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IINTRODUCTION Apollo Program American manned lunar-space program designed to land an astronaut on the moon and return him safely to earth as well as to overtake the former Soviet Union in the race to dominate space exploration Conducted between May 1961 and December 1972 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA the program successfully landed Neil Armstrong-the first person to walk on the moon-and 11 other astronauts on the moon The program included 12 manned missions 2 into earth orbit Apollo 7 and 9 2 into lunar orbit Apollo 8 and 10 3 lunar landing missions Apollo 11 12 and 14 and 3 lunar exploration missions Apollo 15 16 and 17 which involved extended stays on the moons surface and more in depth scientific exploration One mission was lost during a test on the launch pad Apollo 1 and one mission returned to the earth before making a scheduled lunar landing Apollo 13 Following the Apollo program Apollo spacecraft were used to shuttle astronauts to and from the Skylab space station and an Apollo spacecraft docked with the orbiting Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 19 in the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project The Apollo program was initiated by United States President John F Kennedy on May 25 1961 It was preceded by the manned Gemini program which engineers used to develop the techniques that would be needed for the ambitious trip to the moon and the unmanned Surveyor Program which scientists used to probe the lunar surface At the peak of Apollo preparations in 1965 NASA employed 36000 civil servants 376700 contractor employees and a yearly operating budget of 52 billion Between 1961 and 1973 NASA spent approximately 254 billion on the Apollo missions During the same time period the Soviet Union scheduled a manned mission to circle the moon Zond 7-just three weeks before Apollo 8 This mission was postponed and the spacecraft was later launched unmanned The Soviets continued to develop and test their one-man Lunar
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