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    NASA Career

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    Stafford, Young, Cernan Named Apollo X Crew

    Reprinted from the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center Roundup - November 22, 1968
    Astronauts Thomas P. Stafford, John W. Young and Eugene A. Cernan have been assigned as prime crewmen for the Apollo X mission, scheduled for the second quarter of 1969.

    Apollo X is planned as the second manned flight of the lunar module. The mission possibilities for Apollo X range from Earth orbital operations to a lunar orbit flight.

    The backup crew consists of Astronauts L. Gordon Cooper, Donn F. Eisele and Edgar D. Mitchell. Flight crew support team members are Astronauts Joe H. Engle, James B. Irwin and Charles M. Duke, Jr.

    The crew is training for a lunar orbit mission in which the complete Apollo spacecraft - command and service modules and the lunar module - will be flown. However, if an earlier Apollo mission must be repeated or plans are changed, the crew will be prepared for the complete range of Apollo missions.

    Apollo X will be launched by a Saturn V into low Earth orbit. In the case of the most forward mission, at the end of the second or third orbit, the third stage of the Saturn V will be reignited to place the space vehicle on a trajectory to the Moon. The command and service module will separate from the third stage and the spacecraft lunar module adapter panels will be jettisoned.

    The command and service module then will dock with the lunar module and extract it from the rocket stage. The combined spacecraft modules will continue to the Moon and enter an orbit around the Moon.

    Spacecraft Commander Stafford and Lunar Module Pilot Cernan will enter the lunar module, detach it from the command and service modules, descend to approximately 50,000 feet above the Moon's surface, then return to the orbiting command and service module. The lunar module will be left in orbit around the Moon and the crew will return to Earth in the command module.

    The Apollo X prime crew served as the backup crew for Apollo VII.

    Stafford, 38, an Air Force colonel, was the pilot of Gemini 6 in December, 1965, and the command pilot of Gemini IX in June, 1966. He has logged more than 98 hours of spaceflight.

    Young, 38, is a Navy commander. He was the pilot of Gemini III, the first manned flight in that progam in March, 1965, and he was the command pilot of Gemini X in July, 1966. He has more than 75 1/2 hours of spaceflight.

    Cernan, 34, a Navy commander, flew with Stafford in Gemini IX, during which he became the second American to "walk in space." His spaceflight time totals more than 72 hours.

    Cooper, 41, an Air Force colonel, commands the backup crew. One of the original seven United States astronauts, he flew the last mission in the Mercury program, MA-9, in May, 1963, and he was command pilot of Gemini V in August, 1965. He has more than 225 hours in space.

    Eisele, 38, is an Air Force lieutenant colonel. He was command module pilot on the 11-day Apollo VII flight last month. He has the same assignment on the Apollo X backup crew.

    Mitchell, 38, as Navy commander, has not yet flown in space. Prior to his assignment as backup LM pilot for Apollo X, he was a member of the astronaut support team for Apollo VIII.

    None of the Apollo X support team has flown in a spacecraft, although Engle, 36, has earned Air Force astronaut wings by piloting the X-15 experimental rocket aircraft to an altitude of more than 50 miles. Major Engle was a test pilot in the X-15 program prior to becoming a NASA astronaut.

    Irwin, 38, an Air Force lieutenant colonel, participated in several altitude chamber tests which helped qualify the LM for manned flight.

    Duke, 33, is an Air Force major. He has had technical responsibilities in launch vehicle and crew safety areas.
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