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Apollo 4

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Unmanned Mission
Apollo 4 (20)

Pad 39-A (1)
Saturn-V AS-501 (1)
1st Saturn V launch
1st Launch, Launch Complex 39-A
Firing Room 1 (1)

Mission Objective

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. All mission objectives achieved.


November 9, 1967; 07:00:01 a.m. EST.
Launch Complex 39-A Eastern Test Range, Cape Canaveral FL. No Delays during countdown.


Altitude: 183km Apogee, 187km Perigee
Inclination: xxx degrees 
Orbits: (orbital) 
Duration: Days, hours, min, seconds 


November 9, 1967, 03:37 p.m. EST. Landing in Pacific Ocean at 30 deg 06 min North and 172 deg 32 min West. Missed planned impact point by only 16km. Recovery Ship:  USS Bennington

Mission Highlights

During third orbit and after SPS engine burn, spacecraft coasted to a simulated translunar trajectory, reaching an altitude of 18,079 kilometers. The AS-501 launch marked the initial flight testing of the S-IC and S-II stages. The first stage S-IC performed accurately with the center F-1 engine cutting off at 135.5 seconds and the outboard engines cutting off at LOX depletion at 150.8 seconds when the vehicle was traveling at 9660 km/h at an altitude of 61.6 km. Stage separation occurred only 1.2 seconds off the predicted time. Cutoff of the S-II occurred at 519.8 seconds. 







06/19/67 - Launch vehicle at Pad

06/20/67 - Spacecraft at Pad

11/09/67 - Launch


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