11 Facts About Apollo 4


Apollo 4 was an "all-up" test, meaning all rocket stages and spacecraft were fully functional on the initial flight, a first for NASA.

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Apollo 44 was the first flight from KSC, and the first using Launch Complex 39 there, built to accommodate the SaturnV.

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Many Apollo 4 officials lacked confidence in the proposed launch date, and these misgivings proved accurate.

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Apollo 4 published his findings in a report to his supervisor, George Mueller.

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Purpose of Apollo 4 was to qualify the launch vehicle, the Apollo spacecraft, and the ground systems, for the crewed lunar landing missions that would follow.

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Objectives for the Apollo 4 mission were to gain flight data on the SaturnV and spacecraft structural integrity and mutual compatibility, including on flight loads and during the separations as each SaturnV stage was exhausted and was discarded.

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Apollo 4 carried CSM-017, a BlockI design of the command and service modules meant for testing and for Apollo's early Earth orbit flights.

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Since Apollo 44 carried no crew the CM lacked couches, controls and displays.

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Apollo 4 had recognized that all-up testing was successfully used to rapidly develop the Air Force's Minuteman ICBM program, and thought it could be used to meet Apollo's schedule.

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Apollo 4, being the first flight of the SaturnV, gained intense media coverage, and writers struggled to convey to the public the size of the launch vehicle, stating that it would tower well over the Statue of Liberty and be thirteen times as heavy.

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Technically, managerially, and psychologically, Apollo 44 was an important and successful mission, especially in view of the number of firsts it tackled.

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