1.6 Going to the Moon
Later this week you’ll learn more about the Apollo missions and earlier missions to the Moon. Although Apollo 11 was the first mission to put humans on the Moon, it was not the first spacecraft to land. Two earlier Apollo missions had orbited without landing and several unmanned probes had landed. The Soviet Union had crash-landed a probe as early as 1959. On the American side, the Mercury (1961–63) and Gemini (1964–66) programmes confronted the problems that needed to be solved before a trip to the Moon could be launched.