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[i]For NASA, Apollo 8 provided valuable confirmation that the package which would take Americans to the Moon actually worked. Apollo 9 then took on the original profile of Apollo 8, except for the fact that, given the earlier mission's success, there seemed little point in testing the lunar module in Earth orbit. The crew of James McDivitt, David Scott, and Rust Schweickart therefore went to the Moon. After the command module separated from the spent rocket, the crew turned it around and then docked with the lunar module, which was still enclosed in Saturn's final stage. They then pulled away and headed for the Moon.
Once in the Moon's orbit, McDivitt and Schweickart climbed into the lunar module, separated it from the command module, and flew it for the first time.[/i]
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