• Post category:Famous Rockets
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As of 2021, the Saturn V holds the record for the tallest, heaviest, and most powerful (highest total impulse) rocket ever launched. It also holds records for the heaviest payload launched and largest payload capacity to low Earth orbit (LEO) of 140,000 kg, which included the third stage and unburned propellant needed to send the Apollo command and service module and Lunar Module to the Moon. Further adding to the achievements list, till date, Saturn V is the only rocket to have carried humans beyond low earth orbit. It took 24 American astronauts to the Moon during 1968 to 1972.

Apollo 11 Launch - GPN-2000-000630.jpg The launch of Apollo 11 on Saturn V SA-506, July 16, 1969
Apollo 11 Launch – GPN-2000-000630.jpg The launch of Apollo 11 on Saturn V SA-506, July 16, 1969. Photo credits: NASA

Saturn V was an super heavy-lift launch vehicle developed by NASA to support the Apollo program for human exploration of the Moon and was later used to launch Skylab, the first American space station. It has been launched 13 times from Kennedy Space Center with no loss of crew or payload. Of all 13 launches, Apollo 6 is considered as partial failure while all of the rest are considered successes, making the rocket have a success rate of 12/13.

The Saturn V was designed under the direction of Wernher von Braun and is also named “Saturn” as a continuation from the “Jupiter” series of rockets on which Wernher von Braun was already working. The final rocket consisted of three stages—the S-IC first stage, S-II second stage, and the S-IVB third stage—and the instrument unit. All three stages used liquid oxygen (LOX) as the oxidizer. The first stage used RP-1 for fuel, while the second and third stages used liquid hydrogen (LH2).

Comparison of super heavy-lift launch vehicles
Comparison of super heavy-lift launch vehicles. Photo Credits: Thorenn
All Saturn V launches, 1967–1973
All Saturn V launches, 1967–1973. Photo credits: NASA