Apollo module descent testing, 1960s. Footage of an Apollo Command Module (CM) being released from an aircraft to test its descent parachutes. These parachutes were successfully used by Apollo astronauts returning from space, with the modules landing in the ocean rather than on land. This test descent took place at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, USA. The Apollo programme took place between 1961 and 1972, with NASA astronauts achieving six landings on the Moon.