Monday, 9 April 2012

Saturn V

Let's be honest.  Who wouldn't have wanted to see a Saturn V launch?  A million people turned up to see Apollo 11 launch and I'm sure they didn't waste their time.  When they lit those F1 engines at the business end of the first stage and they reached 7.7 million pounds of thrust, the ground shook.  I wish I'd been there.

I nearly was.  Well, I tried to be there the only way I knew how.  I entered the Look-In magazine competition.  Look-In was for young teens and revolved around pop music and ITV programmes.  It was entertaining in its way and I took it for a number of years but the important thing about the Apollo 16 competition is that I didn't win.

So my first look at a Saturn V in the flesh was when I saw those F1s above at the Kennedy Space Center the first time I visited in 2003.   It doesn't matter how many times I've been back - those F1s get me every time.  How on Earth did they balance a 363 foot tower upright, then get it to get off the ground?  Stunning.

For those of us who have an urgent need to see Saturn Vs on a daily basis and who don't work at the Kennedy Space Center (I'd love to), then we can make do with the work of Mark Grey and Spacecraft Films.  He sensisbly realised that there was a market for those of us who want the physical throb of that behemoth lifting from Pad 39A (and once from 39B) by putting together three DVDs of archive footage of all the Saturn V launches (that's Apollos 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and Skylab 1), in the minutest detail, with all those glorious engineering cameras mounted in all those nooks and crannies on the launch umbilical tower....  Wonderful.  I've linked to the right to Spacecraft Films so if I have whetted your appetite, then go there.  The Saturn V set is a snip and well worth having.

And if that is not enough, take a look at this video.

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