Fifty years ago, the idea of landing astronauts on the Moon after just three crewed Apollo Saturn V development flights seemed an ambitious, if not preposterous, prospect.  But the December 1968 Apollo 8 lunar flyby had gone well, and so did the shakedown flight of the Lunar Module (LM) in low Earth orbit by the Apollo 9 crew three months later. By mid-May 1969, the only thing standing between the culmination of a nine-year race, which already had cost $16 billion (about $115 billion ...

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