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Apollo 9 in Photos: NASA Tests the Spidery Lunar Module

We Have Liftoff

NASA

On March 3, 1969, three astronauts rose into space on a 10-day Earth-orbital mission. The Apollo 9 space vehicle carried astronauts James A. McDivitt, commander; David R. Scott, command module pilot; and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot into space at 11 a.m. (EST) from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39, Pad A. This second flight of the Saturn V mission will evaluate the systems aboard the lunar module.

Unique Perspective

NASA

The Lunar Module, known as "Spider," floats behind the command and Service Modules, called "Gumdrop," still connected to the Saturn V third stage. "Gumdrop" has already separated from the Saturn V and the Spacecraft Lunar Module Adapter panels have already been released. Astronauts James A. McDivitt, commander; David R. Scott, command module pilot; and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot, prepare to extract "Spider" as they work inside the Command Module.

Walking Among Stars

NASA

On the fourth day of the 10-day Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission, during an extravehicular activity, astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot, uses a 70mm Hasselblad camera. The two modules — "Spider" and "Gumdrop" — are docked. Schweickart dons an Extravehicular Mobility Unit in "golden slippers" on Spider's porch, with, only partially visible, a Portable Life Support System and an Oxygen Purge System on his back. During the EVA, Astronaut James A. McDivitt, Apollo 9 commander, waits inside the "Spider". Astronaut David R. Scott, command module pilot, sits at "Gumdrops'" controls.

Stormy View

NASA

In March of 1969 during the Apollo 9 10-day Earth-oribital mission, images of a thunderhead over South America were captured from almost directly above.

Day Four

NASA

Almost halfway through the mission, astronaut David R. Scott completed his EVA, standing in the open hatch of "Gumdrop," Astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot, snapped this image from the porch of "Spider." Earth offers a stunning backdrop. Apollo 9 commander, astronaut James A. McDivitt watches from inside "Spider."

On the Porch


NASA

On the Porch
From inside "Spider" an image reveals Astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot, on "Spider's" porch. This EVA took place on day four of the 10-day mission. "Gumdrop" the Command and Service Modules were docked to "Spider" the Lunar Module. While Schweickart was outside, Astronaut David R. Scott, command module pilot, stayed at "Gumdrop's" controls and astronaut James A. McDivitt photographed Schweickart through "Spider's" window.

Coastline from Space

NASA

During the Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission, astronauts collected fantastic images of our Blue Marble. The Atlantic Coast of South Carolina stretches from the Savannah River mouth northeastward to the mouth of the Santee River. On the left center-edge of the image Lake Moultrie stands.

Back on Earth

NASA

Communications with the Apollo 9 spacecraft took place in the Mission Operations Control Room in the Mission Control Center inside Building 30. Live television transmissions from the spacecraft were received here.

Ready for the Moon

NASA

From "Gumdrop" a view of "Spider" in lunar landing configuration is clearly on day five of the mission. The Lunar Module's landing gear is deployed and lunar surface probes stretch out from the foot pads. Astronauts James A. McDivitt, Apollo 9 commander, and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot, sit inside and inspect the Lunar Module as astronaut David R. Scott, command module pilot, remained at the controls in the Command Module.

Ready to Return

NASA

Astronaut David R. Scott, command module pilot, photographed "Spider's" ascent stage from "Gumdrop" as astronauts James A. McDivitt, Apollo 9 commander, and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot, examine the Lunar Module from inside. "Spider's" descent stage was detached beforehand.

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