Apollo to the Moon

When President Kennedy committed the nation in 1961 to landing a man on the Moon, America had sent only a single astronaut briefly into space. By the time the Apollo program ended, it had taken the efforts of more than a half-million people, produced the largest and most powerful rockets ever built, and sent humans farther than they had ever gone before.

The great achievements of the Apollo program rested upon many small ones, upon thousands of technical innovations and boundless ingenuity. The heart of Apollo to the Moon is its unparalleled display of artifacts from Apollo and earlier missions that bring this sweeping endeavor down to a human scale. Displays range from a huge F-1 rocket engine and a scale model of the Saturn V rocket to space food and personal items that astronauts took into space. The gallery also displays some of the Museum's great treasures: spacesuits worn by Apollo astronauts on the Moon.


F-1 Engine

F-1 Engine
The F-1 engine was developed to provide propulsion for the Saturn 5 rocket used during the Apollo lunar landing missions. Developed during the early 1960s, the Saturn 5 rocket was the largest rocket in the world and the F-1 was the most powerful rocket engine.

Five F-1 engines were clustered at the base of the first stage of a Saturn 5. They developed 3,450,000 kilograms (7,610,000 pounds) of thrust at lift off, and burned 2,021,000 liters (534,000 gallons) of liquid propellants in the 2 1/2 minutes before first stage burnout. By then the big rocket had reached 9,660 kilometers per hour (6,000 miles per hour) and an altitude of 61 kilometers (38 miles).

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Skylab 4 Command Module

Skylab 4 Command Module
This Apollo command module is identical to those used during the Apollo Program. It was used to ferry the crew of the last Skylab mission, astronauts Gerald P. Carr, Edward G. Gibson, and William R. Pogue, to the Skylab Orbital Workshop and back to Earth again. The Skylab 4 crew lived in the Skylab for 84 days, from Nov. 16, 1973 to Feb. 8, 1974. The crew performed numerous experiments and demonstrated that humans can live and work in space for long periods of time.

Skylab was a manned space station launched into Earth orbit by the United States in May 1973. It was made from the third stage of a Saturn V launch vehicle. A crew of three astronauts occupied Skylab during each of three missions. The longest mission, which ended in February 1974, lasted almost three months.

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Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV)

Lunar Roving Vehicle
The Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) carried two astronauts along with their life-support systems, scientific equipment, and lunar samples on the airless, low gravity surface of the Moon. It had a range of about 92 kilometers (57 miles), allowing astronauts to place instruments and collect samples away from the immediate area of the lunar module. The vehicle had power for up to 78 hours of operation.

An LRV was first used by the crew of Apollo 15 and later by the crews of Apollo missions 16 and 17. This artifact is a Qualification Test Unit. It is one of eight test vehicles built by The Boeing Company before they built the three flight vehicles.

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