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Apollo Crews - 7 to 10 Trivia Quiz
Between 1969 and 1975, a total of 12 Apollo missions were flown, either in Earth orbit or to the Moon. Can you match the astronauts with the mission they flew? (This encompasses the first four missions)
A classification quiz
Estimated time: 3 mins.
* Drag / drop or click on the choices above to move them to the correct categories.
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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Wally Schirra
Answer: Apollo 7
Wally Schirra was appointed as commander of what was planned as the second manned flight of the new Apollo spacecraft in mid 1966, before his crew was then named as the backup to the first mission. Schirra's crew became the new prime crew following the devastating fire that killed the original prime crew in January 1967.
In October 1968, Schirra's mission, by now named as Apollo 7, was launched, making Schirra the first person to fly in space three times, and the first to fly three different spacecraft. Apollo 7 was a shakedown mission that spent a total of eleven days in orbit, several of which saw Schirra suffering from a heavy cold. Following the end of the flight, Schirra stepped down as an active astronaut, and retired from the astronaut corps in July 1969.
2. Donn Eisele
Answer: Apollo 7
Donn Eisele's first crew assignment was to be selected as the Pilot of the first scheduled Apollo flight, alongside Virgil "Gus" Grissom and Ed White. However, in January 1966, he dislocated his shoulder, an injury that required surgery, and saw him replaced by Roger Chaffee. As a result, he was reassigned to Wally Schirra's crew, serving as Senior Pilot, with Walt Cunningham as Pilot. Following the fatal fire of January 1967 that killed Grissom's crew, the crew led by Schirra became the new prime crew of the first manned Apollo flight, which eventually became Apollo 7. By the time it was launched in October 1968, Eisele's position had been renamed as Command Module Pilot.
Following the eleven-day mission of Apollo 7, Eisele returned to serve as the backup Command Module Pilot for the Apollo 10 mission. However, although this put him in line for a later mission to land on the Moon, a number of incidents during Apollo 7, which saw the flight crew in conflict with the ground controllers, led to his not being selected to fly again. He left the astronaut corps in 1970 and moved to a position at NASA's Langley Research Center.
3. Walt Cunningham
Answer: Apollo 7
Walter Cunningham received his first crew assignment came when he was assigned to the Pilot position in the prime crew of the second manned Apollo flight, commanded by Wally Schirra, which transitioned to become the backup crew for the first planned flight. Following the January 1967 fire, the backup crew became the new prime crew, with Cunningham's position renamed as Lunar Module Pilot. This mission eventually became Apollo 7, launching in October 1968, and flying for eleven days in Earth orbit, giving a thorough shakedown to the new spacecraft.
Following the flight of Apollo 7, the public disagreements between the flight crew and ground controllers led to Cunningham not being selected for any further missions. He was instead transferred to head the Skylab office within NASA's Flight Crew Directorate, a role that he served in until he ultimately left NASA in 1971.
4. Frank Borman
Answer: Apollo 8
Following his Gemini 7 mission, Frank Borman was assigned to Project Apollo, and was initially named as backup commander of the planned second mission, before the mission schedule was changed. This saw his crew, Michael Collins and Bill Anders, became the prime crew of the planned third mission, which included a test of the Apollo lunar module. However, in late 1968, after intelligence that the Soviets were planning a manned lunar flyby, the mission schedule was again altered, and Borman's flight changed to a circumlunar mission.
Apollo 8, with Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, was launched on December 21 1968, and was the first time humans had left the vicinity of their own world. The spacecraft spent much of Christmas Day in lunar orbit, eventually returning on December 27. Although he had been offered the chance to command the first lunar landing mission, Borman had elected to retire from NASA following the flight of Apollo 8. His final major task was to serve as liaison with President Nixon during the flight of Apollo 11 in 1969, after which he left NASA in June 1970.
5. Jim Lovell
Answer: Apollo 8
Jim Lovell was one of NASA's experienced astronauts, having flown two Gemini missions, when he was assigned as Command Module Pilot alongside Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, who were the backups for the planned Apollo 9 mission. However, in July 1968, Lovell swapped places in the prime crew with Michael Collins, who required surgery. This saw Lovell reunited with Frank Borman, his commander on Gemini 7, who was the mission's commander, alongside Bill Anders as Lunar Module Pilot. Then, in August, the crew was informed that their mission was changed from a lunar module test flight to a circumlunar flight, with the mission designated as Apollo 8. One of Lovell's major roles was as navigator, which included a need to manually realign the spacecraft's navigation platform using readings from the onboard sextant.
Following the successful flight of Apollo 8, after which Borman announced he was stepping down as an astronaut, Lovell was appointed to his sixth crew as either prime or backup, when he became backup commander of Apollo 11, intended as the first lunar landing, in early 1969. This put him in line to command his own landing mission that, based on the rotation, would be Apollo 14, scheduled for July 1970.
6. Bill Anders
Answer: Apollo 8
Although Bill Anders never flew on a Gemini mission, during the closing period of Project Gemini he was one of the first astronauts to fly the lunar Landing Training Vehicle, an aircraft specially designed to simulate landing the Apollo Lunar Module. This allowed his selection as the Lunar Module Pilot to the planned mission to be commanded by Frank Borman, with Michael Collins as Command Module Pilot. This was to be the second test flight of the Lunar Module. However, as a result of delays in getting the spacecraft prepared for its first flight, NASA instead decided to move the flight of Borman's crew forward - it would instead be a circumlunar flight, using just the Command Module.
In December 1968, Apollo 8, with Borman, Anders and Jim Lovell replacing Collins, launched on its way to the Moon, where it spent most of Christmas Eve that year in orbit. It was while orbiting the Moon that Anders (it is believed) took the famous "Earthrise" photograph of Earth rising above the lunar horizon. Following the end of Apollo 8, Anders was selected to serve as backup Command Module Pilot of Apollo 11, before leaving NASA in August 1969, having been appointed to the National Aeronautics and Space Council by President Nixon.
7. Jim McDivitt
Answer: Apollo 9
Having already flown a Gemini mission, in March 1966 Jim McDivitt was announced as the backup commander of the first planned Apollo mission, which was intended to fly late that year. However, delays in getting the spacecraft ready saw his crew, Senior Pilot Dave Scott and Pilot Rusty Schweickart, reassigned to instead serve as the prime crew of the first test of the Lunar Module spacecraft, intended to fly in August 1967. However, both the fire that killed the first Apollo crew, and delays in the completion of the Lunar Module, saw the mission schedule slip. In 1968, it was decided to bring the crew commanded by Frank Borman ahead of McDivitt's, with McDivitt's mission now named as Apollo 9 and scheduled to be a full test of the Lunar Module in Earth orbit in early 1969.
Apollo 9 was launched in March 1969, and spent ten days in Earth orbit, undertaking further testing of the Command Module, but also providing a full shakedown of the Lunar Module, which included systems, maneuvers and procedures intended to be used during lunar missions. During the flight, McDivitt, in his capacity as commander, made a number of key decisions, most notably permitting Schweickart, who had suffered vomiting during the first few days of the mission, to undertake a planned EVA to test the life support backpacks to be used on the Moon. After the completion of Apollo 9, McDivitt left the astronaut corps to serve as Lunar Landing Operations Manager, overseeing the planned exploration programme of the Moon, before being appointed as the Apollo Programme Manager in August 1969.
8. Dave Scott
Answer: Apollo 9
Following the aborted flight of Gemini 8, which lasted just ten hours instead of the planned three days owing to an in-flight failure, Dave Scott was assigned to an Apollo crew led by Jim McDivitt, which was initially intended as the backup for the first manned Apollo flight. However, in December 1969 this crew was reassigned as the prime crew for the mission intended to test the Apollo Lunar Module, which eventually became Apollo 9. During this flight, the flight plan included a period where the Lunar Module would separate, leaving Scott, the Command Module Pilot, alone for a period of time.
During the ten-day flight of Apollo 9 in March 1969, a significant proportion of the Lunar Module testing was packed into the first few days of the mission, in case it had to be ended early. This included an EVA between Scott and Lunar Module Pilot Rusty Schweickart, when both retrieved experiments from the exteriors of their spacecraft and photographed each other. The fifth day saw the separation test, which lasted several hours and saw the LM fly as far as 115 miles from the CSM, making Scott the first American to fly alone in space since 1963. Following the successful test of the LM, the remainder of the mission was devoted to further testing of the CSM, including its sextant for navigation, and its propulsion systems. Following the mission's conclusion, Scott was named as the backup commander of Apollo 12, which put him in line to command his own lunar landing mission.
9. Russell Schweickart
Answer: Apollo 9
Russell Schweickart, generally known as "Rusty", was initially named to Jim McDivitt's Apollo crew in early 1966, which was assigned as the backup crew of the first manned Apollo flight. To this, Schweickart was assigned to the Pilot position. This crew was then transferred in December 1966 to serve as the prime crew of the first test flight of the Apollo Lunar Module, with Schweickart and McDivitt taking on a significant responsibility in the final development of the Lunar Module spacecraft. The planned flight, initially intended as Apollo 8 in the revised flight schedule, was redesignated as Apollo 9 when McDivitt's crew was swapped with that of Frank Borman, with their mission planned for launch in March 1969.
Following Apollo 9's launch, Schweickart began to suffer from space adaptation syndrome ("space sickness"), which led to the postponement of the ambitious EVA that had been planned that which would have seen Schweickart, using the spacesuit intended for use on the Moon, transferring from the Lunar Module to the Command Module. Although his condition improved, the scope of the EVA was reduced, with Schweickart and Dave Scott remaining in the hatches of their respective spacecraft, gathering in experiments and photographing each other. During the EVA, Schweickart had a brief period while Scott was attending to a camera to simply watch Earth orbiting, and led to his taking up transcendental meditation after the experience. Following the completion of Apollo 9, Schweickart was assigned to the Skylab programme, serving as backup commander of Skylab 2, before being reassigned to NASA Headquarters in 1974.
10. Tom Stafford
Answer: Apollo 10
Tom Stafford had flown on two Gemini missions by the time he was assigned to an Apollo crew, initially serving as the Senior Pilot under Frank Borman, whose crew was backup for the second planned Apollo flight. He was subsequently made the commander, with John Young taking his old role, and Gene Cernan assigned as Pilot. This crew was subsequently named as the backups for the flight that eventually became Apollo 7 and, with the then standard crew rotation scheme of serving as a backup, missing two flights, then being assigned as a prime crew, saw Stafford named as the commander of Apollo 10. This was the flight intended to be the full-up rehearsal for the lunar landing flight, which at this point was planned as Apollo 11.
As part of the mission, Stafford help to design a new color television camera for broadcasting from space - the previous missions had used a black and white camera that had produced a poor quality video signal; with the landing mission upcoming, Stafford felt that increasing and improving public outreach was an important element of the flight of Apollo 10. As a dress rehearsal, the Lunar Module was taken down to a minimum height of around nine miles above the lunar surface, mimicking everything except the final descent. Following the completion of Apollo 10, Stafford was named as the Chief Astronaut, replacing Alan Shepard, who had returned to flight status. In this role, Stafford assumed responsibility for crew assignments alongside the Flight Crew Operations Director, Deke Slayton.
11. John Young
Answer: Apollo 10
Having flown two Gemini missions, John Young's initial Apollo assignment was on the crew led by Tom Stafford, which was named as backups to the flight that was planned as Apollo 2, which was to be the second manned flight of Apollo. However, owing primarily to the mission schedule altering following the fatal fire that killed the first Apollo crew, they were reassigned as the backups to the new mission planned to be first, which came to be Apollo 7. As a result of this assignment, it led to Young, serving as the Command Module Pilot, being named to the crew of Apollo 10, which was to be the second flight to the Moon, and the full-up dress rehearsal for the landing, scheduled to launch in May 1969.
On the mission of Apollo 10, Young, in his role as Command Module Pilot, was the crew member primarily responsible for navigation - during the flight, he not only took measurements to account for any potential loss of communication, but also undertook the final maneuver to put the spacecraft into orbit. He also became the first Command Module Pilot to dock with the Lunar Module, after it was shown during the flight of Apollo 9 that it was more difficult for the crew in the Lunar Module to do this. Following the end of Apollo 10, Young returned to the flight rotation, being given command of the backup crew for Apollo 13, which put him in line to command a landing mission of his own.
12. Gene Cernan
Answer: Apollo 10
Gene Cernan had already gained spaceflight experience alongside Tom Stafford during Project Gemini when he was named as the Lunar Module Pilot on Stafford's crew that was named as the backups for the first manned Apollo flight, which launched as Apollo 7 in August 1968. As a result, this put the crew in line to be named as prime crew for Apollo 10 which, according to the revised mission schedule, was to be the full-up rehearsal for the lunar landing. Apollo 10 was eventually scheduled for May 1969, and was the first American space mission with an all veteran crew, with Cernan, Stafford and John Young having five spaceflights between them.
As lunar Module Pilot, Cernan accompanied Stafford during the period when the Lunar Module was undocked from the Command Module and making the final run down towards the surface of the Moon, during which they approached as close as nine miles from the surface. During the final maneuver of this part of the mission, which separated the LM's ascent stage, Cernan garnered criticism for his language - during the separation, the LM began to gyrate unexpectedly, leading Cernan to exclaim "son of a b*tch" on the hot mike, which led to complaints back home. Following the return of Apollo 10, Cernan was offered the Lunar Module Pilot seat on the crew that was to be commanded by John Young, but turned it down in favour of potentially commanding his own landing mission. As a result, he was named as the backup commander of Apollo 14, which put him in line to command one of the later landing missions.