||This article contains orbital elements but does not include an epoch, or date when those elements, which typically vary over time, were correct.|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2010)|
David Scott performs an EVA from Command Module Gumdrop, seen from docked Lunar Module Spider
|Mission type||Lunar Module test flight|
|COSPAR ID||CSM: 1969-018A
|SATCAT №||CSM: 3769
|Mission duration||10 days, 1 hours, 54 seconds|
|Manufacturer||CSM: North American Rockwell
|Launch mass||95,231 pounds (43,196 kg)|
|Landing mass||11,094 pounds (5,032 kg)|
|Members||James A. McDivitt
David R. Scott
Russell L. Schweickart
|EVA duration||77 minutes|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||March 3, 1969, 16:00:00UTC|
|Rocket||Saturn V SA-504|
|Launch site||Kennedy LC-39A|
|End of mission|
|Decay date||October 23, 1981 (LM)|
|Landing date||March 13, 1969, 17:00:54UTC|
|Landing site||North Atlantic Ocean
|Regime||Low Earth orbit|
|Perigee||204 kilometers (127 mi)|
|Apogee||497 kilometers (309 mi)|
|Epoch||March 5, 1969|
|Docking with LM|
|Docking date||March 3, 1969, 19:01:59 UTC|
|Undocking date||March 7, 1969, 12:39:06 UTC|
|Docking with LM Ascent Stage|
|Docking date||March 7, 1969, 19:02:26 UTC|
|Undocking date||March 7, 1969, 21:22:45 UTC|
Apollo 9 was the third manned mission in the United States Apollo space program and the first flight of the Command/Service Module (CSM) with the Lunar Module (LM). Its three-person crew, consisting of Commander James McDivitt, Command Module Pilot David Scott, and Lunar Module Pilot Rusty Schweickart, tested several aspects critical to landing on the Moon, including the LM engines, backpack life support systems, navigation systems, and docking maneuvers. The mission was the second manned launch of a Saturn V rocket.
|Commander||James A. McDivitt
|Command Module Pilot||David R. Scott
|Lunar Module Pilot||Russell L. Schweickart
|Commander||Charles Conrad, Jr,|
|Command Module Pilot||Richard F. Gordon, Jr.|
|Lunar Module Pilot||Alan L. Bean|
|The backup crew became the prime crew on Apollo 12.|
- Mass: CSM 26,801 kg; LM 14,575 kg
- Perigee: 189.5 km
- Apogee: 192.4 km
- Inclination: 32.57°
- Period: 88.64 min
LM - CSM docking
- Undocked: March 7, 1969 - 12:39:36 UTC
- Re-docked:March 7, 1969 - 19:02:26 UTC
- Schweickart - EVA - LM forward hatch
- Start: March 6, 1969, 16:45:00 UTC
- End: March 6, 1969, 17:52:00 UTC
- Duration: 1 hour, 07 minutes
- Scott - Standup EVA - CM side hatch
- Start: March 6, 1969, 17:01:00 UTC
- End: March 6, 1969, 18:02:00 UTC
- Duration: 1 hour, 01 minute
In April 1966, McDivitt, Scott, and Schweickart were selected by Deke Slayton as the second Apollo crew, as backup to Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee for the first manned Earth orbital test flight of the block I Command/Service Module, designated AS-204 expected to fly in late 1966. This was to be followed by a second block I flight, AS-205, to be crewed by Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele, and Walter Cunningham. The third manned mission, designated AS-207/208, was planned to fly the block II Command Module and the Lunar Module in Earth orbit, launched on separate Saturn IBs, with a crew to be named.
However, delays in the block I CSM development pushed AS-204 into 1967. By December 1966, the original AS-205 mission was cancelled, Schirra's crew was named as Grissom's backup, and McDivitt's crew was promoted to prime crew for the LM test mission, re-designated AS-205/208. On January 26, 1967, they were training for this flight, expected to occur in late 1967, in the first block II Command Module 101 at the North American plant in Downey, California.
Apollo 9 was the first space test of the complete Apollo spacecraft, including the third critical piece of Apollo hardware besides the Command/Service Module and the Saturn V launch vehicle—the Lunar Module. It was also the first space docking of two vehicles with an internal crew transfer between them. For ten days, the astronauts put both Apollo spacecraft through their paces in Earth orbit, including an undocking and redocking of the lunar lander with the command vehicle, just as the landing mission crew would perform in lunar orbit. Apollo 9 gave proof that the Apollo spacecraft were up to this critical task, on which the lives of lunar landing crews would depend.
For this and all subsequent Apollo flights, the crews were allowed to name their own spacecraft (the last spacecraft to have been named was Gemini 3). The gangly LM was named Spider, and the CSM was labeled Gumdrop because of the Command Module's shape, and also the blue wrapping in which the craft arrived at Kennedy Space Center. These names were required as radio call signs when the vehicles flew independently.
Schweickart and Scott performed an EVA—Schweickart checked out the new Apollo spacesuit, the first to have its own life support system rather than being dependent on an umbilical connection to the spacecraft, while Scott filmed him from the Command Module hatch. Schweickart was due to carry out a more extensive set of activities to test the suit, and demonstrate that it was possible for astronauts to perform an EVA from the Lunar Module to the Command Module in an emergency, but as he had been suffering from space sickness the extra tests were scratched.
The Command Module was displayed at the Michigan Space and Science Center, Jackson, Michigan, until April 2004 when the center closed. In May 2004, it was moved to the San Diego Aerospace Museum (now named the San Diego Air & Space Museum). The LM ascent stage orbit decayed on October 23, 1981, the LM descent stage (1969-018D) orbit decayed March 22, 1969. The S-IVB stage J-2 engine was restarted after Lunar Module extraction and propelled the stage into solar orbit by burning to depletion.
The circular patch shows a drawing of a Saturn V rocket with the letters USA on it. To its right, an Apollo CSM is shown next to an LM, with the CSM's nose pointed at the "front door" of the LM rather than at its top docking port. The CSM is trailing rocket fire in a circle. The crew's names are along the top edge of the circle, with APOLLO IX at the bottom. The "D" in McDivitt's name is filled with red to mark that this was the "D mission" in the alphabetic sequence of Apollo missions. The patch was designed by Allen Stevens of Rockwell International.
Summary of maneuvers
|T + Time||Event||Burn Time||Delta-Velocity||Orbit|
|T + 00:00:00||Lift-off|
|T + 00:02:14.34||S-IC center engine cut-off||141 s|
|T + 00:02:42.76||S-IC engine cut-off||169 s|
|T + 00:02:45.16||S-II ignition|
|T + 00:03:13.5||S-II skirt separation|
|T + 00:03:18.3||LES jettison|
|T + 00:08:56.22||S-II cut-off|
|T + 00:08:57||S-II cutoff + separation, S-IVB ignition|
|T + 00:11:04.66||S-IVB cutoff + orbital insertion||127.4 s||191.3 × 189.5 km|
|T + 02:41:16||CSM/S-IVB separation|
|T + 03:01:59.3||CSM/LM docking|
|T + 04:08:09||Spacecraft/S-IVB separation|
|T + 05:59:01.07||First Service Propulsion System (SPS) test||5.1 s||+10.4 m/s||234.1 × 200.7 km|
|T + 22:13:04.07||Second SPS test||110 s||+259.2 m/s||351.5 × 199.5 km|
|T + 25:17:39.27||Third SPS test||281.6 s||+782.6 m/s||503.4 × 202.6 km|
|T + 28:24:41.37||Fourth SPS test||28.2 s||-91.45 m/s||502.8 × 202.4 km|
|T + 49:41:34.46||Docked DPS test||369.7 s||-530.1 m/s||499.3 × 202.2 km|
|T + 54:26:12.27||Fifth SPS test||43.3 s||-175.6 m/s||239.3 × 229.3 km|
|T + 92:39:36||CSM/LM undocking|
|T + 93:02:54||CSM separation maneuver||10.9 s||-1.5 m/s|
|T + 93:47:35.4||LM Descent Propulsion System (DPS) phasing maneuver||18.6 s||+27.6 m/s||253.5 × 207 km|
|T + 95:39:08.6||LM DPS insertion maneuver||22.2 s||+13.1 m/s||257.2 × 248.2 km|
|T + 96:16:06.54||LM concentric sequence initiation maneuver/Descent stage jettison||30.3 s||-12.2 m/s||255.2 × 208.9 km|
|T + 96:58:15||LM Ascent Propulsion System (APS) constant delta height maneuver||2.9 s||-12.6 m/s||215.6 × 207.2 km|
|T + 97:57:59||LM terminal phase finalization maneuver||34.7 s||+6.8 m/s||232.8 × 208.5 km|
|T + 99:02:26||CSM/LM docking|
|T + 101:22:45||LM ascent stage jettison|
|T + 101:32:44||Post-jettison CSM separation maneuver||7.2 s||+0.9 m/s||235.7 × 224.6 km|
|T + 101:53:15.4||LM APS burn to depletion||350 s||+1,643.2 m/s||6,934.4 × 230.6 km|
|T + 123:25:06.97||Sixth SPS test||1.29 s||-11.5 m/s||222.6 × 195.2 km|
|T + 169:39:00.36||Seventh SPS test||25 s||+199.6 m/s||463.4 × 181.1 km|
|T + 240:31:14.84||Deorbit burn (SPS)||11.6 s||-99.1 m/s||442.2 × -7.8 km|
|T + 240:36:03.8||SM jettison|
|T + 241:00:54||Splashdown|
The Apollo 9 Command Module Gumdrop (1969-018A) is on display at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, San Diego, California. Its Service Module (SM) was jettisoned shortly after the deorbit burn and decayed during reentry of the Command Module.
The ascent stage of LM-3 Spider (1969-018C) decayed on October 23, 1981.
The descent stage of LM-3 Spider (1969-018D) decayed March 22, 1969.
- Orloff, Richard W. (September 2004) [First published 2000]. "Table of Contents". Apollo by the Numbers: A Statistical Reference. NASA History Division, Office of Policy and Plans. NASA History Series (Washington, D.C.: NASA). ISBN 0-16-050631-X. LCCN 00061677. NASA SP-2000-4029. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- McDowell, Jonathan. "SATCAT". Jonathan's Space Pages. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- "Apollo 9 Crew". The Apollo Program. Washington, D.C.: National Air and Space Museum. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- "Apollo Image Gallery: Early Apollo". Project Apollo Archive. Kipp Teague. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
- "Saturn S-IVB-504N - Satellite Information". Satellite database. Heavens-Above. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
- Hengeveld, Ed (May 20, 2008). "The man behind the Moon mission patches". collectSPACE. Retrieved July 18, 2009. "A version of this article was published concurrently in the British Interplanetary Society's Spaceflight magazine."
- "Apollo 9". National Space Science Data Center. NASA. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Apollo 9.|
- Apollo 9 Press Kit (PDF), NASA, Release No. 69-29, February 23, 1969
- "Table 2-37. Apollo 9 Characteristics" from NASA Historical Data Book: Volume III: Programs and Projects 1969–1978 by Linda Neuman Ezell, NASA History Series, NASA SP-4012, (1988)
- "Appendix 6 - Crews and Support for Manned Apollo Flights". The Apollo Spacecraft: A Chronology. Volume IV. NASA. 1978. OCLC 23818. NASA SP-4009. Archived from the original on February 5, 2008. Retrieved January 29, 2008.
- "Apollo 9 flight plan AS-504/CSM-104/LM-3 Final Report" (PDF) by J. V. Rivers, NASA, February 1969
- The Apollo Spacecraft: A Chronology NASA, NASA SP-4009
- "Apollo Program Summary Report" (PDF), NASA, JSC-09423, April 1975
- Apollo 9: Three To Make Ready Official NASA documentary film (1969)
- Apollo 9 16mm onboard film part 1, part 2 raw footage taken from Apollo 9
- Apollo 9: The Space Duet of Spider & Gumdrop Official NASA documentary film (1969), OCLC 7682161
- Apollo 9 images at NASA'S Kennedy Space Center
- Apollo launch and mission videos at ApolloTV.net