Apollo 10

Apollo 10

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Apollo 10 was the fourth manned mission in the American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Apollo space program. It was an F type mission—its purpose was to be a "dry run" for the Apollo 11
Apollo 11
In early 1969, Bill Anders accepted a job with the National Space Council effective in August 1969 and announced his retirement as an astronaut. At that point Ken Mattingly was moved from the support crew into parallel training with Anders as backup Command Module Pilot in case Apollo 11 was...

 mission, testing all of the procedures and components of a Moon landing
Moon landing
A moon landing is the arrival of a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. This includes both manned and unmanned missions. The first human-made object to reach the surface of the Moon was the Soviet Union's Luna 2 mission on 13 September 1959. The United States's Apollo 11 was the first manned...

 without actually landing on the Moon
Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

 itself. The mission included the second crew to orbit the Moon and an all-up test of the lunar module
Apollo Lunar Module
The Apollo Lunar Module was the lander portion of the Apollo spacecraft built for the US Apollo program by Grumman to carry a crew of two from lunar orbit to the surface and back...

 (LM) in lunar orbit. The LM came to within 8.4 mi (13.5 km) of the lunar surface during practice maneuvers.

According to the 2002 Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records, known until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records , is a reference book published annually, containing a collection of world records, both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world...

, Apollo 10 set the record for the highest speed attained by a manned vehicle at 39,897 km/h (11.08 km/s or 24,791 mph) during the return from the Moon on May 26, 1969.

Due to the use of their names as call sign
Call sign
In broadcasting and radio communications, a call sign is a unique designation for a transmitting station. In North America they are used as names for broadcasting stations...

s, the Peanuts
Peanuts
Peanuts is a syndicated daily and Sunday American comic strip written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz, which ran from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000, continuing in reruns afterward...

characters Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown
Charles "Charlie" Brown is the protagonist in the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz.Charlie Brown and his creator have a common connection in that they are both the sons of barbers, but whereas Schulz's work is described as the "most shining example of the American success story", Charlie...

 and Snoopy
Snoopy
Snoopy is an fictional character in the long-running comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. He is Charlie Brown's pet beagle. Snoopy began his life in the strip as a fairly conventional dog, but eventually evolved into perhaps the strip's most dynamic character—and among the most recognizable...

 became semi-official mascots for the mission. Peanuts creator Charles Schulz also drew some special mission-related artwork for NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

.

Crew



Backup crew



Support crew

  • Charles M. Duke, Jr
  • Joseph H. Engle
  • James B. Irwin
    James Irwin
    James Benson Irwin was an American astronaut and engineer. He served as Lunar Module pilot for Apollo 15, the fourth human lunar landing; he was the eighth person to walk on the Moon.-Early life:...

  • Jack R. Lousma

Flight directors

  • Glynn Lunney
    Glynn Lunney
    Glynn S. Lunney is a retired NASA engineer. An employee of NASA since its foundation in 1958, Lunney was a flight director during the Gemini and Apollo programs, and was on duty during historic events such as the Apollo 11 lunar ascent and the pivotal hours of the Apollo 13 crisis...

    , Black team
  • Gerry Griffin, Gold team
  • Milton Windler, Maroon team
  • Pete Frank, Orange team

Crew notes


Apollo 10 was the first of only two Apollo missions with an entirely flight-experienced crew. Stafford had flown on Gemini 6
Gemini 6A
-Backup crew:-Mission parameters:* Mass: * Perigee: * Apogee: * Inclination: 28.97°* Period: 88.7 min-Stationkeeping with GT-7:* Start: December 15, 1965 19:33 UTC* End: December 16, 1965 00:52 UTC-Objectives:...

 and Gemini 9
Gemini 9A
- Backup crew :- Original primary crew :- Mission parameters :* Mass: * Perigee: * Apogee: * Inclination: 28.91°* Period: 88.78 min- 1st rendezvous :* June 3, 1966 - 17:45 - 18:00 UTC- Spacewalk :* Cernan...

; Young had flown on Gemini 3
Gemini 3
Gemini 3 was the first manned mission in NASA's Gemini program, the second American manned space program. On March 23, 1965, the spacecraft, nicknamed The Molly Brown, performed the seventh manned US spaceflight, and the 17th manned spaceflight overall...

 and Gemini 10
Gemini 10
-Backup crew:-Mission parameters:*Mass: *Perigee: *Apogee: *Inclination: 28.87°*Period: 88.79 min-Docking:*Docked: July 19, 1966 - 04:15:00 UTC*Undocked: July 20, 1966 - 19:00:00 UTC-Space walk:...

, and Cernan had flown with Stafford on Gemini 9.

They were also the only Apollo crew all of whose members went on to fly subsequent missions aboard Apollo spacecraft: Stafford later commanded the US vehicle on the Apollo Soyuz Test Project; Young commanded Apollo 16
Apollo 16
Young and Duke served as the backup crew for Apollo 13; Mattingly was slated to be the Apollo 13 command module pilot until being pulled from the mission due to his exposure to rubella through Duke.-Backup crew:...

, and Cernan commanded Apollo 17
Apollo 17
Apollo 17 was the eleventh and final manned mission in the American Apollo space program. Launched at 12:33 a.m. EST on December 7, 1972, with a three-member crew consisting of Commander Eugene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 remains the...

.

The Apollo 10 crew holds the distinction of being the humans who have traveled to the furthest point away from home, some 408950 kilometres (254,110.4 mi) from their homes and families in Houston. While most Apollo missions orbited the moon at the same 111 kilometres (69 mi) from the lunar surface, timing makes this distinction possible as the distance between the Earth and Moon varies by approximately 43000 kilometres (26,719 mi) (between perigee
Perigee
Perigee is the point at which an object makes its closest approach to the Earth.. Often the term is used in a broader sense to define the point in an orbit where the orbiting body is closest to the body it orbits. The opposite is the apogee, the farthest or highest point.The Greek prefix "peri"...

 and apogee) throughout the year, and the Earth's rotation make the distance to Houston vary by another 12000 kilometres (7,456.5 mi) each day. The Apollo 10 crew reached the furthest point in their orbit around the far side of the Moon at approximately the same time Earth had rotated around putting Houston nearly a full Earth diameter away. The Apollo 13 crew holds the distinction of being the furthest any human has traveled from the Earth's surface.

By the normal rotation in place during Apollo, the backup crew would have been scheduled to fly on Apollo 13
Apollo 13
Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the American Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the Moon. The craft was launched on April 11, 1970, at 13:13 CST. The landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later, crippling the service module upon which the Command...

. However, Alan Shepard
Alan Shepard
Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. was an American naval aviator, test pilot, flag officer, and NASA astronaut who in 1961 became the second person, and the first American, in space. This Mercury flight was designed to enter space, but not to achieve orbit...

 was given the command slot instead. Cooper was enraged and resigned from NASA. Later, Shepard's crew was forced to switch places with Jim Lovell's tentative Apollo 14
Apollo 14
Apollo 14 was the eighth manned mission in the American Apollo program, and the third to land on the Moon. It was the last of the "H missions", targeted landings with two-day stays on the Moon with two lunar EVAs, or moonwalks....

 crew.

Deke Slayton wrote in his memoirs that Cooper and Eisele were never intended to rotate to another mission as both were out of favor with NASA management for various reasons (Cooper for his lax attitude towards training and Eisele for incidents aboard Apollo 7
Apollo 7
Apollo 7 was the first manned mission in the American Apollo space program, and the first manned US space flight after a cabin fire killed the crew of what was to have been the first manned mission, AS-204 , during a launch pad test in 1967...

 and an extra-marital affair) and were assigned to the backup crew simply because of a lack of qualified manpower in the Astronaut Office at the time the assignment needed to be made. Cooper, Slayton noted, had a very small chance of receiving the Apollo 13 command if he did an outstanding job with the assignment, which he didn't. Eisele, despite his issues with management, was always intended for future assignment to the Apollo Applications Program
Apollo Applications program
The Apollo Applications Program was established by NASA headquarters in 1968 to develop science-based manned space missions using surplus material from the Apollo program...

 (which was eventually cut down to only the Skylab
Skylab
Skylab was a space station launched and operated by NASA, the space agency of the United States. Skylab orbited the Earth from 1973 to 1979, and included a workshop, a solar observatory, and other systems. It was launched unmanned by a modified Saturn V rocket, with a mass of...

 component) and not a lunar mission.

Earth orbit

  • Perigee
    Perigee
    Perigee is the point at which an object makes its closest approach to the Earth.. Often the term is used in a broader sense to define the point in an orbit where the orbiting body is closest to the body it orbits. The opposite is the apogee, the farthest or highest point.The Greek prefix "peri"...

    :
    184.5 km
  • Apogee: 190 km
  • Inclination
    Inclination
    Inclination in general is the angle between a reference plane and another plane or axis of direction.-Orbits:The inclination is one of the six orbital parameters describing the shape and orientation of a celestial orbit...

    :
    32.5°
  • Period
    Orbital period
    The orbital period is the time taken for a given object to make one complete orbit about another object.When mentioned without further qualification in astronomy this refers to the sidereal period of an astronomical object, which is calculated with respect to the stars.There are several kinds of...

    :
    88.1 min

Lunar orbit

  • Perilune: 111.1 km
  • Apolune: 316.7 km
  • Inclination
    Inclination
    Inclination in general is the angle between a reference plane and another plane or axis of direction.-Orbits:The inclination is one of the six orbital parameters describing the shape and orientation of a celestial orbit...

    :
    1.2°
  • Period
    Orbital period
    The orbital period is the time taken for a given object to make one complete orbit about another object.When mentioned without further qualification in astronomy this refers to the sidereal period of an astronomical object, which is calculated with respect to the stars.There are several kinds of...

    :
    2.15 hours

LM - CSM docking

  • Undocked: May 22, 1969 - 19:00:57 UTC
  • Redocked: May 23, 1969 - 03:11:02 UTC

LM closest approach to lunar surface

  • May 22, 1969, 21:29:43 UTC


On May 22, 1969 at 20:35:02 UTC, a 27.4 second LM descent propulsion system burn inserted the LM into a descent orbit of 60.9 nautical miles (112.8 km) by 8.5 nautical miles (15.7 km) so that the resulting lowest point in the orbit occurred about 15° from lunar landing site 2 (the Apollo 11
Apollo 11
In early 1969, Bill Anders accepted a job with the National Space Council effective in August 1969 and announced his retirement as an astronaut. At that point Ken Mattingly was moved from the support crew into parallel training with Anders as backup Command Module Pilot in case Apollo 11 was...

 landing site). The lowest measured point in the trajectory was 47400 feet (14.4 km) above the lunar surface at 21:29:43 UTC.

Mission highlights


This dress rehearsal for a Moon landing
Moon landing
A moon landing is the arrival of a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. This includes both manned and unmanned missions. The first human-made object to reach the surface of the Moon was the Soviet Union's Luna 2 mission on 13 September 1959. The United States's Apollo 11 was the first manned...

 brought Stafford and Cernan's lunar module Snoopy
Snoopy
Snoopy is an fictional character in the long-running comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. He is Charlie Brown's pet beagle. Snoopy began his life in the strip as a fairly conventional dog, but eventually evolved into perhaps the strip's most dynamic character—and among the most recognizable...

to 8.4 nmi (15.6 km) from the lunar surface. The low approach orbit was to refine the lunar gravitational potential needed to calibrate the powered descent guidance system to within 1 nautical miles (1.9 km) (LR altitude update lock) needed for a landing. Earth-based observations, unmanned spacecraft, and Apollo 8 respectively had allowed calibration to 200 nmi (370.4 km), 20 nmi (37 km), and 5 nmi (9.3 km). Except for that final stretch, the mission went exactly as a landing would have gone, both in space and on the ground, where Apollo's extensive tracking and control network was put through a dry run.

Shortly after leaving low Earth orbit
Low Earth orbit
A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

, the command/service module separated from the S-IVB
S-IVB
The S-IVB was built by the Douglas Aircraft Company and served as the third stage on the Saturn V and second stage on the Saturn IB. It had one J-2 engine...

 stage, turned around, and docked its nose to the top of the lunar module still nestled in the S-IVB. The CSM/LM stack then separated from the S-IVB for the trip to the moon.

Apollo 10 carried the first color television
Color television
Color television is part of the history of television, the technology of television and practices associated with television's transmission of moving images in color video....

 camera inside the spacecraft, and made the first live color TV broadcasts from space.

Upon reaching lunar orbit, Young remained alone in the command module Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown
Charles "Charlie" Brown is the protagonist in the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz.Charlie Brown and his creator have a common connection in that they are both the sons of barbers, but whereas Schulz's work is described as the "most shining example of the American success story", Charlie...

while Stafford and Cernan flew separately in the LM. The LM crew checked out their craft's radar and ascent engine, rode out a momentary gyration in the lunar lander's motion (due to a faulty switch setting), and surveyed the Apollo 11 landing site in the Sea of Tranquility. The lunar module on this flight was not equipped to land, however. "A lot of people thought about the kind of people we were: 'Don't give those guys an opportunity to land, 'cause they might!'" said Cernan. "So the ascent module, the part we lifted off the lunar surface with, was short-fueled. The fuel tanks weren't full. So had we literally tried to land on the moon, we couldn't have gotten off."

Splashdown
Splashdown (spacecraft landing)
Splashdown is the method of landing a spacecraft by parachute in a body of water. It was used by American manned spacecraft prior to the Space Shuttle program. It is also possible for the Russian Soyuz spacecraft and Chinese Shenzhou spacecraft to land in water, though this is only a contingency...

 occurred in the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 on May 26, 1969 at 16:52:23 UTC, approximately 400 nmi (740.8 km) east of American Samoa
American Samoa
American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of the sovereign state of Samoa...

. The astronauts were recovered by the USS Princeton
USS Princeton (CV-37)
USS Princeton was one of 24 s built during and shortly after World War II for the United States Navy. The ship was the fifth US Navy ship to bear the name, and was named for the Revolutionary War Battle of Princeton...

, and subsequently flown to Pago Pago International Airport
Pago Pago International Airport
Pago Pago International Airport , also referred to as Tafuna Airport , Tafuna Airfield, Tafuna Airbase or Pago Pago International with airport designation PPG is a public airport located seven miles southwest of the central business district of Pago Pago, in the village and plains of Tafuna on...

 in Tafuna
Tafuna, American Samoa
Tafuna is a village on the east coast of Tutuila Island, American Samoa. It is located on a peninsular a mile north of Pago Pago International Airport and one mile south of Nu'uuli, American Samoa. Tafuna is the largest village in American Samoa, with a population of 8,209 according to the US...

 for a greeting reception, before being flown on a C-141 cargo plane to Honolulu
Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. Honolulu is the southernmost major U.S. city. Although the name "Honolulu" refers to the urban area on the southeastern shore of the island of Oahu, the city and county government are consolidated as the City and...

.

Hardware disposition


The LM descent stages of Apollo 11, 12 and 14-17 remain at their respective landing sites. The Apollo 10 LM descent stage is expected to have crashed onto the lunar surface in an unknown location.

After being jettisoned, the Apollo 10 LM ascent stage flew on a trajectory past the moon and into heliocentric orbit
Heliocentric orbit
A heliocentric orbit is an orbit around the Sun. All planets, comets, and asteroids in our Solar System are in such orbits, as are many artificial probes and pieces of debris. The moons of planets in the Solar System, by contrast, are not in heliocentric orbits as they orbit their respective planet...

, making it the sole intact lunar module ascent stage remaining out of the 10 true LMs sent into space. Both stages of the Apollo 5
Apollo 5
Apollo 5 was the first unmanned flight of the Apollo Lunar Module, which would later carry astronauts to the lunar surface. It lifted off on January 22, 1968 with a Saturn IB rocket.-Objectives:...

, 9
Apollo 9
Apollo 9, the third manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first flight of the Command/Service Module with the Lunar Module...

 and 13
Apollo 13
Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the American Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the Moon. The craft was launched on April 11, 1970, at 13:13 CST. The landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later, crippling the service module upon which the Command...

 LMs burned up in Earth's atmosphere. The Apollo 11
Apollo 11
In early 1969, Bill Anders accepted a job with the National Space Council effective in August 1969 and announced his retirement as an astronaut. At that point Ken Mattingly was moved from the support crew into parallel training with Anders as backup Command Module Pilot in case Apollo 11 was...

 and 16
Apollo 16
Young and Duke served as the backup crew for Apollo 13; Mattingly was slated to be the Apollo 13 command module pilot until being pulled from the mission due to his exposure to rubella through Duke.-Backup crew:...

 LM ascent stages were left in lunar orbit and eventually crashed onto the moon in unknown locations as their orbits were perturbed. The Apollo 12
Apollo 12
Apollo 12 was the sixth manned flight in the American Apollo program and the second to land on the Moon . It was launched on November 14, 1969 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, four months after Apollo 11. Mission commander Charles "Pete" Conrad and Lunar Module Pilot Alan L...

, 14
Apollo 14
Apollo 14 was the eighth manned mission in the American Apollo program, and the third to land on the Moon. It was the last of the "H missions", targeted landings with two-day stays on the Moon with two lunar EVAs, or moonwalks....

, 15
Apollo 15
Apollo 15 was the ninth manned mission in the American Apollo space program, the fourth to land on the Moon and the eighth successful manned mission. It was the first of what were termed "J missions", long duration stays on the Moon with a greater focus on science than had been possible on previous...

 and 17
Apollo 17
Apollo 17 was the eleventh and final manned mission in the American Apollo space program. Launched at 12:33 a.m. EST on December 7, 1972, with a three-member crew consisting of Commander Eugene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 remains the...

 LM ascent stages were deliberately crashed onto the moon in order to obtain seismic readings from the seismometers placed on the lunar surface. (The Lunar Test Article LTA-B flown as ballast aboard Apollo 8
Apollo 8
Apollo 8, the second manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit; the first to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body; and the first crewed voyage to return to Earth from another celestial...

 remained attached to the Saturn S-IVB stage that went into solar orbit.)

The Apollo 10 Command Module Charlie Brown is currently on loan to the Science Museum
Science Museum (London)
The Science Museum is one of the three major museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is part of the National Museum of Science and Industry. The museum is a major London tourist attraction....

 in London, where it is on display.

Mission insignia


The shield-shaped emblem for the flight shows a large, three-dimensional Roman numeral X sitting on the moon's surface, in Stafford's words, "to show that we had left our mark." Although it did not land on the moon, the prominence of the number represents the significant contributions the mission made to the Apollo program. A CSM circles the moon as an LM ascent stage flies up from its low pass over the lunar surface with its engine firing. The earth is visible in the background. A wide, light blue border carries the word APOLLO at the top and the crew names around the bottom. The patch is trimmed in gold. The insignia was designed by Allen Stevens of Rockwell International.

See also



External links