn-5 rocket with the Apollo-8 spacecraft rolls out to its launch pad.
Oct. 11-22: Three astronauts fly an 11-day Apollo-7 mission testing command and service module for lunar expedition in the Earth's orbit.
Oct. 17: Two review boards release their findings from Neil Armstrong's May 6 Lunar Landing Research Vehicle crash. Armstrong didn't have enough warning of a loss of propellant pressure and had to eject.
Nov. 8: NASA launches the Pioneer-9 interplanetary spacecraft with eight instruments between orbits of Earth and Venus to monitor solar weather and solar wind during the Apollo missions.
Nov. 12: In the wake of the Apollo-7 success, NASA publicly discloses its decision to send the Apollo-8 spacecraft on a circumlunar mission in December 1968. (139)
Dec. 21-27: Apollo-8 with the crew of three completes the world's first manned mission in the orbit of the Moon.
Jan. 14-18: The Soyuz-4 and 5 spacecraft docked in the Earth orbit. Two cosmonauts transfer from one craft to another during the EVA.
Feb. 19: The E-8 lunar rover failed to reach Earth orbit.
July 13: The E-8-5 spacecraft designed to return lunar samples before the Apollo-11 expedition, launched toward the Moon. Crashed on the lunar surface. Announced as Luna-15.
Aug. 8-14: The Zond-7 flew around the moon and landed in the USSR.
Sept. 23: The E-8-5 spacecraft designed to return lunar samples failed to leave Earth orbit. Announced as Kosmos-300.
Oct. 11-18: The Soyuz-6, -7, -8 conducted simultaneous orbital flight.
Oct. 22: The E-8-5 spacecraft designed to return lunar samples failed to leave Earth orbit. Announced as Kosmos-305.
February: President Nixon establishes a Space Task Group, STG, considering the future of the US space program. (10)
Feb. 27: As all three crewmembers develop cold, NASA announces a delay of the planned February 28 launch of Apollo 9.
March 3-13: Apollo-9 conducts a test flight in the Earth's orbit, including the autonomous flight of the lunar module.
April 10: NASA announces the crew for the Apollo-12 mission, the second expedition to the Moon.
April 11: Command and Service Module for the Apollo-11 mission are mated to the Lunar Module Adapter.
April 14: The upper composite of the Apollo-11 spacecraft is move to the Vehicle Assembly Building for the integration with its Saturn-5 rocket.
May 18-26: Apollo-10 flies toward and around the Moon in a "dress rehearsal" of the lunar landing.
May 20: The Saturn-5 rocket with the Apollo-11 spacecraft rolls out to the launch pad.
July 16-24: The Apollo-11 astronauts land and walk on the surface of the Moon.
August: The MOL project was officially canceled.
September: Space Task Group, STG, proposes an aggressive post-Apollo program.
Oct. 28: Boeing is awarded contract to build lunar rover.
Nov. 14-24: The Apollo-12 expedition to the Moon.
6: The E-8-5 spacecraft designed to return lunar samples failed to reach
Sept. 12: The Luna-16 blasted off toward the Moon on a mission to return lunar samples.
Oct. 20: The Zond-8 (L1) spacecraft flew around the Moon and landed in the Indian Ocean.
Nov. 17: Luna-17 delivers the Lunokhod-1 rover on the surface of the Moon.
Nov. 24: A test of the LK lunar lander in the Earth orbit. Announced as Kosmos-379.
Dec. 2: A flight test of the Block D upper stage version developed for the N-1 launcher. Fired seven times in orbit. Announced as Kosmos-382.
April 11-17: The Apollo-13 fails to reach the Moon due to an in-flight anomaly, however its crew returns safely to Earth.
July 28: NASA Administrator Thomas O. Paine announced his resignation from the agency. (10)
November: Dr. George Low, acting NASA Administrator, tells Congress that the Soviet program of developing of a super heavy-lift vehicle continued despite all failures.
Feb. 26: A test of the LK lunar lander in the Earth orbit. Announced as Kosmos-398.
April 19: Salyut-1, the first orbital station is launched. Its first crew of three dies on landing.
June 27: The 3rd launch of the N1 rocket (Vehicle Number 6L) fails at 50.1 seconds after liftoff.
Aug. 12: A test of the LK lunar lander in the Earth orbit. Announced as Kosmos-434.
Sept. 2: The E-8-5 lunar sample return mission launched. Crashed during landing on the Moon. Announced as Luna-18.
Sept. 28: The E-8LS lunar orbiter launched toward the Moon. Announced as Luna-19.
Jan. 31-Feb. 9: The Apollo-14 expedition to the Moon.
July 26-Aug. 7: The Apollo-15 expedition to the Moon.
Feb. 14: The Luna-20 blasted off toward the Moon on a mission to return lunar samples.
Nov. 23: The 4th launch of the N1 rocket (Vehicle Number 7L) failed about 107 seconds after liftoff.
April 16-27: The Apollo-16 expedition to the Moon.
June 10: Wernher von Braun leaves NASA. (10)
Dec. 7-19: The Apollo-17, the 6th and last expedition to visit the Moon in the 20th century.
Jan. 16: Luna-21 delivers the Lunokhod-2 rover on the surface of the Moon.
May 14: The final Saturn-5 rocket launches the Skylab station.
May 25-June 22: The 1st expedition to the Skylab space station.
July 29-Sept. 25: The 2nd expedition to the Skylab space station.
Nov. 16: The 3rd and final crew flies to the Skylab space station.
May: The Vehicle Number 8L is modified for the fifth N1 test flight scheduled for the fourth quarter of 1974.
May 21-22: Valentin Glushko replaces Vasili Mishin as a head of TsKBEM.
May 29: The E-8LS lunar orbiter launched toward the Moon. Announced as Luna-22.
Oct. 28: The E-8-5M lunar sample return mission failed during landing on the Moon. Announced as Luna-23.
|1974||Feb. 8: The 3rd and final expedition to the Skylab space station returns to Earth.|
|Oct. 16: The attempt to launch the E-8-5M No. 412 soil sample return mission failed to reach Earth orbit due to Block D failure.||1975||July 15: The 9th and last Saturn-1B rocket launches the final Apollo spacecraft to rendezvous with the Soviet Soyuz-19 spacecraft.|
February: A government decree officially cancels the N1-L3 program.
Aug. 9: The E-8-5M soil-sample return mission is launched successfully. Announced as Luna-24.
Aug. 18: Luna-24 lands on the surface of the Moon to collect soil samples, which then returned to Earth.