Imagine the Universe!
Imagine Home  |   Ask an Astrophysicist  |  
Ask an Astrophysicist

The Question

(Submitted October 24, 1997)

I just want to know how long it took to build the first space ship to the Moon?

The Answer

You can find a lot of interesting facts about the history of manned space (including the Apollo missions to the Moon) at:


Besides web resources, there are a number of good books about the early space program in your bookstore or local library. "Liftoff" by Michael Collins, an Apollo 11 astronaut, is one that talks not only about the first Moon landing, but about the development of the first "space ships".

Other good books on the subject are "A Man on the Moon" by Andrew Chaikin, "Carrying the Fire" also by Michael Collins, "Moon Shot" by Deke Slayton and Alan Shepherd. There is also a video documentary called "Moon Shot" which covers the development of space ships and the subsequent Moon landing; it is both informative and interesting and has lots of interviews with Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo astronauts.

To answer your question:

    Apollo 11 landed on the Moon in 1969, 8 years after President Kennedy's famous speech in 1961 (in which he proposed to send a man to the Moon and return him safely within the decade).

You can also find a history of (manned and unmanned) lunar exploration at:

Best wishes,

Maggie Masetti & Koji Mukai
for Ask an Astrophysicist

Questions on this topic are no longer responded to by the "Ask an Astrophysicist" service. See for help on other astronomy Q&A services.

Previous question
Main topic
Next question

Imagine the Universe is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Imagine Team
Acting Project Leader: Dr. Barbara Mattson
All material on this site has been created and updated between 1997-2012.

DVD Table of Contents
Educator's Index