Sept. 15, 1968 Traveling to the moon is perfectly fine, but if you can't come home again, you rather miss the joy of the trip. The Americans and Russians had proved themselves perfectly capable of pockmarking the moon with soft-landers and crash-landers, but navigating the circumlunar highway and surviving the 25,000 m.p.h. re-entry plunge through the earth's atmosphere was another matter. The Russians' Zond 5 pulled that off, arcing around the back of the moon with a cargo of living turtles, flies, mealworms, plants and seeds not to mention a 5-ft. 9-in., 154-lb. mannequin strapped into the pilot's seat. That may have only been the puppet-show equivalent of the first man to journey to the moon, but the Soviets were clearly getting close.