Monday, February 13, 2012

Saturn Rocket

This Saturn 1B launch vehicle is on display at the rest area/Welcome Center as drivers southbound on I-65 enter Alabama from Tennessee.  It is certainly one of the most imposing sights I've ever seen at an Interstate rest area.  Huntsville is nearby and is the location where the three iterations of Saturn rockets were developed.  This 1B had enough power for orbital missions with the Apollo spacecraft and lunar module.  It towers 224 feet into the sky and is kept in place by a dozen massive guy lines.  It weighs 92,500 pounds!

These eight engines powered the first stage of the rocket...

In 1972, the cost of a Saturn IB including launch was $55 million (inflation adjusted $ 288.7 million in 2012.)

Its successor, the Saturn V rocket, was 363 feet tall and eventually took astronauts to the moon.  

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