ASME-Landmark:Saturn V Rocket - Alabama


In 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced the United States' intention to send a man to the moon. When the decision to undertake a manned lunar landing effort was made, there was no rocket in the country even approaching the needed capability. On January 10, 1962, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced that it would develop a new rocket, much larger than any previously attempted. It would be based on the F-1 rocket engine, the development of which had been underway since 1958, and on the hydrogen-fueled J-2 engine, upon which work had begun in 1960.

The Saturn V program was the biggest rocket effort undertaken in this country. Its total cost was above $7 billion. It consisted of three stages and an instrument unit. When completed it was 363 feet tall, and weighed approximately 6.1 million pounds when fully loaded.

Developmental work through the 1960s culminated in the first launch of the Saturn V on November 9, 1967. In July of 1969, the sixth launch of the Saturn V carried the Apollo XI mission of Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin to the first manned landing on the moon. Six additional launches succeeded in achieving five more lunar landings through December 1972.

In July 1980, the display sites of the three remaining Saturn V vehicles were simultaneously designated via satellite as ASME landmarks #52, #53, and #54, respectively: The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Texas; the Kennedy Space Center, Florida; and the Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama. See ASME website for more information