The dimensions of the Saturn V rocket which carried our astronauts to the
moon were extraordinary, and no rocket has ever been built since then with such
power. The fully loaded Saturn V stood 363 feet tall, weighed 2800 tons, and
generated 160,000,000 horsepower. The rocket assembly building at the cape in
Florida is the largest building in the world. Everything associated with this
rocket was huge. Even the crawler transport that moved the rocket from the assembly
building to the launch pad was huge. In the movie, "Apollo 13," they
show a scene where Jim Lovell learns that Ken Mattingly is susceptible to measles.
Jim is standing next to the Army tank-like tread of the transport and he is
dwarfed by the tread. I have heard that each tread piece weighed 2 tons, and
there were 92 pieces per tread, and 8 treads on the transport! The entire rocket
was assembled within this building, on top of the launch platform, and this
was all on a giant tractor. The entire complex was then slowly moved out to
the launch area. The tractor was called, "The Crawler Transport,"
because that is exactly what it did. It crawled to the launch area at 1 mile
per hour, and returned empty at a tope speed of 2 miles per hour.
Here are a few pictures of the Cape area. Below and left is the Vehicle Assembly
Building. This is where the rocket and launch platforms are assembled. Click
on the image for detailed information of this incredibly huge building. The
crawler transport is shown with the Shuttle. Click on the image to learn the
details about this tractor that burns 150 gallons of fuel per mile! The image
to your lower right is that of Apollo 17 at the launch site at night. Click
on the image to access 9000 NASA photographs from the various missions that
went into space.
It is my hope to include video directly into these webpages, but I am not
all that great at this form of technology. Besides, why bother when NASA can
do a better job. To see a series of videos related to the NASA
Apollo missions, including mission 9, 10, and 11, just click on the link
within this sentence.
Click on the image above to see more detail. This might take
awhile to load on a dial-up connection.
launch of the Saturn V rocket is shown to your left. The actual capsule that
housed the three men is barely visible at the very top of the rocket. I cannot
even begin to imagine the thrill of being in a spacecraft during a rocket launch.
And, I marvel that more people with the wherewithal do not share my interest.
If I was Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos, I most certainly would spend $2 billion of my fortune and
build my own space shuttle and go into space. Engineers at NASA had worked for
so many years on the design of this Apollo capsule, and the maiden voyage of
Apollo 1 was a source of great anticipation.
struck in February 21, 1967 during a prelaunch test of the Apollo I mission. Gus Grissom,
Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were on board the spacecraft, doing a routine series
of checks when a spark ignited within the capsule under the seat of Gus Grissom. The smoke and flames killed all three astronauts
before anyone could open the door and let them out. The spacecraft was redesigned
and the program set back 18 months. To read more about this tragedy, click on
the image of the crew.
first people to successfully leave the earths gravitational influence
and be under the influence of another body in the solar system ... the moon
were Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and John Anders, launching December 21, 1968.
On Christmas Eve, 1968, they made 10 orbits around the moon and scoped out landing
sites for the Apollo 11 crew. To learn more about this mission, click on the
image of the crew.
Apollo 11 astronauts were Mike Collins, Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin. They
launched July 16, 1969, and Neil and Buzz walked on the Sea of Tranquility during
the evening of July 20, 1969. Mike Collins had to stay in lunar orbit while
Neil and Buzz got to run around on the moon. Actually, these two men had to
learn a special walk-hop in order to properly handle the lighter lunar gravity
and not fall under the awkward air-conditioning units on their backs. To see
a detailed account of the mission, click on the image of the crew. To see video
of Armstrongs first steps, click here.
*There was a computer malfunction, they missed the landing site, almost crashed
into lunar boulders, and had less than 15 seconds of fuel remaining when the
Eagle finally landed. I was taping the televised broadcasts on a reel-to-reel
audio tape recorder, and will never forget the fascination of watching two men
frolic on the moon. REM claims that we never landed anyone on the Moon. While
there is a growing fascination with the moon hoax, there is absolutely no real
credible evidence to prove otherwise. For America to fake the moon landing would
have been information well-known to the Soviets, who had spies within the NASA
program. They would have pressed ahead despite their moon launch explosion and
tried again. You can believe what you want, but I am quite certain Neil and
Buzz left their footprints on the moon.
These pictures which you have just looked at are just a few of those available
when you click on the Apollo
site. I have included them here for their significance. To see the other
Apollo missions, move forward to Apollo 12-17.
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