FAQ About Project Apollo
Abe Silverstein, Director of Space Flight Development, proposed the name "Apollo" because it was the name of a god in ancient Greek mythology with attractive connotations and the precedent for naming manned spaceflight projects for mythological gods and heroes had been set with Mercury.
The Apollo program was designed to land humans on the Moon and bring them safely back to Earth. Six of the missions (Apollos 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17) achieved this goal. Apollos 7 and 9 were Earth orbiting missions to test the Command and Lunar Modules, and did not return lunar data.
Not long after Gemini 12 splashed down on November 15, 1966, George Mueller of the Office of Manned Spaceflight cancelled Apollo 2. The missions were reorganized so Apollo 2 would debut the Lunar Module while Apollo 3, a high Earth orbit mission with both the CSM and LM, would be the first manned Saturn V launch.