Saturn V facts for kids

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Apollo 11 Saturn V near the end of rollout
The Saturn V that launched Apollo 11 on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center.

Saturn V was the name of the rocket type used by NASA in the Apollo program. The Saturn V carried Apollo 11 and its crew to the Moon in 1969. Much of the rocket was designed by German engineer and scientist Wernher von Braun. There were 32 Saturn rockets launched, and the Saturn V was the largest. There were 15 Saturn V rockets produced and 13 were launched. There were two unmanned Saturn V test flights, and the first manned Apollo flight using a Saturn V was Apollo 8 launched on December 21, 1968.

S-IC engines and Von Braun
Wernher von Braun standing by the five massive engines of the Saturn V in 1961

The Saturn V rocket was a three stage design. It stood 110.7 m (363 ft) high and weighed 2,903,020 kg (6,400,064 lb). The first rockets were able to carry a load of 44,600 kg (98,326 lb). This was increased to 46,800 kg (103,176 lb) for the later Apollo missions. The first and second stages gave the power to lift the rocket off the Earth. The first and second stages each had five engines. The first stage used a fuel made of kerosene and liquid oxygen. The other stages used a mix of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.

The first stage engines fired for 168 seconds which was able to lift Apollo to a height of 67 km (42 mi) and about 93 km (58 mi) down range from the launch site. The second stage fired for about 8 minutes to speed Apollo through the upper atmosphere. At this time the speed was 25,182 km/h (15,647 mph)

The third stage was used for 2.5 minutes to put Apollo into an Earth orbit. This was at a height of 191.2 km (119 mi) above the Earth. The third stage was restarted and fired for 6 minutes to increase the speed to 40,320 km/h (25,054 mph) needed to send Apollo off to the Moon.

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Saturn V Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.