However, an early objective was to make the missions fully autonomous, able (in theory) land on the moon and return without any contact with Earth. This was because of a concern the Soviet might try to actively jam communications in the event of the Cold War turning very very frosty.
Yuri Gagarin was a passenger on the first space flight in 1961 as his spacecraft was indeed fully automatic. It''s controls were locked out by a three-digit combination lock on the insistence of the doctors, who thought there was a chance spaceflight might make him go psychotic.
The head of the program thought this was BS, and was much more worried about an in-flight emergency that might make the controls necessary, and also kill communications with the ground. Consequently, Gagarin was quietly told what the combination was before the flight, when no doctors were around.