Alternate History

Alternate Apollo

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Apollo 1: The POD

Apollo 1 was the first manned flight of the Block II Command-Service Module, but was not without the fire on the pad during the plugs-out test. However, the CSM had the "Blow-Hatch function" from the Mercury capsule, which had initially been eliminated following the sinking of Liberty Bell 7. When the fire broke out, Gus Grissom was able to blow the hatch. Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee escaped without injury and the fire was quickly extinguished (not the least due to the fact it was now exposed to. NASA investigations found that had Grissom not blown the hatch, the pure oxygen environment would have accelerated rapidly, eventually asphyxiating the crew. NASA delayed the launch to NET April 5, 1967 so that redesign work could be carried out. The Block I spacecraft became the Block IB, replacing the hatch with a new design meant for the Block II spacecraft. The A1C pressure suit was eliminated, and the Block II suit was also nixed, both replaced by the newer A7L suit. Finally, pure oxygen would only be used for the helmets, as the cabin environment switched to liquid oxygen, which was found to not accelerate fires as the pure oxygen could have.

On April 5, 1967, at 12:30 PM EDT, Apollo 1 cleared the tower. Launched on a Saturn IB, the CSM achieved Low Earth Orbit. The mission lasted 6 days, before the CSM landed in the South Pacific. The USS Iwo Jima recovered the CM and the crew.


The following is the missions of the program.

Project Apollo
Mission Launch Date Crew Duration Type Launch Vehicle and Location Remarks
Apollo 1 April 5, 1967

Gus Grissom, Commander

Ed White, Senior Pilot

Roger Chaffee, Command Module Pilot

11 days LEO CSM Test Saturn IB, LC-34 Originally scheduled for February 1, the fire on January 27 forced a delay while repairs and redesign were carried out by NASA and North American Aviation. The original Block I suits were also replaced by the much safer A7L Suit. The flight was a complete success.
Apollo 2 June 4, 1967 Unmanned 11 hours 10 minutes LEO Lunar Module Test Saturn IB, LC-34 First test of the Lunar Module. Unlike future flights, the LM on this mission lacked landing legs. The mission was a complete success.
Apollo 3 September 14, 1967 Unmanned Approx. 1 day LEO CSM-LM rendezvous and docking tests Two Saturn IBs, LC-34 and LC-37 First Rendezvous and Docking test of the CSM and LM. First time LM had landing legs. Success.
Apollo 4 November 4, 1967 Unmanned 8 hours, 36 minutes, 9 seconds Saturn V test launch Saturn V, LC-39A First test launch of Saturn V, and first launch from LC-39. Success.
Apollo 5 January 11, 1968

Jim McDivitt, Commander

Rusty Schweickart, Lunar Module Pilot

David Scott, Command Module Pilot

8 days Manned CSM-LM rendezvous and docking test Two Saturn IBs, LC-34 and LC-37 First manned LM test; second manned Apollo flight; first flight of Block II spacecraft. Basically, a manned version of Apollo 3. Also tested EVA suits and the SIM Bay, which was used for weather observation on behalf of the National Weather Service. There had been talk of deploying a weather satellite from the SIM Bay, but it was decided that its cameras were sufficient. Success.
Apollo 6 March 4, 1968 Unmanned Undetermined Saturn V Qualification Flight Saturn V, LC-39A The second test of the Saturn V, this mission was plagued by two major problems. First, severe pogo oscillations in the S-IC and S-II caused the CSM to be inserted into the wrong orbit. Then, the SM antenna didn't deploy, and contact was never established with the spacecraft. It wasn't until 1977 when the crew of Apollo 46 managed to deploy the antenna, finally bringing an end to the mission.
Skylab June 22, 1968 Unmanned


Skylab Launch Saturn V/INT-21, LC-39B Launch of the Skylab space station. First launch of the Saturn INT-21, and first launch from LC-39B.
Apollo 7 August 11, 1968

Wally Schirra, Commander

Donn Eisele, Command Module Pilot

Walter Cunningham, Flight Engineer

10 days, 20 hours, 9 minutes, 3 seconds Skylab Visit Saturn IB, LC-34 First visit to Skylab. Aboard the station, the crew activated the station, boosted it to a higher orbit, and conducted three experiments relating to the use of ballistic weaponry in space. Success.
Apollo 8 December 21, 1968

Frank Borman, Commander

Jim Lovell, Command Module Pilot

Bill Anders, "Lunar Module Pilot"

6 days, 3 hours, 10 minutes, 13 seconds CSM Lunar Orbit Mission Saturn V, LC-39A First manned lunar flight, as well as the first manned deep space flight, and the first manned Saturn V launch. The CSM made 10 orbits of the moon. Success.
Apollo 9 March 3, 1969

Gordon Cooper, Commander

Al Worden, Command Module Pilot

Bruce McCandless II, Lunar Module Pilot

10 days, 1 hour, 0 minutes, 54 seconds Saturn V Lift Capability Test/LM Final Checkout/Skylab Visit Saturn V, LC-39A First launch of the LM on a Saturn V. Second visit to Skylab.
Apollo 10 May 18, 1969

Tom Stafford, Commander

Gene Cernan, Lunar Module Pilot

John Young, Command Module Pilot

8 days, 0 hours, 3 minutes, 23 seconds Lunar Landing Dress Rehearsal Saturn V, LC-39A Dress rehearsal for Apollo 11. First lunar flight for LM. First all-veteran spaceflight, featuring the first color TV broadcast from space. Success.
Apollo 11 July 16, 1969

Neil Armstrong, Commander

Buzz Aldrin, Lunar Module Pilot

Mike Collins, Command Module Pilot

8 days, 3 hours, 18 minutes, 35 seconds First Lunar Landing Saturn V, LC-39A Historic manned lunar landing. Armstrong and Aldrin landed in the Sea of Tranquility. Success.
Apollo 12 November 14, 1969

Pete Conrad, Commander

Alan Bean, Lunar Module Pilot

Dick Gordon, Command Module Pilot

10 days, 4 hours, 36 minutes, 24 seconds Lunar Landing Saturn V, LC-39A First pinpoint landing, and the first multi-EVA mission. Conrad and Bean landed in the Ocean of Storms, not too far from the Surveyor III probe. Success.
Apollo 13 April 11, 1970

Jim Lovell, Commander

Fred Haise, Lunar Module Pilot

Jack Swigert, Command Module Pilot

5 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes, 41 seconds Lunar Landing (Planned) Saturn V, LC-39A Was intended to land at Fra Mauro. However, on April 13, Cryogenic Tank #2 exploded en route to the Moon. The mission turned into a fight for survival. Amazingly, the crew returned safely.
Apollo 14 January 31, 1971

Alan Shepard, Commander

Edgar Mitchell, Lunar Module Pilot

Stuart Roosa, Command Module Pilot

9 days, 0 hours, 1 minute, 58 seconds Lunar Landing Saturn V, LC-39A Visited Fra Mauro, where Apollo 13 was intended to land. Alan Shepard hit the first golf ball in space on this mission. This was the first "full-up" mission, the first mission with the ALSEP experiment package, and the first where the commander was identified by a red stripe on his suit.
Apollo 15 July 26, 1971

David Scott, Commander

Jim Irwin, Lunar Module Pilot

Al Worden, Command Module Pilot

12 days, 7 hours, 11 minutes, 53 seconds Lunar Landing Saturn V, LC-39A First mission with the lunar rover. Scott and Irwin landed at Hadley Rille, where they conducted the first extensive geology mission. The mission also saw the first satellite launched from a manned spacecraft (a staple of the later Space Shuttle missions), the first use of the SIM Bay on a lunar mission, and the first deep-space EVA.
Apollo 16 April 16, 1972

John Young, Commander

Charlie Duke, Lunar Module Pilot

Ken Mattingly, Command Module Pilot

11 days, 1 hour, 51 minutes, 5 seconds Lunar Landing Saturn V, LC-39A Landed in the Descartes Highlands. Set the record for amount of lunar samples brought back from the surface, a record still unmatched.
Apollo 17 December 7, 1972

Gene Cernan, Commander

Jack Schmitt, Lunar Module Pilot

Ron Evans, Command Module Pilot

12 days, 13 hours, 51 minutes, 59 seconds Lunar Landing Saturn V, LC-39B Initially thought to be the last lunar landing, a massive influx of cash approved by Congress funded the program through 1990, citing an increasing need for research and development of consumer technology. Apollo 17 landed in Tauros-Littrow, home to some huge boulders.
Apollo 18 February 4, 1973

Dick Gordon, Commander

Pete Conrad, Lunar Module Pilot

Bruce McCandless II, Command Module Pilot

16 days Extended Lunar Landing Saturn V, LC-39C First launch from LC-39C, and the first extended lunar landing. Gordon and Conrad landed in Marius Hills, which gave insight about the volcanic history of the Moon from domes in the area.
Apollo 19 April 17, 1973

Fred Haise, Commander

Jerry Carr, Lunar Module Pilot

William Pogue, Command Module Pilot

20 days Extended Lunar Landing Saturn V, LC-39A Haise and Carr landed in Copernicus Crater, where they drilled into the crater walls and found evidence of past volcanic activity.
Apollo 20 June 1, 1973

Edgar Mitchell, Commander

Jack Lousma, Lunar Module Pilot

Paul Weitz, Command Module Pilot

20 days Extended Lunar Landing Saturn V, LC-39A Mitchell and Lousma landed in Tycho Crater, close to the Surveyor VII probe. This flight marked the end of Phase 1 of the Apollo program.
Apollo 21 July 8, 1973 Unmanned 4 days Skylab Resupply Saturn IB, LC-34 First launch of the Apollo Supply Craft (ASC). Delivered oxygen, fuel, and provisions to the unoccupied Skylab, and reboosted it to a higher orbit.
Apollo 22 July 9, 1973

Rusty Schwieckart, Commander

Bruce McCandless II, Pilot

Story Musgrave, Flight Engineer

28 days Skylab Visit Saturn IB, LC-34 First manned flight to Skylab since Apollo 9. Ten experiments were performed on this mission.
Apollo 23 September 18, 1973

Alan Bean, Commander

Jack Lousma, Pilot

Owen Gariott, Flight Engineer

39 days Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn IB, LC-34 Start of Skylab Crew Rotation Cycle.
Apollo 24 October 20, 1973

Jerry Carr, Commander

William Pogue, Pilot

Ed Gibson, Flight Engineer

45 days Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn IB, LC-34 In recent years, it was stated that the crew of Apollo 24 conducted a secret spy mission for the Department of Defense.
Apollo 25 January 27, 1974

Vance Brind, Commander

Don Lind, Lunar Module Pilot

William Lenoir, Command Module Pilot

14 days Lunar Landing Saturn V, LC-39D First launch from LC-39D. Brand and Lind landed in Schroter's Valley, where they discovered crystalline rocks.
Apollo 26 February 17, 1974 Unmanned 5 days Skylab Resupply Saturn IB, LC-37 Intentionally destroyed during reentry.
Apollo 27 April 5, 1974

Jim Lovell, Commander

Story Musgrave, Pilot

David Scott, Flight Engineer

62 days Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn IB, LC-34 Performed five science experiments about crystal growth in zero-gravity and installed the Apollo Telescope Mount
Apollo 28 May 22, 1974

Ed White, Commander

Gus Grissom, Pilot

Roger Chaffee, Flight Engineer

10 days Skylab Assembly Saturn IB, LC-34 First Skylab Assembly mission. Delivered the Multi-Dock Adapter to allow expansion.
Apollo 29 August 16, 1974

Neil Armstrong, Commander

Al Worden, Pilot

Robert Crippen, Flight Engineer

10 days Skylab Assembly Saturn INT-21, LC-39A Delivered Science Module A
Apollo 30 October 10, 1974

Karol Bobko, Commander

Gordon Fullerton, Pilot

William Thornton, Flight Engineer

40 days Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn IB, LC-34 Used the Apollo Telescope Mount to study Venus
Apollo 31 December 3, 1974

John Young, Commander

Karl Henize, Pilot

Anthony W. England, Flight Engineer

10 days Skylab Assembly Saturn INT-21, LC-39A Delivered the Mess Module
Apollo 32 February 15, 1975

Buzz Aldrin, Commander

Robert Overmeyer, Pilot

Henry Hartsfield, Flight Engineer

60 days Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn IB, LC-34 Used Science Module A for ten science experiments relating to plant growth.
Apollo 33 April 4, 1975

Robert Crippin, Commander

Ken Mattingly, Lunar Module Pilot

William Pogue, Command Module Pilot

4 minutes Lunar Landing (Planned) Saturn V, LC-39A 80 seconds into flight, the S-1C unexpectedly exploded. The Emergency Detection System (EDS) detected the abrupt loss in telemetry data, and activated Mode 1B (one bravo), marking the first in-flight use of the LES. The CM landed safely near Coco Beach, and the crew was recovered uninjured, but shaken and angry at having lost their chance to go to the Moon. Following the disaster, all Saturn V launches (and by extension, all lunar flights) were put on indefinite hold until investigations were complete. The investigation revealed over-pressurization in the fuel tank of the S-1C caused by a manufacturing defect, resulting in the astronauts suing Boeing for putting them in danger and winning $3 million each. The crew lobbied heavily to be put on the next lunar flight, but Deke Slayton refused on the grounds that it would disrupt the crew rotation.
Apollo 34 July 15, 1975

Thomas P. Stafford, Commander

Vance D. Brand, Command Module Pilot

Donald K. "Deke" Slayton, Docking Module Pilot

9 days, 1 hour, 28 seconds Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Saturn 1b, LC-34 The first Apollo flight since the Apollo 33 Disaster, and the first joint US-Soviet spaceflight. Launch with a special docking adapter, the CSM docked with Soyuz 19 for a historic handshake and joint scientific experiments. The only major issue was during re-entry, when Apollo 34's crew was exposed to toxic nitrogen tetroxide fumes caused by the RCS oxidizer venting from the spacecraft and re-entering a cabin air intake. All three astronauts survived, but had to go to the hospital.
Apollo 36 August 19, 1975

William Anders, Commander

Russell Schweickart, Pilot

Phillip Chapman, Flight Engineer

Approx. 5 minutes Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn IB, LC-34 Conducted experiments on muscular degeneration in microgravity. Also carried out a classified spy mission of Chinese naval yards.
Apollo 37 August 24, 1975 Unmanned Five days Skylab Resupply Saturn IB, LC-37 Recovered
Apollo 38 August 24, 1975

Michael Collins, Commander

Donald H. Peterson, Pilot

Harrison Schmidt, Flight Engineer

30 days Skylab Assembly Saturn INT-20, LC-39C First launch of the Saturn INT-20. Delivered the Docking Module to allow up to five spacecraft to be docked at Skylab (including Soyuz and Progress craft).
Apollo 39 October 5, 1975

James A. McDivitt, Commander

Karol J. Bobko, Pilot

Robert Parker, Flight Engineer

60 days Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn IB, LC-34 Used Science Module A to study how various chemicals react in a vacuum.
Apollo 40 November 17, 1975

Robert Crippin, Commander

Roger L. Chaffee, Pilot

Anthony W. England, Flight Engineer

12 days Skylab Assembly Saturn INT-20, LC-39C Delivered the Carrier Module
Apollo 41 February 2, 1976

Karol Bobko, Commander

Joseph Allen, Pilot

Richard H. Truly, Flight Engineer

40 days Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn IB, LC-34 Minor launch anomaly when the S-IB stage experienced a 20% loss of thrust. The spacecraft managed to make it the rest of the way into orbit using the SPS.
Apollo 42 March 22, 1976 Unmanned 7 days Skylab Resupply Saturn IB, LC-37 Recovered
Apollo 43 April 19, 1976

Walter M. Schirra, Commander

Donn F. Eisele, Pilot

R. Walter Cunningham, Flight Engineer

6 days LEO Test Saturn IB, LC-34 First flight of the Block III spacecraft. This flight's main goal was to test the new SM design and the solar panels. The Block III eventually became standard for LEO missions in 1980. The Apollo 7 crew was selected with the promise that they wouldn't spend 11.5 days in orbit.
Apollo 44 May 4, 1976

Deke Slayton, Commander

Stuart A. Roosa, Pilot

Phillip Chapman, Flight Engineer

30 days Skylab Assembly Saturn INT-20, LC-39C Delivered Science Module B
Apollo 45 July 18, 1976 Unmanned 2 minutes, 13 seconds Skylab Resupply (planned) Saturn IB, LC-37 Guidance system failure caused the rocket to go off-course, forcing the range safety officer to activate the self-destruct sequence. The CM was successfully jettisoned and landed safely 3 miles from Cocoa Beach, going up on the next resupply flight.
Apollo 46 July 30, 1976

John Young, Commander

Robert Crippin, Pilot

L. Gordon Cooper, Flight Engineer

7 days Rescue Saturn IB, LC-34 This flight rendevouzed with the stricken Apollo 6 Block I spacecraft. Young and Cooper, on EVA, successfully repaired the spacecraft antenna, allowing Houston to communicate with the spacecraft and safely land it, finally bringing an end to Apollo 6. Apollo 46 landed three days later after deploying an Experiment Pallet to observe Tropical Storm Anna.
Apollo 47 September 4, 1976 Unmanned 7 days Skylab Resupply Saturn IB, LC-34 The CM intended for the failed Apollo 45 was launched on this flight. Recovered.
Apollo 48 October 11, 1976

Alan Shepard, Commander

Stuart Roosa, Pilot

Edgard Mitchell, Flight Engineer

60 days Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn IB, LC-34 Experiments related to ion propulsion were carried out.
Apollo 49 December 9, 1976

William R. Pogue, Commander

Joe Engle, Pilot

Karl Henize, Flight Engineer

60 days Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn IB, LC-34 Carried out testing of anti-ballistic missile (ABM) technology. Classified DoD payload deployed from SIM Bay.
Apollo 50 March 6, 1977

Neil Armstrong, Commander

John Young, Lunar Module Pilot

Robert Crippin, Command Module Pilot

12 days "Return to Moon" Lunar Landing Saturn V, LC-39A The golden Apollo mission was marked by the first Saturn V flight since Apollo 33, and the first manned lunar landing since 1975. Armstrong and Young landed at Tranquility Base, approx. 120 feet from the Apollo 11 Descent Stage. Over three EVAs, equipment left behind by Armstrong and Aldrin was recovered, including the various experiments and parts from the Descent Stage. This mission ended up being Armstrong's final flight, as he announced retirement on the deck of the USS Hornet. Or so he said...
Apollo 51 April 15, 1977

Bruce McCandless II, Commander

Story Musgrave, Pilot

Edward Gibson, Flight Engineer

60 days Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn IB, LC-34 Carried out experiments regarding muscle degradation in microgravity in Science Module B
Apollo 52 May 6, 1977

William Lenoir, Commander

Owen Garriott, Pilot

Ronald Evans, Flight Engineer

24 days Manned Venus Flyby Phase A Saturn V, LC-39B First phase of the Manned Venus Flyby project of the Apollo Applications Program. Evaluated the use of an S-IVB for long-term habitation.
Apollo 53 August 20, 1977

Jim Lovell, Commander

Tom Stafford, Pilot

Story Musgrave, Flight Engineer

30 days Manned Venus Flyby Phase B Saturn V, LC-39B Second phase of the Manned Venus Flyby project. Using the Block III spacecraft, the SIVB, modified with the Environmental Support Module, put the stack in a circular orbit around Earth at an altitude of 25,000 miles. The craft was exposed to elements similar to that en route to Venus.
Apollo 54 October 4, 1977 Unmanned 7 days Skylab Resupply Saturn IB, LC-37 Destroyed.
Apollo 55 November 5, 1977

Neil Armstrong, Commander

Buzz Aldrin, Pilot

Michael Collins, Flight Engineer

1 year Manned Venus Flyby Phase C Saturn V, LC-39A Armstrong was lured out of retirement for one last mission. In fact, the entire Apollo 11 crew would make their final flights on 55. On February 19, 1978, Apollo 55 flew within 5,000 miles of Venus, making them the first humans to visit another planet, never mind the fact that the flight was the first manned interplanetary mission. The return from Venus was spent taking observations of Mercury and the sun, which were 0.03 AU away. Upon return to Earth, the SIVB spent its remaining fuel inserting the stack into LEO (another first), timed to rendevouz with Skylab. Finally, in a rather complex maneuver, the SIVB was docked to Skylab to serve as the Crew Quarters Module. Apollo 55 returned to Earth safely on July 20, 1978, the ninth anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing. For the duration of Apollo 55, no other Apollo flights were launched, and, aside from the landings of the Viking probes, various activities related to the Pioneer and Voyager programs, was NASA's main focus.
Apollo 56 August 17, 1978 Unmanned 7 days Skylab Resupply Saturn IB, LC-37 First Apollo flight since Apollo 55's launch. Docked to the station to await Apollo 57. 
Apollo 57 August 22, 1978

Robert Crippin, Commander

Karol Bobko, Pilot

Story Musgrave, Flight Engineer

60 days Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn IB, LC-34 Restart of Skylab Crew Rotation Cycle. Conducted experiments regarding hydroponics, which would be needed for a lunar base.
Apollo 58 October 11, 1978 Unmanned 5 days Unmanned CSM Test Saturn IB, LC-37 Unmanned test of the Block V spacecraft to be used on manned Mars missions.
Apollo 59 December 7, 1978

Vance D. Brand, Commander

Don L. Lind, Lunar Module Pilot

Richard F. Truly, Command Module Pilot

18 days Extended Lunar Landing x2 Saturn V, LC-39A/B First flight of the LM Shelter, which was launched on a separate Saturn V. During their stay at Sinus Medii, Brand and Lind recovered parts from Surveyor 6 and inspected the wreckage of Surveyor 4, and drove their LRV to Bruce Crater.
Apollo 60 February 18, 1979

Fred Haise, Commander

C. Gordon Fullerton, Pilot

Joe Engle, Flight Engineer

8 days LM Truck Delivery Saturn V, LC-39A First Apollo lunar flight that did not land manned, as well as the first flight of LM Truck. Delivered the first LM Truck to Armstrong Plains as part of Phase 1 of NASA's lunar base.
Apollo 61 August 21, 1979

John Young, Commander

Richard Covey, Pilot

Steven Hawley, Flight Engineer

8 days LM Truck Delivery Saturn V, LC-39A First flight with members of Astronaut Group 8 (AKA Thirty-Five New Guys or TFNG). Delivered the second LM Truck to Armstrong Plains.
Apollo 62 November 7, 1979

Robert Crippin, Commander

John McBride, Lunar Module Pilot

Brewster Shaw, Command Module Pilot

120 days Lunar Base Stay x2 Saturn V, LC-39A/B At the time, this was the longest stay on the lunar base. A second Saturn V was launched five days prior to the main craft to deliver an LM Shelter and an orbital module for Shaw to stay in. This flight was also a "make-up" for Robert Crippin, who was commander of the ill-fated Apollo 33.
Apollo 63 January 16, 1980

Richard F. Truly, Commander

S. David Griggs, Pilot

Sally Ride, Flight Engineer

60 days Skylab Assembly

Saturn II, LC-39D

Saturn III, SLC-13

First American woman in space. On a lesser note, first flight in which the Saturn INT-20 was referred to as the Saturn II, and first launch of the Saturn III. Was also the first Apollo mission launched from SLC-13. Delivered larger solar arrays to replace those on the Apollo Telescope Mount, which was removed in anticipation of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Apollo 64 June 2, 1980

Richard Covey, Commander

Brewster Shaw, Pilot

Robert Stewart, Flight Engineer

120 days Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn IB, LC-34

Observed solar winds, UV rays, and Near-Earth Objects. Final flight for the Block II spacecraft, which the crew marked by leaving a plaque aboard Skylab with the following words:




Apollo 65/STS-1 April 12, 1981

John Young, Commander

Robert Crippin, Pilot

2 days, 6 hours, 20 minutes, 53 seconds Space Shuttle Test Flight/Skylab Stationkeeping Columbia, LC-39C First flight of the Space Shuttle program, though it was also considered an Apollo flight because it visited Skylab. Major systems were tested, and the shuttle rendevouzed with Skylab, but did not dock with it. During launch, multiple thermal protection tiles were lost, leading to concerns that the craft would be destroyed on re-entry. Fortunately, it wasn't.
Apollo 66 July 4, 1981

Francis "Dick" Scobee, Commander

Loren Shriver, Pilot

Shannon Lucid, Flight Engineer

120 days Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn IB, LC-34

Conducted medical experiments. In November, Lucid returned aboard Apollo 68/STS-2, exchanged for Richard Truly.

Apollo 67 August 11, 1981 Unmanned 8 days Skylab Resupply Saturn IB, LC-37 Recovered.
Apollo 68/STS-2 November 12, 1981

Joe Engle, Commander

Richard Truly, Pilot

4 days Skylab Docking/Crew Exchange Columbia, LC-39C Second flight of the Space Shuttle Program, first time a manned spacecraft returned to space, and first shuttle docking with Skylab. Truly was exchanged for Shannon Lucid of Apollo 66.
LunarLab January 6, 1982 Unmanned Ongoing Launch of LunarLab Saturn V, LC-39A On January 2, 1982, the Soviet Union announced that the Salyut 7 space station would be put in lunar orbit. Concerned that the USSR was doing so to spy on Armstrong Base, Ronald Reagan ordered NASA to put Skylab B in lunar orbit. However, the Saturn III was determined to be unable to do so, leading NASA to use the "wet workshop" concept instead. LunarLab entered lunar orbit three days after launch.
Apollo 69 February 6, 1982

Sally Ride, Commander

Dale Gardner, Pilot

Guion Bluford, Flight Engineer

10 days LunarLab Visit Saturn V, LC-39A Highly anticipated by the civil rights community, this flight saw the first African-American in space. It was also the first flight commanded by a woman, and the first Saturn V launch since Apollo 8 to lack the LM. The spacecraft visited LunarLab and powered it up for the first time, completing fabrication work on the interior and taking observations of the moon. Not on the record was the installation of a 23mm autocannon, intended to destroy Salyut 7 and any other Soviet lunar probes if war erupted between the NATO and Warsaw Pact.
Apollo 70 May 14, 1982

Jim Lovell, Commander

Fred Haise, Lunar Module Pilot

Terry Hart, Command Module Pilot

12 days Armstrong Base Landing Saturn V, LC-39B First visit to Armstrong Base. Ostensibly, Lovell and Haise (who both made their final visits to space on this mission) were assigned to "make up" for Apollo 13. Sure enough, Lovell finally achieved his dream of walking on the moon. Among the other activities, aside from checking over Armstrong Base, included setting up multiple, classified cameras to spy on Salyut 7, which had launched into lunar orbit the month prior, and setting up a hydroponic farm in Shelter #2. Each crew member's nametags were diamond-studded to mark the diamond Apollo mission.
Apollo 71 June 7, 1982

C. Gordon Fullerton, Commander

Guy S. Gardner, Pilot

Bonnie J. Dunbar

50 days Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn IB, LC-34 Conducted further hydroponic experiments, and also installed a classified 20mm autocannon to be used against Soviet satellites and spacecraft.
Apollo 72 July 22, 1982 Unmanned 4 days MEM Orbital Test Titan III, SLC-40 Unmanned test of an early version of the Martian Excursion Module. First Apollo mission launched on a Titan rocket.
Apollo 73 September 25, 1982

Robert Stewart, Commander

David Walker, Pilot

Ellison Onizuka, Flight Engineer

6 days Classified DOD Mission Saturn IB, Classified launch location The exact details of this mission remain sketchy, as almost all information besides landing location and rocket are classified. The launch site is unknown, though it was noted by locals that a rocket launched from Vandenberg AFB the same day Apollo 73 allegedly was, as no mission coverage was provided. This meant that the mission was likely launched into a polar orbit, which would make it the first such Apollo mission. Exactly what occurred on the mission is still unknown, though it is believed that a large camera was installed in the SIM Bay to spy on Soviet installations possessing ICBMs and mobile launchers, as well as submarine yards alleged to have SLBMs and Warsaw Pact bases in Eastern Europe. It is also believed that an Experiment Pallet carrying an autocannon was deployed, and target practice was carried out on derilict satellites. These sketchy details make Apollo 73 one of the most controversial flights of the program due to its alleged demonstration of Apollo's military applications and use of weaponry in space.
Apollo 74 November 4, 1982 Unmanned 8 days LunarLab Resupply Saturn V, LC-39A First resupply mission to LunarLab, and first lunar flight of the ASC. The spacecraft returned to Earth, inserted itself into LEO, and was picked up by Columbia during STS-5, the first operational Space Shuttle flight. This was part of an experiment for reusing Apollo craft.
Apollo 75 February 14, 1983

Dale Gardner, Commander

Michael J. Smith, Pilot

John M. Lounge, Flight Engineer

40 days LunarLab Crew Rotation Saturn V, LC-39A Surveyed possible landing sites on the far side of the Moon.
Apollo 76 June 21, 1983

Owen Garriott, Commander

David Walker, Pilot

Anna Fisher, Flight Engineer

60 days Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn IB, LC-34 Studied how fish in water react to microgravity. Also observed Warsaw Pact military operations in Eastern Europe.
Apollo 77 July 4, 1983

Roger Chaffee, Commander

Frederick Hauck, Pilot

Kathryn Sullivan, Flight Engineer

6 days Classified DOD Mission Saturn II, Vandenberg SLC-6 First true classified Apollo mission. Observed preparations for the Soviet Mars 12/13 launches.
Apollo 78 September 12, 1983

Jon McBride, Commander

Michael Coats, Pilot

James von Hoften, Flight Engineer

60 days Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn II, LC-39B Unlike the last few Skylab missions, this flight was dedicated completely to science, and marked the beginning of the Skylab Science Program. Most of the experiments were actually first mapped out in 1968, before the Skylab program was refocused towards military applications and supporting lunar and Venusian flights. Experiments included mineral balance, UV stellar astronomy, galactic x-ray mapping, exothermic brazing, sphere forming, and nuclear emulsion.
Apollo 79 October 20, 1983 Unmanned 6 days Skylab Resupply Saturn IB, LC-37 Recovered
Apollo 80 November 5, 1983

John E. Blaha, Commander

Mary L. Cleave, Pilot

Wubbo Ockels, Flight Engineer

60 days Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn IB, LC-34 Experiments included UV x-ray solar photography, in-flight aerosol analysis, and also deployed the magnetometer boom from Science Lab B, and collected solar wind particles for return to Earth.
Apollo 81 January 13, 1984 Unmanned 10 days Saturn VI and Ares Propulsion Stack Test Saturn VI, LC-39E First test flight of the Saturn VI, which eclipsed the Saturn V as the largest rocket ever built. It was also the first launch from Pad E, and the first flight of the Block I CSM since Apollo 6. The Ares Propulsion Stack was launched separately in stages utilizing the Space Shuttle and Titan III. The stack went into a highly-elliptical orbit and was subjected to trans-Martian conditions. The CM re-entered at a velocity predicted to be the same as it would be travelling at following a return from Mars.
Apollo 82 February 18, 1984

Charles F. Bolden, Commander

S. David Griggs

James Buchli, Flight Engineer

8 days "Weather Observation" (true profile classified) Saturn IB, LC-34 Many conspiracy theorists believe that this mission tested a predecessor of the Strategic Defense Initiative system. NASA did publicize the launch, though, and the DOD covered up the mission profile by stating it was a weather observation flight utilizing an Experiment Pallet and cameras in the SIM Bay. This remains the official explanation.
Apollo 83 April 10, 1984 Classified Possibly 10 days Classified Saturn II, Vandenberg SLC-6 Even more secret than the Apollo 82, almost no details have been provided. All that is known is that the mission was launched on April 10, 1984, and used a Saturn II rocket. Beyond this, though, all information remains classified. Conspiracy theorists commonly believe the crew was DOD personnel, and they were visiting a classified Air Force space station. The station is commonly called the "Manned Weapons Platform", was possibly in a polar orbit based on where Apollo 83 was launched from, and allegedly carried nuclear warhead reentry vehicles.
Apollo 84 June 6, 1984

Francis "Dick" Scobee, Commander

Mike Smith, MEM Pilot

Ronald McNair, Command Module Pilot

62 days Manned MEM Test/Skylab Crew Rotation Saturn VI, LC-39E First manned launch of the Saturn VI, and first manned flight of the MEM. Scobee and Smith tested the MEM in Earth orbit, within close proximity of Skylab. Afterwards, the MEM re-entered Earth's atmosphere to test the heatshields, which succeeded, and the crew docked to Skylab as part of the crew rotation cycle.
Apollo 85 July 12, 1984 Unmanned 6 days Skylab Resupply Saturn IB, LC-34 Recovered.
Apollo 86 September 19, 1984

Karol J. Bobko, Commander

John E. Blaha, Pilot

James Van Hoften, Flight Engineer

60 days Skylab Crew Rotation/Classified DOD Mission Saturn II, LC-39B Experiments included UV stellar astronomy, zero-g flammability, in-vitro immunology, libration clouds, body mass measurement, and multipurpose furnace systems. This flight may have also undocked from Skylab for several days to carry out a DOD mission involving taking pictures of worrying troop buildups in Eastern Europe. The only evidence of this is staticy recordings by amateur radio operators; through the static, the words "Soviet", "tank", "MRBM", and "Warsaw Pact" are audible, as well as a lack of mission coverage for two days.
Apollo 87 October 1, 1984 Unmanned 6 months Unmanned Mars Mission Test Saturn VI, LC-39E This flight sent the Saturn VI upper stage, the MEM, a Block I CSM with a docking port added, and the Ares Propulsion Stack towards Mars. During the flight, all maneuvers and steps were tested, important engineering data regarding trans-Martian conditions was gathered, and upon reaching Mars, the MEM entered the atmosphere and landed, before lifting off several hours later and rendevouzing with the main spacecraft. The MEM was then jettisoned, and the remainder of the stack sent into a heliocentric orbit. With the success of the test, NASA was now confident it could send men to Mars.
Apollo 88 December 4, 1984

Richard F. Truly, Commander

Ronald J. Grabe, Pilot

Sherwood C. Spring, Flight Engineer

60 days Skylab Assembly Discovery, LC-39D Delivered the Laboratory Module, which would be used to process surface samples from the Moon.
Apollo 89 February 8, 1985 Unmanned 6 days Skylab Resupply Saturn IB, LC-34 Recovered.
Apollo 90 March 21, 1985

John Young, Commander

Robert Crippin, MEM Pilot

John H. Casper, Command Module Pilot

1 year, 8 months Mars Landing Saturn VI, LC-39E The historic first manned Mars landing. Key mission events included a gravity assist by flying by Venus on September 8, 1985, Mars orbit injection on March 25, 1986, the landing itself on March 27, the first EVA on March 30 (after three days to adjust to Martian gravity), lift-off on April 23, TEI on April 24, and return to Earth on November 6, 1986. Unlike Apollo 55, NASA continued launching other Apollo missions while 90 was underway.

Spacecraft Type

Most Missions

  • Command-Service Module (CSM): Crew of three. Used on most manned missions. First flight 1966.
    • Block I: Unmanned boilerplate test vehicle. A manned version was to be used on Apollo 1, but the close call on January 27, 1967 forced modifications be made. The Block I lacked a docking port, and had a double-hatch design that, had a "blow-hatch" function not been added, would have doomed the Apollo 1 crew.
    • Block IB: A modified version of the Block I spacecraft, the IB used the Block II's hatch, and switched to using liquid oxygen instead of pure oxygen. A docking port was added for use on Apollo 3.
    • Block II: The most iconic of the CSM spacecraft, the Block II was first used on Apollo 5, and was the main Apollo spacecraft prior to the introduction of more specialized spacecraft, by which point NASA discontinued production of the Block II and used the remaining stock until the final was flown on Apollo 64 in 1980. Afterwards, the Block II was retired, but unmanned versions continue to be produced as the Apollo Supply Craft.
    • Block III: Standard LEO Apollo spacecraft. Has a service module smaller and lighter than the Block II SM, as well as deployable solar panels. First flight 1976.
    • Block IV: Standard lunar spacecraft. Uses batteries instead of fuel cells, and a pair of Lunar Module Ascent Stage engines in place of the SPS. First flight 1977.
    • Block V: Standard interplanetary spacecraft. Replaces one of the fuel cells with two SNAP-27 RTGs. First flight 1978.

LEO Missions

  • Apollo Supply Craft: Unmanned variant of Block II spacecraft. US equivalent of Progress. First flight 1973.
  • Space Transportation System: Better known as the Space Shuttle, this system was first conceived in 1968 as a replacement for Apollo, but ultimately became a supplemental craft. Envisioned as a cheap, reliable system with quick turnaround times, the system proved to be much more expensive than Apollo, and was intended to be replaced by another system known as VentureStar in the 1990s; VentureStar was cancelled due to spiraling costs, and instead, the shuttle was replaced by an unmanned variant known as Shuttle-C, but because of slow development time, the last manned shuttle flight ended up being launched in 2011, with the Shuttle-C put into service shortly thereafter.

Lunar missions

  • Lunar Module (LM)/Lunar Excursion Module (LEM): Crew of two. First flight 1967.
  • Lunar Shelter: A "Frankenstein" spacecraft combining the Command Module and LM Descent Stage. Used for extended lunar landings in the late 1970s-early 1980s (it was slated for use in 1976, but the Apollo 33 disaster saw it delayed to 1978).
  • LM Truck: A cargo carrier for early missions to Armstrong Plains.
  • LM Cargo: Unmanned. Carries supplies to Armstrong Base. First flight 2008.
  • Lunar Rover: Transportation on the Lunar surface. First used on Apollo 15.

Space Stations

  • Skylab: First space station. Initially launched in 1967, the station grew as new modules were launched and installed.
  • LunarLab: Launched in 1982 as a response to the Soviet Union's plans to put Salyut 7 in lunar orbit. The station was decommissioned in 1992 after the end of the Cold War, and has since been sent into heliocentric orbit.
  • International Space Station: A cooperative project between 16 nations. An amalgamation of several proposed stations (the American Space Station Freedom, the Russian Mir 2, and the European Columbus), plus the pre-existing Skylab station. The station was constructed mainly using the Space Shuttle, with some modules also launched by the Saturn III and Russian Proton. The Apollo Block III, Russian Soyuz, and European Crew Transfer Vehicle are used for crew rotation. The station was completed in 2011.
  • Mir: Began life as a Soviet space station, then became Russian after the collapse of the USSR in 1991 (as in the OTL). In the ATL, the station is not de-orbited until 2009, mainly due to the amount of time it took to transfer equipment to the ISS. First module launched 1986.

Martian Missions

  • Martian Excursion Module: Crew of two. The lander looks similar to a CSM. First launched 1982.
  • Ares Propulsion Stack: Unmanned. The upper half of the Saturn Vb docks to the Propulsion Stack to boost it to Mars. First launched 1985.

Launch Vehicles

  • Saturn I: First launched in 1961, the Saturn I was the forerunner to the entire Saturn family. It made its final flight in 1965 and was replaced by the up-rated B model.
  • Saturn IB: The standard launch vehicle for all missions into Low Earth Orbit until it was retired from manned service in 1988, as its the S-IB stage had to be built in a separate assembly line. Despite this, the S-IB stage is still built in limited numbers and the Saturn IB is still used as an upper-tier satellite launcher, if only because the S-IVB stage is still in mass production; the rocket also occasionally launches payloads to higher orbital inclinations, lunar and interplanetary destinations, in which case a Centaur upper stage is used. Occasionally, if a Saturn II can't be prepared in time for a manned flight, a Saturn IB is used instead, using a special mobile launcher following the decommissioning of LC-34; this has occurred eight times since 1988, the most recent being in 2012.
  • Saturn IC: A 1972 study to replace the eight H-1 engines on the S-IB stage with a single F-1A engine. Cancelled with the advent of the Saturn INT-20.
  • Saturn II: Originally known as the Saturn INT-20, this launcher is basically a Saturn V without the S-II stage and three Rocketdyne F-1 engines. First launched in 1975, it eventually replaced the Saturn IB as the main Earth orbital launch vehicle for the Apollo spacecraft. The spacecraft received its current name in 1980 as part of a program instituted by NASA to give the Saturn launch vehicles more coherent identification.
  • Saturn III: First launched in 1974, the Saturn III is basically a Saturn V without the S-IC stage. This made it a viable mid-range launcher, and indeed, its first major job was launching Skylab modules in 1974 (when it was known as the Saturn INT-17). After the job of launching Skylab modules was delegated to the Space Shuttle, the Saturn III was made available for commercial and military use.
  • Saturn IV: Used to launch Skylab in 1968. Basically a Saturn V without the S-IVB stage. In 1971, it was renamed from Saturn INT-21, and made available for military use; it would go on to become the workhorse of the National Reconnaissance Office, launching all of their satellites starting with OPS 4788, and with a perfect reliability record.
  • Saturn V: At the time of its maiden flight in 1967 on Apollo 4, the legendary Saturn V was the largest rocket ever built, enough that the Sound Suppression System was developed. The Saturn V was the workhorse of the Apollo program from 1968-1973, and continued seeing use as the prime lunar rocket until the Apollo 33 disaster in 1975. It did not fly again until Apollo 50 in 1977. It continues to see use as the main launcher for all lunar missions. 
  • Saturn VI: The largest rocket ever built, the Saturn VI (known as the Saturn VB during development) uses Solid Rocket Boosters, and substitutes the S-IVb for the Crew Module, but otherwise, also uses the S-IC and S-II. Used for missions to Mars. First launched in 1984.
  • Solid Rocket Boosters: Attached to Saturn VI and Space Shuttle. First used 1981.
  • Titan III: Air Force launcher used on Apollo 71 to launch an unmanned MEM.


  • Cape Canaveral: Initially used as a missile test range starting in 1950, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station eventually evolved into the main spaceport of the American space program.
    • Launch Complex 39: The main complex for the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs, and located on Merritt Island as part of the Kennedy Space Center, LC-39 is home to five pads:
      • Pad A: Mainly used for the Saturn V.
      • Pad B: Mainly used by the Saturn II and sometimes for the Saturn V.
      • Pad C: Mainly used for the Saturn III and IV; the Saturn V was launched from here in the past.
      • Pad D: Originally used for the Saturn II, fixed structures were erected in the late 1970s for the Space Shuttle program, meaning Apollo could no longer use the pad.
      • Pad E: The other Space Shuttle launch site, it was converted back to a clean pad state in 2013, now used by the Saturn VI, which it was originally built for.
    • Launch Complex 34: Located south of LC-39, LC-34 was the launch site for all manned Saturn IB flights until the rocket was retired from manned flights in 1988; the pad was then decommissioned and all structures razed save for the concrete base.
    • Launch Complex 37: Used for unmanned Saturn IB launches until the rocket's 1988 retirement; it was then decommissioned, until it was reopened in 2001 for the Delta IV rocket.
    • Space Launch Complex 13: SLC-13 was used to launch the Saturn III until all Saturn launch operations were consolidated at LC-39; SLC-13 was later reopened as Landing Zone 1 for SpaceX's Falcon 9 first stages.
  • Vandenburg SLC-6: Used to launch several classified DOD missions into polar orbit in the 1980s. SLC-6 is still used by the Delta IV.
  • Armstrong Base: A lunar base in Armstrong Plains. Built between 1979 and 2008.

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