March 3 - 13, 1969

Crew & Mission
(S66-30237)The Apollo-9 crew on April 01, 1966 (back then they were the back up crew for Apollo-1);David R. Scott command module pilot, James R. McDivitt commander and R. L. Schweikart, lunar module pilot.

The Apollo 9 mission was launched from Cape Kennedy at 11 a.m. EST on March 3, 1969 from Launch complex 39A. Saturn-V AS-504 with CSM-104 (Gumdrop) and LM-3 (spider) placed Apollo-9 in a 192 x 190 km orbit around the Earth.

Mission Objective was to demonstrate crew/space vehicle/mission support facilities during manned Saturn V/CSM/LM mission (Achieved). Demonstrate LM/crew performance (Achieved). Demonstrate selected lunar orbit rendezvous mission activities including transposition, docking withdrawal, intervehicular crew transfer, EVA, SPS and DPS burns, and LM active rendezvous and docking. All achieved except EVA (because of Schweickart's illness), most EVA's were canceled but Schweickart performed 37 minutes EVA.

With a mission duration of 10 days and 1 hour landing came at March 13, 1969 at 12:01 p.m. EST; Landing point 23deg 12.5min North and 67deg 56min West (Atlantic Ocean). Miss distance 4.8 kilometers. Crew on board U.S.S Guadalcanal at 12:45pm EST; Spacecraft aboard ship at 02:13pm.

A Personal Story
..."For Apollo-IX, the mission patch was designed by Dave Scott, Rusty Schweickhart and myself. It was the first flight of the Lunar Module and the major objectives of our mission were to demonstrate the Lunar Module by itself and the Lunar Module and Command Module together. Consequently the design as it is shown.

Also, the mission was called the "D" mission. There were "C", "D", "E", "F", and "G" missions...each with a certain number of objectives. Our mission was the "D" mission and the "D" in McDivitt had a red interior which signified the "D" mission.

The names for the vehicles were "Spider" and "Gumdrop". The Command Module looked like a gumdrop and the Lunar Module like a spider. This was the first mission in which the use of names for the spacecraft was again authorized. there was no way you could fly a mission with two spacecraft and call both of them by the same call sign. So we went to the names again and picked "Spider" and "Gumdrop"...not very glamourous, but they certainly fit the picture"....

James A. McDivitt, Apollo-9 Commander, in "All we did was fly to the Moon"

The Artwork

(1969) -- NASA photo ID: S69-19974. APOLLO 9 INSIGNIA: Emblem of the Apollo 9 space mission. The Apollo 9 mission will evaluate spacecraft lunar module systems performance during manned Earth-orbital flight.

Two photographs of the Apollo-9 crew. Left:(69-HC-0098) during a press conference on January 25, 1969. Note the mission insignia in front of them, it is not very close to the artwork the Saturn V is too fat(?), the yellow oval is too small and the lettering is wrong. Right:(S69-18876) Apollo 9 prime crew participates in press conference in bldg 1 at the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) on 8 February 1969. The mission insignia that the crew holds is the official emblem of Apollo-9.

The Real Thing

The prime crew of Apollo-9 in front of the Apollo-8 saturn-V on 18 December 1968. On the right a close up of the mission patch of McDivitt's suit, similar to the one at the top of this page. The manufacturer is unknown.

Left: Schweickart wearing the beta-cloth patch on his pressure suit. Right: The crew wearing the beta-cloth patch on their intravehicular suits.


Left: The 4 inch AB emblem version of the Apollo-9 patch, if you look closely at the rocket on the patch you will see that it looks more an Atlas rocket than a Saturn-V. Right: The Lion brothers version.

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