Saturn V

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The Saturn V was the largest operational launch vehicle ever produced. Standing over 363 feet high with its Apollo Spacecraft payload, it produced over 7.5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff. The Saturn V was designed under the direction of Werner von Braun at the Marshall Space Flight Center with Boeing, North American Aviation, Douglas Aircraft Company, and IBM as the lead contractors. It remains the most powerful launch vehicle ever brought to operational status. NASA launched thirteen Saturn V rockets between 1967 to 1973, with no losses. The Saturn V carried the Apollo astronauts to the Moon. All Saturn V missions launched from Launch Complex 39 at the John F. Kennedy Space Center. After the rocket cleared the launch tower, mission control transferred to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. An average mission used the rocket for a total of just 20 minutes. Although Apollo 6 and Apollo 13 experienced engine failures, the onboard computers were able to compensate by burning the remaining engines longer, and none of the Apollo launches resulted in a payload loss. The Saturn V was also used to launch the Skylab space station. The Saturn V was also intended to be used to launch components for the International Space Station. However, lack of a second Saturn V production run killed this plan and has left the United States without a heavy-lift booster. Had Saturn V production continued, the International Space Station would have been able to be lifted with just a handful of launches. 3 un-flyable Saturn Vs still exist at Johnson Space Center, Kennedy Space Center and the Alabama Space and Rocket Center.

Saturn V

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