MadSci Network: Astronomy

Re: Why was apollo MOON mission named for god of the SUN?

Date: Thu Jun 29 11:04:21 2000
Posted By: John Haberman, Space Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Center, Greenbelt MD
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 961962199.As

Hi Gregg,

  What a great question!  In addition to being the god of light, Apollo is 
also responsible for prophecy and progress. The choice of the program name 
Apollo represents the "grand scale" of this project. At the time nothing 
of the complexity of this mission had ever been considered.

  From the reference work Chariots for Apollo you will find the following 
  "...One day, while consulting a book on mythology, ... the image of the 
god Apollo riding his chariot across the sun gave the best representation 
of the grand scale of the proposed program. ... the chariot driver Apollo 
(according to ancient Greek myths, the god of music, prophecy, medicine, 
light, and progress became the name of the proposed circumlunar 

  This information is found in the 7th. paragraph on the page Priming the Pipeline.

John Haberman, Space Scientist
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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