March 3, 1969 – launch of Apollo 9
Apollo 9 – launch date of March 3, 1969 – was the United States’ third manned mission in the Apollo program. It completed a ten day earth-orbit. The second manned flight for the Saturn V rocket, her crew consisted of Commander Jim McDivitt, Command Module Pilot David Scott, and Lunar Module Pilot Russell Schweickart.
“Apollo 9 was the first space test of the complete Apollo spacecraft, including the third critical piece of Apollo hardware – the lunar module. For ten days, the astronauts put all three Apollo vehicles through their paces in Earth orbit, undocking and then redocking the lunar lander with the command module, just as they would in lunar orbit. Apollo 9 gave proof that the Apollo machines were up to the task of orbital rendezvous and docking.”