United States — NASA
Apollo 10: Crewed Lunar Orbit

Mission Details

Mission Name: Apollo 10
Mission Type: Crewed Lunar Orbit
Operator: NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
Launching State: United States
Location: It is likely that the descent stage impacted the Moon. Whereabouts unknown.
Latitude: N/A
Longitude: N/A
Launch Date: 18 May 1969, 16:49:00 UT
Landing Date: None
Apollo 10 Crew: Thomas Stafford, commander; Eugene Cernan, lunar module pilot; John Young, command module pilot
Image Source: NASA


The mission of the Apollo program was to perform a crewed lunar landing. The first four flights, including Apollo 10, tested the equipment used to ultimately place humans on the lunar surface. The first Apollo flight happened in 1968. The first Moon landing took place in 1969. The last Moon landing was in 1972. A total of twelve humans walked on the Moon as a result of the Apollo program. The astronauts conducted scientific research, studied the lunar surface and collected Moon rocks to bring back to Earth.

Per NASA: The Apollo 10 mission encompassed all aspects of an actual crewed lunar landing, except the landing. It was the first flight of a complete, crewed Apollo spacecraft to operate around the Moon. Objectives included a scheduled eight-hour lunar orbit of the separated lunar module, or LM, and descent to about nine miles off the Moon’s surface before ascending for rendezvous and docking with the command and service module, or CSM, in about a 70-mile circular lunar orbit. Pertinent data to be gathered in this landing rehearsal dealt with the lunar potential, or gravitational effect, to refine the Earth-based crewed spaceflight network tracking techniques, and to check out LM programmed trajectories and radar, and lunar flight control systems. Twelve television transmissions to Earth were planned. All mission objectives were achieved.

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Heritage Consideration

Apollo 10 was the first flight of a complete, crewed spacecraft to operate around the Moon.

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