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  Apollo 4: First launch of Saturn V (11.9.1967)

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Author Topic:   Apollo 4: First launch of Saturn V (11.9.1967)
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 38277
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-09-2017 12:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Saturn V at 50: NASA moon rocket lifted off on maiden mission 50 years ago

It stood taller than the Statue of Liberty, was more massive than six Boeing 747 jetliners and generated more thrust than two dozen of the jumbo jets. The tallest, heaviest and most powerful rocket ever successfully flown launched for the first time 50 years ago Thursday (Nov. 9).

NASA's Saturn V booster, which carried 24 astronauts to the moon and lofted the United States' first space station into Earth orbit, is now instantly recognizable as an icon of the U.S. space program. It made its debut in flight on Nov. 9, 1967, launching the Apollo 4 mission on an "all-up" test of the vehicle.


Posts: 683
From: Streamwood, IL USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 11-09-2017 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember this day well. Our Chicago newspapers had an insert titled "Impact of the SuperShot" in their Sunday editions. I thought it odd that they were making such a fuss over an unmanned rocket launch.

When Thursday came, I turned on CBS as I was getting ready for classes and was flabbergasted by the size of the Saturn V. Seeing it in Life magazine is one thing, seeing it on live television was quite another.

When it launched, there was a gap between lift-off and when the sound started pounding on the news trailers. Walter Cronkite's excitement made it even more thrilling. What a day! I believe it was then that I really began to believe the U.S. was going to pull this moon landing thing off.


Posts: 75
From: Norway
Registered: Jan 2014

posted 11-09-2017 10:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Solarplexus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The first launch of the Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center. This is footage from CBS News with Walter Cronkite. This is the famous video of him exclaiming about the roar and "the ceiling is fall down".


Posts: 2741
From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 11-09-2017 04:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember this flight being previewed on a BBC TV programme called "Tomorrow's World" introduced by a World War 2 Spitfire pilot (Raymond Baxter) and a balding, bespectacled young reporter named James Burke, who would become the BBC's answer to Walter Cronkite in the coverage of Project Apollo. I remember thinking that the Saturn V had to succeed, because it was needed to put Americans on the Moon by 1969.

Since I knew (as only an enthusiastic 12-year-old can know) that Americans WOULD be walking on the Moon by 1969 (because NASA said it would happen) I was totally confident that Apollo 4 would succeed. And of course it did.


Posts: 2347
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 11-10-2017 01:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Slightly off topic but there is a connection. Raymond Baxter had a claim that he was the only pilot in WW2 that nearly shot down a V2 rocket. He was flying over Belgium when one suddenly appeared from the trees in front of him. By the time he realised what it was, the moment had passed.


Posts: 92
From: Scotland
Registered: Nov 2014

posted 11-10-2017 05:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AlanC   Click Here to Email AlanC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
James Burke was a fantastic presenter who really got me interested in science.

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