Saturn I & Saturn V Launch Vehicle playlist:
An overview of the Saturn V launch vehicle for Project Apollo, prior to its first flight in 1967. Produced for the NASA Office of Manned Space Flight by Technicolor Inc.
NASA film KSC-5
Public domain film from the US National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
The Saturn V (spoken as “Saturn five”) was an American human-rated expendable rocket used by NASA between 1966 and 1973. The three-stage liquid-fueled launch vehicle was developed to support the Apollo program for human exploration of the Moon, and was later used to launch Skylab, the first American space station. The Saturn V was launched 13 times from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with no loss of crew or payload. As of 2016, the Saturn V remains the tallest, heaviest, and most powerful (highest total impulse) rocket ever brought to operational status, and holds records for the heaviest payload launched and largest payload capacity to low Earth orbit (LEO) of 140,000 kg (310,000 lb), which included the third stage and unburned propellant needed to send the Apollo Command/Service Module and Lunar Module to the Moon.
The largest production model of the Saturn family of rockets, the Saturn V was designed under the direction of Wernher von Braun and Arthur Rudolph at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, with Boeing, North American Aviation, Douglas Aircraft Company, and IBM as the lead contractors. Von Braun’s design was based in part on his work on the Aggregate series of rockets, especially the A-10, A-11, and A-12, in Germany during World War II.
To date, the Saturn V remains the only launch vehicle able to lift spacecraft large enough to carry humans beyond low Earth orbit. A total of 15 flight-capable vehicles were built, but only 13 were flown. An additional three vehicles were built for ground testing purposes. A total of 24 astronauts were launched to the Moon, three of them twice, in the four years spanning December 1968 through December 1972…
The Saturn V’s design stemmed from the designs of the Jupiter series rockets. As the success of the Jupiter series became evident, the Saturn series emerged.
C-1 to C-4
Between 1960 and 1962, the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) designed a series of Saturn rockets that could be used for various Earth orbit or lunar missions.
The C-1 was developed into the Saturn I, and the C-2 rocket was dropped early in the design process in favor of the C-3, which was intended to use two F-1 engines on its first stage, four J-2 engines for its second stage, and an S-IV stage, using six RL10 engines.
NASA planned to use the C-3 as part of the Earth Orbit Rendezvous (EOR) concept, with at least four or five launches needed for a single lunar mission. But MSFC was already planning an even bigger rocket, the C-4, which would use four F-1 engines on its first stage, an enlarged C-3 second stage, and the S-IVB, a stage with a single J-2 engine, as its third stage. The C-4 would need only two launches to carry out an EOR lunar mission.
On January 10, 1962, NASA announced plans to build the C-5. The three-stage rocket would consist of: the S-IC first stage, with five F-1 engines; the S-II second stage, with five J-2 engines; and the S-IVB third stage, with a single J-2 engine. The C-5 was designed for a 90,000-pound (41,000 kg) payload capacity to the Moon.
The C-5 would undergo component testing even before the first model was constructed. The S-IVB third stage would be used as the second stage for the C-IB, which would serve both to demonstrate proof of concept and feasibility for the C-5, but would also provide flight data critical to development of the C-5. Rather than undergoing testing for each major component, the C-5 would be tested in an “all-up” fashion, meaning that the first test flight of the rocket would include complete versions of all three stages. By testing all components at once, far fewer test flights would be required before a manned launch.
The C-5 was confirmed as NASA’s choice for the Apollo program in early 1963, and was named the Saturn V. The C-1 became the Saturn I, and C-1B became Saturn IB. Von Braun headed a team at the Marshall Space Flight Center in building a vehicle capable of launching a manned spacecraft on a trajectory to the Moon…