On This Day In Space: Nov. 9, 1967: Saturn V launches for 1st time with Apollo 4 (Image Credit: Space.com)
On Nov. 9, 1967, NASA launched the powerful new Saturn V rocket on its maiden voyage.
The Saturn V was 363 feet tall. That’s taller than the Statue of Liberty! It was the biggest and most powerful rocket ever built at the time. NASA needed this powerful rocket to launch astronauts to the moon. However, the first Saturn V launch didn’t carry astronauts, because it was only a test flight.
During the launch, the rocket created a loud shockwave that surprised nearby observers. The ground shook so hard that it rattled buildings miles away, and all the shaking caused a huge shower of dust and debris at NASA’s Florida launch center.
The mission lasted eight hours and 36 minutes. The rocket carried a spacecraft that splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. One year later, another Saturn V rocket launched the first astronauts to the moon with the Apollo 8 mission. All of the Apollo missions that followed were also launched on Saturn V rockets.
The last Saturn V launched in 1973 with NASA’s Skylab space station.
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