The Apollo Program was begun by the United States in the late 1960s. Following the success of the manned orbital missions of the Mercury and Gemini missions, the destination of the Apollo Program was the moon. The early Apollo flights concentrated on orbital observations of the moon, and testing the docking systems of the Apollo craft. Apollo 11 accomplished the ultimate goal of the Apollo Program on July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon. Several other landings followed, the last being Apollo 17 in December, 1972. The Apollo Program truly represented a "giant leap for mankind". The U.S. manned lunar missions are unparalleled feats in space exploration, and the technology originally developed for the Apollo Program was later found to be invaluable in designing future space vehicles and orbital platforms.