Apollo Missions

Beginning in 1959, the Soviet Union and the United States sent a series of robot spacecraft to examine the moon in detail. Their ultimate goal was to land people safely on the moon. The United States finally reached that goal in 1969 with the landing of the Apollo 11 lunar module. The United States conducted six more Apollo missions, including five landings. The last of those was Apollo 17, in December 1972.

The Apollo missions revolutionized the understanding of the moon. Much of the knowledge gained about the moon also applies to Earth and the other inner planets -- Mercury, Venus, and Mars. Scientists learned, for example, that impact is a fundamental geological process operating on the planets and their satellites.

After the Apollo missions, the Soviets sent four Luna robot craft to the moon. The last, Luna 24, returned samples of lunar soil to Earth in August 1976.

Want to read more about Apollo Missions? Click on the following links for more Apollo information:

Moon Landing

Apollo 11 Mission

Apollo 13 Mission

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