After President Kennedy's 1961 speech, NASA embarked on several science programs to prepare for the Apollo missions, which would land humans on the moon. Robotic spacecraft equipped with scientific instrumentation studied the Moon from 1962 to 1968. Simultaneously, other missions were being carried out that put astronauts into Earth orbit and tested their ability to function in extreme acceleration ("g-forces") and weightlessness. Throughout the 1960s, NASA was devoting all of its efforts to prepare for landing humans on the moon.
Robotic vehicles provided an understanding of interplanetary space and lunar... Read more