Lunar and Planetary Institute


Inspiration and Exploration Since 1968

  • March 1

    At the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, President Lyndon B. Johnson announces the establishment of the Lunar Science Institute, to be operated by the Rice Institute and the National Academy of Science.

    Listen to excerpt from President Johnson’s speech. Audio button

  • October 31
    Dr. William W. Rubey

    William W. Rubey is named as the first Director of the Lunar Science Institute.

  • January 9
    Surveyor 7

    Surveyor 7 lands on the Moon and returns images of the surface.

  • December 21
    Apollo 8 crew

    Apollo 8, the first crewed flight to circumnavigate the Moon, launches with crew members Frank Borman, James Lovell Jr., and William Anders.

  • May 1
    S. Ross Taylor

    The first Visiting Scientist, S. Ross Taylor of the Australian National University, arrives at the Institute. His work is on the trace element chemistry of the lunar surface.

  • July 16
    Dr. William W. Rubey

    Apollo 11, the first lunar landing mission, is launched with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, and Michael Collins. Armstrong and Aldrin walk on the Moon while Collins orbits in the command module.

  • July 31
    Surveyor 7

    Mariner 6 returns images from Mars.

  • November 19
    Apollo 8 crew

    Apollo 12 launches. The module lands within 183 meters of the Surveyor III spacecraft.

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