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Apollo 9 was the first manned flight of the Command/Service Module (CSM) along with the Lunar Module (LM).
Its three-person crew, consisting of Mission Commander Jim McDivitt, Command Module Pilot David Scott, and Lunar Module Pilot Rusty Schweickart tested several aspects critical to landing on the moon, including the LM engines, backpack life support systems, navigation systems, and docking maneuvers. The mission was the second manned launch of a Saturn V rocket, and was the third manned mission of the Apollo Program.
After launching on March 3, 1969, the crew spent ten days in low Earth orbit. They performed the first manned flight of a LM, the first docking and extraction of a LM, a two man spacewalk, and the second docking of two manned spacecraft. The mission proved the LM worthy of manned spaceflight. Further tests on the Apollo 10 mission would prepare the LM for its ultimate goal, landing on the Moon.