Sunday, November 9, 2008

Saturn V Rocket Turns 41!

I stumbled upon this post today about the anniversary of the rocket that took the US to the moon. This find derailed my productive morning and sent me straight to the YouTube to find more clips of the Saturn V in action. I also poked around Wikipedia and learned more about the program:

Apollo IV was the first Saturn V flight- "Gus" Grissom, Ed White and Roger B. Chaffee were all killed during a test that was later re-named Apollo I. Purdue has buildings named after Grissom and Chaffee.

Apollo XI- The first Moon Mission:

Fantastic High Speed Camera Footage:

Real-Time Footage from the gantry:

Apollo XII- Was hit by lightening after lift-off. Here is a video of the firepit:

Skylab 1- Mission using the Saturn V to put Skylab into orbit. I remember going to see the back-up Skylab in the Smithsonian Air & Space museum.

Soviet N1- The Soviets couldn't get their moon mission off the ground (literally). They built an N1 rocket that was far more powerful than the Saturn V, but had trouble getting all 30 rocket engines to work together. They had four launches and all four ended in an explosion shortly after launch. Here is an interesting video of the N1:

I remember watching the first Space Shuttle launch on TV as well as the shock of hearing about the Challenger disaster while I was at school during a library trip. I have always been in awe of the space program and what it took to build these rockets. NASA and the space program is probably a large part of what interested me in engineering as a child (unfortunately, it did nothing to keep me interested in engineering).

It is amazing all 13 Saturn V missions were successful. The Space Shuttle has shown us how dangerous manned space travel is to this day.

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