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About the piloted American flights to the Moon: NASA's Apollo program intended to land humans on the Moon and bring them safely back to Earth. Apollo 7 tested the Command Module in Earth orbit. Apollo 9 tested the Command Module and the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) in Earth orbit. Apollo flights 8, 10 and 13 flew out to the Moon, but did not land there. Apollo flights 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 landed on the Moon.
First to fly to the Moon: Apollo 8 astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders left in December 1968 on a 147 hour trip, including ten orbits of the Moon. They did not land on the lunar surface. During their six-day flight, the longest on record to that time, they photographed landing sites for Apollo flights.
First to fly twice to the Moon: James Lovell, in Apollo 8 and 13. Later, John Young, Apollo 10 and 16. Eugene Cernan, Apollo 10 and 17.
First man on the Moon: Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong July 20, 1969.
Last man on the Moon: Apollo 17 astronaut Eugene Cernan December 14, 1972.
First geologist in space: Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt piloted the lunar excursion module Challenger to the Moon's surface in 1972.
First fender-bender: Apollo 17 astronaut Eugene Cernan snagged a hammer and ripped the fender on his lunar rover. He patched it with plastic Moon maps. Later, he dented the rover's tires while driving over Moon rocks.
First Moon plaques: Arriving Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong in July 1969 placed a sign reading, "Here Men from the Planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind." Departing Apollo 17 astronaut Eugene Cernan in December 1972 placed a plaque imprinted, "Here Man completed his first exploration of the Moon December 1972 A.D. May the spirit of peace in which we came be reflected in the lives of all mankind."
First man-made Moonquakes: Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell set off two small "earthquakes" on the Moon in February 1971 to be read by seismic monitors planted by earlier Apollo visitors.
First Moon camera: The first camera carried by American astronauts on the Moon had been designed in Sweden in 1948 by Hasselblad. It exposed 2-1/4 in. square negatives through Kodak Ektar lenses and an unstable focal-plane shutter. The astronauts didn't like the shutter and lenses, so leaf shutters were substituted and Zeiss lenses added. A frame viewfinder was attached to a motorized Hasselblad 500EL so an astronaut could compose pictures while encumbered by a spacesuit helmet. The camera also had an oversized latch so film could be changed while wearing spacesuit gloves.
First dozen Moon men: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Pete Conrad, Alan Bean, Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell, David Scott, James Irwin, John Young, Charles Duke, Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt.
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