Saturday, July 18, 2009
I was only 3 years old when the Apollo 11 Saturn V left the
launch pad this week 40 years ago, but I definitely remember
the last Moon launch of Apollo 17 in 1972. My best memory is
not of the Moon walks themselves, but of the Saturn V leaving
the launchpad. I still get chills watching the U-S-A crawling
up the screen as the rocket climbs off the pad.
"It stood 363 ft. tall--60 ft. taller than the Statue of Liberty--when
the Apollo spacecraft was sitting on the launchpad. When fully loaded
with propellants, the rocket weighed 6.2 million pounds. It had more
than 3 million parts. At full throttle, its five first-stage engines produced
a thundering 7.6 million pounds of thrust at liftoff. All told, a Saturn V
churned out more power than 85 Hoover Dams or, if you prefer, enough
energy to light up New York City for 75 minutes".