The Apollo 10 mission, which lifted off on May 18th, 1969, was a complete staging of the Apollo 11 mission without actually landing on the Moon. The liftoff marked the fourth crewed Apollo launch in the short space of seven months.  

Apollo 10 was the second mission to orbit the Moon and the first to travel to the Moon with the entire Apollo spacecraft configuration. Astronauts Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan descended inside the lunar module to within 9 miles (14 kilometers) of the lunar surface command achieving the closest approach to the Moon until Apollo 11 landed two months later. Nineteen color television transmissions (totaling 5 hours 52 minutes) of remarkable quality provided the world audience the best exposure yet to spacecraft activities and spectacular views of the Earth and the Moon. 

Meet the Astronauts

Apollo 10 crew. Left to right:  Eugene Cernan, Tom Stafford, John Young.
  • Thomas P. Stafford, Commander: Apollo 10 was Stafford's third flight in space, having been a pilot and then commander for Gemini VI-A and Gemini IX-A, respectively. He also served as commander for the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project 1975. 
  • John W. Young, Command Module Pilot: Serving as a pilot on Gemini 3 and a commander on Gemini X, Young went on to serve as commander for Apollo 16, STS-1, and STS-9.
  • Eugene A. Cernan, Lunar Module Pilot: Before Apollo 10, Cernan served as a pilot for Gemini IX-A. He would be the last man to walk on the Moon at the end of the Apollo Program when he served as the commander for Apollo 17. 
Object Highlight Space Food

This spacefood package contains dehydrated and compressed chicken salad, which was flown on the Apollo 10 mission. Each Apollo crew member was provided with three meals per day which provided approximately 2,800 calories. The food was freeze-dried and was easily reconstituted by the astronaut with a water probe which dispensed one half ounce of hot or cold water as required, each time the trigger button was pressed. Other food consisted of bite-sized cubes of toasted bread, cookies or crackers, sandwiches and bacon. 

More About space food

View freeze-dried chicken salad

Apollo 10 in the Collection 

Command Module, Apollo 10 Object Hatch, Apollo 10 Object Helmet, Pressure Bubble, Young, Apollo 10 Object View from Titusville Apollo 10 Object