The Most Powerful Machine Man Has Ever Built
The Saturn V "The Moon Rocket"
The Saturn V is unsurpassed in pure, awesome power. It stands at over 360 feet high, weighs three thousand tons, and if it exploded on its launch pad, would release the same amount of energy as a two kiloton nuclear bomb. The Saturn V was designed by Warner Von Braun and his team of German scientists who also defected from Germany. This amazing piece of technology rocketed America to the finish line of the race to the moon, crushing Russia's chances of victory.
How Rockets Work
Rockets that send men and other objects into space are usually liquid fueled rockets, with main exception being the sold rocket boosters which helped blast the Space Shuttle into Orbit. Liquid fueled rockets essentially use an oxidizer and a propellant to create a reaction that yields a high amount of energy and therefore thrust. The oxidizers and propellants can vary, but the design of the rocket can be seen in the diagram on the right. The reaction occurs in the combustion chamber, which must be able to withstand the extreme temperatures and forces of the explosive reaction. These liquid fueled rockets can be throttled, or their power can be adjusted, and can also be turned on and off, which allowed the Apollo missions to get back to Earth after orbiting the moon by re-firing their main engines and escaping the moons gravitational field.
How the Saturn V Changed History
The Saturn V consisted of three rocket stages, a Service Module, a Lunar Lander, and the Command Module. The Saturn V utilized the, at the time, brand new F-1 rocket engine, which is still the most powerful single chamber rocket engine in history. The 1st stage was equipped with five of these extremely powerful engines. The 1st stage used kerosene fuel, while the other two used liquid hydrogen, and all three used liquid oxygen as oxidizers. The three stages combined created over 20 million pounds of thrust which accelerated the astronauts away from Earth and into deep space. In Apollo 10, the astronauts reached a to a maximum velocity of 24,791 miles per hour, which is the fastest speed that any vehicle has traveled. Once each of the stage had burned through all of its fuel, it would be jettisoned and fall back to earth. However, none of the Saturn V was reusable for multiple launches, and thus was very expensive, and lead to the shutting down of the Apollo. program.
My Connection to the Cape
My grandfather was the Pad 39A safety officer for all the Apollo launches that occurred there. My mother was actually born 15 miles from the Pad at Patricks Air Force Base. He actually stopped the countdown for an hour of Apollo 11 because he was concerned about a leak on the Saturn V. The funny thing is, he was a spy in WWII, never got his college degree, and yet was allowed to be the safety officer for the most important historical event in that decade. It's a little suspicious… that a 'former' spy, with no college degree, was made the safety officer of Pad 39A and was so involved in one of the most important and high profile government activities at the time. It's just maybe possible that the CIA may have wanted some 'boots on the ground' in order to keep an eye out for any 'Reds' trying to sabotage the US's endeavors.