Sunday, February 08, 2009

Thought of the moment

Why were the US missions to the moon called "Apollo"? Wasn't Apollo
more associated with the sun? Shouldn't they have been called
"Artemis"? Was that name already taken by something else? Or were they
just too macho to name the program after a goddess associated with
virginity?

[I sent this from my iPhone, so please excuse any excessive brevity or
typographical errors.]
--Zachary Drake

2 Comments:

Blogger grishnash said...

Apollo was named before the mission goals were set. Although the moon is sort of an obvious space program goal, at the time it was named, not much more was known about what the missions would be, other than it would be the primary manned spaceflight program for the U.S. after Project Mercury, which would be the quick starter program. There was no guarantee that anything beyond Earth-orbiting missions would be funded. It no doubt would have been a huge Cold War embarrassment to name a program with an obvious lunar association, and then never go to the moon. So, the association was from Mercury for speed, to Mercury the inner planet, to the sun, to Apollo.

9:09 AM, February 09, 2009  
OpenID jdm314 said...

Because "Arensnuphis" sounded too silly?

8:43 AM, February 10, 2009  

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