50 years ago today, humans first landed upon the moon during NASA's Apollo 11 mission. Neil Armstrong and then Buzz Aldrin became the first of 12 men to set foot upon Earth's only natural satellite. Although they accomplished scientific goals during their brief stay on the moon their mission was mostly a test flight. Five more Apollo lunar missions focused more on lunar science; another mission (Apollo 13) would have if not for a catastrophic explosion during the transit from Earth to Luna. Another three missions were planned after Apollo 17 and all of the hardware was built before the missions were cancelled (saving just $42 million).
Five sites were prime candidates for the three cancelled missions, including an adventurous landing in Tsiolkovsky crater on Luna's far side, proposed by Harrison Schmitt, who was the last (so far) man to set foot upon the moon.
In honor of what was and what might have been, today's Featured Map shows the locations of the six manned moon landings plus the four Earth-side candidates for the cancelled missions.
Information on this site may not be accurate or current and is not valid for flight planning or navigation. No warranty of fitness for any purpose is made or implied. Flight planning and navigation should only be done using official charts.
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Karl L. Swartz.
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