Gemini is the not widely known bridge between Mercury, and the Apollo Program. Gemini would serve as the test-bed for Apollo; to prepare NASA for trips to the moon. After the successes with the Gemini program, Apollo would have rocky beginnings with the loss of the Apollo 1 crew. America ultimately won the "Space Race" by applying the lessons learned from the Apollo 1 tragedy. After winning the race with Apollo 11, passion and public sentiment for space flight in general set in, and the moon missions ended after Apollo 17.