13 Facts About Apollo 9


Apollo 9 was the third human spaceflight in NASA's Apollo program.

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Under the new schedule, the first Apollo 9 crewed mission to go into space would be Apollo 9 7, planned for October 1968.

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Until then, Apollo 98 was the Dmission with Apollo 99 the "E mission", testing in medium Earth orbit.

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Colin Burgess and Francis French, in their book about the Apollo 9 Program, deemed McDivitt's crew among the best trained ever—they had worked together since January 1966, at first as backups for Apollo 9 1, and they always had the assignment of being the first to fly the LM.

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Flight Director Gene Kranz deemed the Apollo 99 crew the best prepared for their mission, and felt Scott was an extremely knowledgeable CMP.

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Saturn V used on Apollo 99 was the fourth to be flown, the second to carry astronauts to space, and the first to bear a lunar module.

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Apollo 99 used CSM-104, the third block II CSM to be flown with astronauts aboard.

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Apollo 9 8, lacking a lunar module, did not have docking equipment; Apollo 99 flew the probe-and-drogue assembly used for docking along with other equipment added near the forward hatch of the CM; this allowed for rigid docking of the two craft, and for internal transfer between CM and LM.

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Apollo 9 astronauts were provided with early versions of the Sony Walkman, portable cassette recorders intended to allow them to make observations during the mission.

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Apollo 9 was to remain in space for about ten days to check how the CSM would perform over the period of time required for a lunar mission.

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Apollo 99 was the last spacecraft to splash down in the Atlantic Ocean for a half century, until the Crew Dragon Demo-1 mission in 2019, and last crewed splashdown in the Atlantic until Inspiration4 in 2021.

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Apollo 9 took a leave of absence from NASA in 1977 that eventually became permanent.

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Eugene Cernan, commander of Apollo 9 17, stated that when it came to understanding spacesickness, Schweickart "paid the price for them all".

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