Encyclopedia Astronautica
Apollo 18


Crew: Gordon, Brand, Schmitt. Apollo 18 was originally planned in July 1969 to land in the moon's Schroter's Valley, a riverlike channel-way. The original February 1972 landing date was extended when NASA cancelled the Apollo 20 mission in January 1970.Support crew: Allen, Henize, Parker.

Apollo 18 was originally planned in July 1969 to land in the moon's Schroter's Valley, a riverlike channel-way. The original February 1972 landing date was extended when NASA cancelled the Apollo 20 mission in January 1970. Later in the planning process the most likely landing site was the crater Gassendi. Finally NASA cancelled Apollo 18 and 19 on 2 September 1970 because of congressional cuts in FY 1971 NASA appropriations. There was also a feeling after the Apollo 13 emergency that NASA risked having its entire manned space program cancelled if a crew was lost on another Apollo mission. Total savings of cancelling the two missions (since the hardware was already built and the NASA staff had to stay in place for the Skylab program) was only $42.1 million. Before the cancellation, Schmitt was pressing for a more ambitious landing in Tycho or the lunar farside. It seems Copernicus, the final program goal as previously set for Apollos 19 and 20, was also considered before the cancellation. Pressure from the scientific community resulted in geologist Schmitt flying on Apollo 17, the last lunar mission, bumping Joe Engle from the lunar module pilot slot.

First Launch: 1973 July.

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Associated People
  • Henize Henize, Dr Karl Gordon (1926-1993) American astronomer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-51-F. More...
  • Gordon Gordon, Richard Francis Jr 'Dick' (1929-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 11, Apollo 12. More...
  • Brand Brand, Vance DeVoe (1931-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Apollo (ASTP), STS-5, STS-41-B, STS-35. More...
  • Schmitt Schmitt, Dr Harrison Hagan 'Jack' (1935-) American geologist astronaut. Flew on Apollo 17. Twelvth person and only geologist to walk on the moon. More...
  • Parker Parker, Dr Robert Alan Ridley 'Bob' (1936-) American astronomer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-9, STS-35. More...
  • Allen Allen, Joseph Percival IV 'Joe' (1937-) American physicist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-5, STS-51-A. More...

Associated Countries
See also
Associated Programs
  • Apollo The successful US project to land a man on the moon. More...

Apollo 18 Chronology


1969 July 29 - .
  • Tentative planning schedule for the Apollo program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 12; Apollo 13; Apollo 14; Apollo 15; Apollo 16; Apollo 17; Apollo 18; Apollo 19; Apollo 20. Spacecraft: Surveyor; Apollo Lunar Landing. NASA issued a tentative planning schedule for the Apollo program:

    FlightLaunch PlansTentative Landing Area
    Apollo 12November 1969Oceanus Procellarum lunar lowlands
    Apollo 13March 1970Fra Mauro highlands
    Apollo 14July 1970Crater Censorinus highlands
    Apollo 15November 1970Littrow volcanic area
    Apollo 16April 1971Crater Tycho (Surveyor VII impact area)
    Apollo 17September 1971Marius Hills volcanic domes
    Apollo 18February 1972Schroter's Valley, riverlike channel-ways
    Apollo 19July 1972Hyginus Rille region-Linear Rille, crater area
    Apollo 20December 1972Crater Copernicus, large crater impact area

1970 January 29 - .
  • Ground rules for Apollo service module design and integration established - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 15; Apollo 16; Apollo 18; Apollo 19. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Block II. Ground rules for service module design and integration, established during recent changes in the lunar orbital science program, were reported. The Apollo LM experiment hardware would be installed and tested at KSC. A single scientific instrument module configuration was being proposed for Apollo 16-19 with modification kits developed, as required, to install Apollo 18 and Apollo 19 experiments. An expanded Apollo LM data system would be available for Apollo 16 (spacecraft 112).

1970 April 21 - .
  • NASA might scrap two of its six scheduled Moon flights. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Apollo 18. Spacecraft: Skylab. NASA might scrap two of its six scheduled Moon flights, the Washington Daily News said. Apollo 18 and 19 might be scrapped because some NASA planners wanted to use the boosters and spaceships already being built to speed the space base and space station programs. Additional Details: here....

1973 July - .
  • Apollo 18 (cancelled) - . Crew: Gordon; Brand; Schmitt. Support Crew: Allen; Henize; Parker. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gordon; Brand; Schmitt; Allen; Henize; Parker. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 18. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. The most likely landing site was the crater Gassendi. Before the cancellation, astronaut-geologist Schmitt was pressing for a more ambitious landing in Tycho or the lunar farside. NASA cancelled Apollo 18 and 19 on 2 September 1970 because of congressional cuts in FY 1971 NASA appropriations. Pressure from the scientific community resulted in geologist Schmitt flying on Apollo 17, the last lunar mission, bumping Joe Engle from the lunar module pilot slot.

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