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First Apollo launch. Unmanned Apollo spacecraft being launched on the AS-201 test mission by the Saturn 1B rocket on 26 February 1966. This was the first test of Apollo's Command and Service Modules in space, and the first Apollo launch on a two- stage Saturn 1B. Apollo was put into a sub- orbital trajectory, reaching an altitude of 480 kilometres. The 20,820-kilogram payload was heav- ier than any previously launched by the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA). Saturn 1B rockets launched a variety of unmanned and manned Apollo missions into Earth orbit. This research programme led to the launch of manned missions to the Moon aboard Saturn V rockets.
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