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
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
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
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
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
James Burke was a fantastic presenter who really got me interested in science.