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On June 2, 1966, Surveyor 1 became the first U.S. spacecraft to make a soft landing on the Moon. This engineering model, S-10, was used for thermal control tests. It represents a flight model of Surveyor 3 or later.

On June 2, 1966, Surveyor 1 became the first U.S. spacecraft to make a soft landing on the Moon. This engineering model, S-10, was used for thermal control tests. It represents a flight model of Surveyor 3 or later.

Pressure helmet worn by astronaut Michael Collins on the Apollo 11 mission launched July 16, 1969.

Pressure helmet worn by astronaut Michael Collins on the Apollo 11 mission launched July 16, 1969.

February 26,1966 – Apollo program: Launch of AS-201, the first flight of the Saturn IB rocket

February 26,1966 – Apollo program: Launch of AS-201, the first flight of the Saturn IB rocket

On September 18, 1967, this Lunar Test Article 8 (LTA-8) ascent stage began extensive testing at the Manned Spacecraft Center's thermal vacuum test chamber "B", the Space Environment Simulation Laboratory (SESL). LTA-8 was the first "man-rated" lunar module. While atmospheric tests were cancelled, it was used in simulated tests in support of Apollo 9 and Apollo 11.

On September 18, 1967, this Lunar Test Article 8 (LTA-8) ascent stage began extensive testing at the Manned Spacecraft Center's thermal vacuum test chamber "B", the Space Environment Simulation Laboratory (SESL). LTA-8 was the first "man-rated" lunar module. While atmospheric tests were cancelled, it was used in simulated tests in support of Apollo 9 and Apollo 11.

55 Years Ago Today: GRAB-1, the world's first successful reconnaissance satellite, was launched.  Pictured here is the backup model for GRAB-1 on display in the "Space Race" gallery at our Museum in Washington, DC.

55 Years Ago Today: GRAB-1, the world's first successful reconnaissance satellite, was launched. Pictured here is the backup model for GRAB-1 on display in the "Space Race" gallery at our Museum in Washington, DC.

50 Yrs Ago Today: astronaut Gordon Cooper was hoisted up to Navy helicopter after splashdown of Gemini V.

50 Yrs Ago Today: astronaut Gordon Cooper was hoisted up to Navy helicopter after splashdown of Gemini V.

November 11, 1966: Launch of Gemini XII, last piloted mission of the Gemini program, with astronauts James Lovell and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. Photo credit: NASA

November 11, 1966: Launch of Gemini XII, last piloted mission of the Gemini program, with astronauts James Lovell and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. Photo credit: NASA

Fritz Goro, Studying moon phases on models for the moon mission, February 1962

Fritz Goro, Studying moon phases on models for the moon mission, February 1962

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