On November 9, 1967, 45 years ago, the mighty Saturn V made its unmanned maiden flight. Powered by five F-1 rocket engines on its first stage, five J-2 rocket engines in its second and one more J-2 in its third stage, the Saturn V had a lift capability of 130 metric tons, allowing it to carry crew and equipment to the Moon and back. Between 1967 and 1973, it carried out 13 flights: two unmanned tests (Apollo 4 and 6), the first mission in lunar orbit (Apollo 8), the first test of the Lunar Module in Earth orbit (Apollo 9), the first dress-rehearsal of a moon landing (Apollo 10), six lunar landings (Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17), the ill-fated Apollo 13 and the launch of Skylab, the first US space station. The Saturn V was eventually phased out in favor of the Space Shuttle. His legacy lives on, as both the F-1 and J-2 are currently being considered for NASA’s next generation heavy lifter.
In the video below, the launch of the unmanned Apollo 4. Scroll down for an infographic of the rocket.
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