The Saturn series of
launch vehicles were large-scale rockets developed for NASA's
Apollo lunar landing program. This type of rocket was originally
proposed by Wernher Von Braun in 1957, who at that time was
assigned to the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA). Following
its establishment in 1958, Von Braun and other U.S. Army
scientists were transferred to NASA, with the Saturn rocket
development program subsequently becoming a NASA endeavor.
The initially developed Saturn I adopted
cluster of 8 engines essentially the same as used in the
rocket. Test firing of the Saturn I began in 1961. From 1966,
the Saturn IB was developed, incorporating the hydrogen fuel J-2
engine for the rocket second stage. In 1968, this rocket was
used for the first manned flight under the Apollo Program,
placing Apollo 7 into Earth orbit. The Saturn IB version was
also used to launch the manned Skylab 2,3 and 4 missions in 1972
and 73, and for the Apollo-Soyuz Program carried out jointly
with the Soviet Union in 1975.
Saturn V was developed to carry the Apollo spacecraft
into lunar orbit. At 104 tons, the rocket payload was roughly 4
times that of the Space Shuttle. Saturn V development commenced
in 1961 with formal government approval of the Apollo program.
In order to launch what at that time would be the largest rocket
ever, a special rocket assembly facility and No.39 launch
complex was newly constructed at the Kennedy Space Center. The
first test launch of the Saturn V took place in November 1967.
In December 1968, the third Saturn V to be launched sent Apollo
8 around the Moon. The sixth Saturn V launched on July 20, 1969
propelled Apollo 11 to the Moon for the first successful manned
landing on the lunar surface. The Saturn V rocket was used for
subsequent Apollo missions to the Moon. With termination of the
Apollo program after the Apollo 17 mission, however, three
Saturn V rockets out of the total of 15 produced remained
unused. Of these, one was subsequently used to carry the manned
Skylab 1 (space station) mission into space. The remaining two
unused versions of the Saturn V are now on display to the
Saturn V Missile with Apollo Capsule
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