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 'Apollo 1 Survives' by Guest Historian Chris Oakley
Guest Historian Guest Historian Chris Oakley says, thanks for visiting TIAH. In this thread I speculate on what directions the American space program might have taken if the Apollo 1 fire had never happened. If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit the Changing the Times web site.
Apollo 1

January 29

Apollo One

On this day in 1967, heavy rains forced the postponement of NASA's Apollo 1 test mission.

The postponement turned out to be a fortunate one for Apollo 1's crew; a routine inspection of the capsule the next morning revealed defects in the Apollo 1 command module's electrical systems that could have potentially started an onboard fire and killed her crew.

Apollo One - Crew

January 31
Apollo One

On this day in 1967, NASA began a thorough overhaul of Apollo 1's electrical systems and air circulation equipment.

Apollo One - Crew

November 20

On this day in 1967, Apollo 1 was finally launched from Cape Canaveral; the mission lasted ten days during which the Apollo 1 crew made 163 orbits around the earth before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. On the heels of this successful test run, NASA scheduled the launch of Apollo 2 for August of 1968.

Apollo One
Apollo One - Crew

March 13
Apollo One

On this day in 1968, astronauts Walter Schirra, Donn Eisele, and R. Walter Cunningham were named as the main flight crew for the Apollo 2 mission; their backup crew, Thomas Stafford, John Young, and Eugene Cernan, would fly the Apollo 4 mission in January of 1969.

Apollo One - Crew

March 20

On this day in 1968, the unmanned Apollo 3 mission, which had been originally scheduled for October, was officially cancelled due to delays stemming from the overhaul of Apollo 1 and the rescheduling of the launch of Apollo 2.


August 4

On this day in 1968, Apollo 2 was launched from Cape Canaveral on the first transorbital lunar flight in the history of space exploration.


August 8

On this day in 1968, Apollo 2 made the first-ever live TV signal transmission from lunar orbit, broadcasting images of the Moon's surface and the earth appearing over the lunar horizon.

Shortly after these transmissions were concluded, Apollo 2 began course corrections for the journey back to Earth.


August 10

On this day in 1968, Apollo 2 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean after completing its six-day translunar orbital flight.


January 15

On this day in 1969, Apollo 4 was launched from Cape Canaveral on the so-called 'dress rehearsal' mission in which docking and undocking techniques would be practiced in preparation for the Apollo 5 lunar landing attempt scheduled to take place in July.


January 21

On this day in 1969, the Apollo 4 flight crew performed the first translunar orbital docking manuver in the history of space exploration.

Following the completion of this maneouvre the Apollo 4 astronauts received a congratulatory phone call from US president Richard Nixon, who'd been sworn into office the previous day.


January 24

On this day in 1969, Apollo 4 returned from its historic lunar orbital docking mission.

The lessons learned from the Apollo 4 mission would stand NASA in good stead during the Apollo 5 lunar landing flight six months later.


February 2

On this day in 1969, US Air Force veteran Neil Armstrong was named the mission commander for Apollo 5.

 - Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong

July 14

On this day in 1969, Apollo 5 was launched from Cape Canaveral on the first actual lunar landing mission.


July 19

On this day in 1969, one of humanity's oldest dreams was finally realized as Apollo 5 mission commander Neil Armstrong became the first human being to walk on the moon.

Commander - Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong

July 23

On this day in 1969, the crew of Apollo 5 returned to Earth from their historic lunar mission; that same day Charles 'Pete' Conrad was named as mission commander for the Apollo 6 lunar mission, set to take place in October of 1969.

Astronaut - Charles Conrad
Charles Conrad

October 10

On this day in 1969, Apollo 6 blasted off from Cape Canaveral on the second lunar landing mission of the Apollo program.                                                                                            


October 16

On this day in 1969, Apollo 6 successfully carried out the second lunar landing in the history of the American space program.


October 20

On this day in 1969, Apollo 6 returned from its lunar mission.


March 7

On this day in 1970, Apollo 7 was launched from Cape Canaveral; because seven is traditionally considered a lucky number, the lunar module for this mission was fittingly christened 'Lady Luck'.


March 13

On this day in 1970, the Apollo 7 lunar module 'Lady Luck' landed on the Moon.


March 14

On this day in 1970, NASA's solar-powered 'moon buggy' made its debut as part of the Apollo 7 lunar mission.


March 18
Apollo Seven

On this day in 1970, the crew of Apollo 7 returned from the Moon.

Apollo Seven - Patch

September 12

On this day in 1970, Apollo 9 blasted off from Cape Canaveral in the Apollo program's first-ever night time launch.                                                                                                    


September 21
Apollo One

On this day in 1970, Apollo 8 returned to Earth. It was a bittersweet moment for NASA, since three days earlier Congress had voted to end the Apollo project as of May of 1971.

Apollo One - Crew

February 16

On this day in 1971, the Apollo program began its final lunar mission with the launch of Apollo 10


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© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.