Apollo 9 Mission

Apollo 9 was a March 1969 human spaceflight, the third in NASA’s Apollo program. Flown in low Earth orbit, it was the second crewed Apollo mission to be launched by a Saturn V rocket, and the first flight of the full Apollo spacecraft: the command and service module (CSM) with the Lunar Module (LM). The mission was flown to qualify the LM for lunar orbit operations by demonstrating its descent and ascent propulsion systems, showing that its crew could fly it independently, then rendezvous and dock with the CSM again, as would be required for the first crewed lunar landing. Other objectives of the flight included firing the LM descent engine to propel the spacecraft stack as a backup mode (as would be required on the Apollo 13 mission), and use of the Portable Life Support System backpack outside of the LM cabin.