Apollo Missions

11.30 - Understand the main features of the Apollo programme to land astronauts on the Moon

The Apollo space missions are thought to be the most important manned space missions to date. The reason is that astronauts landed on the Moon, explored it and brought back samples of Moon rocks.

Six missions landed on the Moon between 1969 and 1972.

Apollo 11 was the first to land on the Moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first to explore the surface while Michael Collins orbited above them in a command module.

Use the links to find out more about the Apollo missions and how they landed on the Moon and returned safely.

The astronauts deployed Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEPS). These experiments included mirrors left there so we can measure the distance to the Moon by laser, seismographs to measure moonquakes and sensors to measure solar radiation. Retroflectors left on the Moon have told us that the Moon is moving away from Earth at a rate of 3.8 cm a year.


  • Apollo was the NASA mission to send humans to the Moon
  • 6 successful missions landed Astronauts there with 12 men walking on the surface
  • ALSEPs (Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package ) were left to monitor the Moon
  • Why was the Apollo mission different from other space missions?
  • Describe the purpose of at least one ALSEP?
Did you know?
  • The Moon is the only celestial object that humans have visited apart from Earth.
  • 12 Astronauts have walked on the Moon.
  • The footprints left by the Apollo astronauts should last for at least 10 million years.