Picking up mission summaries where Urbano left off:

Apollo 12 was not exceptional; the mission was to retrieve the unmanned Surveyor 3 probe from the moon. The story of Apollo 13 is well-known, thanks to the Tom Hanks movie on the subject. Originally scheduled to land on the moon, an equipment malfunction forced the astronauts to simply circle it and return to Earth. The Apollo 14 mission marked the first time astronauts used a hand cart to pick up rocks, and on Apollo 15 the Lunar Roving Vehicle - a sort of lunar golf cart - was introduced. The LRV was used again on Apollo 16, which conducted a number of experiments while the astronauts were on the moon's surface. Apollo 17 was the last of the Apollo missions to the moon, and the crew included the first scientist in the program. They set up the sixth automated research station before returning home.

Project Apollo's goals extended beyond landing a man on the moon and returning him safely home. According to NASA, other stated goals for the project were:

Source: http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/history/apollo/apollo.html

The Apollo project was the most ambitious and challenging adventure in human history. Coordinated and engineered by NASA, scientists, mathematicians, engineers, physicists and doctors collaborated in the largest mass-scientific-effort to achieve the goal of landing a man on the surface of the moon and returning him safely to Earth.

The project was well-planned with excruciating accuracy and it is rumored that NASA had produced over a 20 million pages of material during the entire course of the project.

Subsequent missions in the Mercury and Gemini projects helped scientists and engineers evaluate their hypotheses about the nature of spaceflight. The Mercury program demonstrated that a man could, in fact, be transported to outerspace, achieve orbit, maneuver and change trajectory and return safely.

The Gemini project demonstrated the ability of the state of technology and mathematics to enable multiple spacecraft to dock in orbit, which most physicist believed to be impossible.

The Apollo program combined everything learned and tested of past projects and upped it full-scale, it's first successful mission (Apollo 6) to test the command module in orbit, Apollo 7 to test the orbital-orbital docking system developed in Gemini, Apollo 8 to attempt the first orbit around the moon and to bring human beings further than ever imagined, in a place that was only conceptually tangible - the mission prior to the launch existing only on paper. Apollo 9 and Apollo 10 served as practice runs for the final showdown between man, 600,000 miles, infinite vaccuum, sub-zero temperatures, and the force of an entire planetary moon.

Apollo 11 was the craft that brought man to the moon, demonstrating the incredible power of man's cognitive faculty to extend his knowledge and consciousness past the range of the moment, past the immediate information provided by his senses, past the limits of his social context - demonstrating the awesome power of man's power to think.

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