In May 1961, American president John F. Kennedy committed the nation to carrying out a manned landing on the moon before the end of the decade. This volume covers the early years of the Apollo program (1960-1967), still the most significant space effort in the history of mankind. In a very short time, NASA developed the mighty Saturn rockets, the Apollo spacecraft, and the lunar lander. This breathtaking development came at a cost, however, as in 1967 astronauts Virgil Grissom, Roger Chaffee, and Edward White lost their lives during a test. Ten months after the catastrophe, however, the Saturn V, America s moon rocket, made its triumphal unmanned maiden flight. After that, just twenty more months would pass before man set foot on another celestial body for the first time.