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Apollo 4 Spacecraft on Launchpad
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Apollo 4 Spacecraft on Launchpad

April 22, 2003
Early morning view of Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, showing Apollo 4 (Spacecraft 017/Saturn 501) unmanned, earth-orbital space mission ready for launch. Unmanned mission.

The mission objectives: Demonstrate structural and thermal integrity and compatibility of launch vehicle and spacecraft; confirm launch loads and dynamic characteristics. Verify operation of command module heatshield (adequacy of Block II design for reentry at lunar return conditions), service propulsion system (SPS; including no ullage start), and selective subsystems. Evaluate performance of emergency detection system in open-loop configuration. Demonstrate mission support facilities and operations needed for launch, mission conduct, and CM recovery. Apollo 4 was launched on November 9, 1967; 07:00:01 a.m. EST, and landed November 9, 1967, 03:37 pm EST. All mission objectives achieved.