Canceled Apollo missions#Follow-on lunar missions

Apollo 18 is the designation for a scheduled flight to the moon during the Apollo program, NASA. The flight was canceled in September 1970.

Schedule and landing site

Shortly after the successful moon landing of Apollo 11, NASA announced on 29 July 1969, the other program. Thus, Apollo 18 was scheduled for February 1972 and should end up near the crater Tycho. This lunar region was indeed scientifically attractive, but difficult to achieve because it is very far away from the moon equator ( 43 ° S latitude ).

With a redesign in October 1969 this landing site was therefore moved to the then latest planned mission, Apollo 20. For Apollo 18, the crater Copernicus was chosen, the Davy groove as a replacement pad.

Planned occupation

On March 26, 1970, the crew of Apollo 15 was announced. Since usually the backup crew of three flights later, the home team was formed, Richard Gordon, Vance Brand and Jack Schmitt could make legitimate hopes to be nominated for Apollo 18.

The rejection

On September 2, 1970, between the flights of Apollo 13 and Apollo 14, NASA announced at a press conference that two Apollo flights were canceled. After planning these were the missions Apollo 15 and Apollo 19, but the other missions have been renumbered so that Apollo 17 should be the final point, now that the flight of Apollo 20 was canceled in January 1970.

Gordon and fire came no more to train, Schmitt, the only scientist among the nominated astronauts, was preferred to pressure from NASA scientists in August 1971 for the mission of Apollo 17.

Flying material

The production of the planned Saturn V rocket SA -514 was indeed started but never finished. The third stage The first stage, the second stage on October 6, 1970, March 28, 1973 These two steps are part of the display there Saturn V.: Although the flight was already canceled, parts of the rocket were later delivered to the Kennedy Space Center. the rocket is now part of another exhibition piece before Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The proposed Lunar Module LM -12 was used for Apollo 17.

At the time of cancellation several Apollo space ships were under construction. While the preparations for Apollo 14 ( with the spacecraft CSM -110 ) already running at full speed, later missions could be rescheduled. Apollo 15 should now perform a moon flight with extended academic profile. For this reason, the last three lunar flights, the more advanced spaceships CSM - 112 was assigned to CSM -114, so that the originally envisaged for Apollo 18 CSM -114 now flying with Apollo 17.


On 13 October 2011, the film Apollo 18 was published, which tells the fictional story of one that took place in secret Apollo 18 mission.