45 years ago, three astronauts blasted off on a mission to put man on the moon.
SciShow Space celebrates the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing by highlighting just four of the most important things we learned from the Apollo 11 mission. Subscribe!
Here, we have the Saturn V rocket, housed inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center near Titusville, Florida, just a few miles from Launch complex 39, where these beasts once roared into the sky.
When we look at the enormous first stage of the Saturn V rocket, called an S-IC, we think “spaceship”. Truthfully, the Saturn V first stage never actually made it into space. The stage only burned for the first 150 seconds of flight, then dropped away from the rest of the rocket, all while remaining totally inside Earth’s atmosphere. The S-IC stage is merely an aircraft.
Even more truthfully, the S-IC stage displayed here at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, never flew at all. It is a static test article, fired while firmly attached to the ground, to make sure the rocket would actually hold together in flight. Obviously, these tests were successful, (e.g. she didn’t blow up), and she sits on our Apollo museum today. I wrote more about this particular stage in a previous post, (click here to view.)
The rest of the rocket, the second and third stages, called the S-II and S-IVB stages, did fly into space. The S-II put the manned payload into orbit, and the S-IVB was responsible for initially propelling that payload from earth orbit to the moon, an act called “trans-lunar injection” (TLI).
The particular rocket in this display, except for the first stage, is called SA-514. 514 was going to launch the cancelled Apollo 18 and 19 moon missions.
The command/service module (CSM) in the photos is called CSM-119. This particular capsule is unique to the Apollo program, because it has five seats. All the others had three. 119 could launch with a crew of three, and land with five, because it was designed it for a possible Skylab rescue mission. It was later used it as a backup capsule for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.
Learn more about gravitational lensing with host Caitlin Hofmeister.
Remembering Gemini 4 - June 3, 1965 - During the mission, Ed White became the first American astronaut to perform a spacewalk 49 years ago.
"It’s the saddest moment of my life." - Ed, on being ordered to return to his spacecraft post-walk
SciShow Space shares the latest news from around the universe, including a wrap-up of the experiments conducted in the last space station mission, a test of a new “flying saucer” device from NASA, and new life for our old friend, the Kepler Space Telescope!
Buckle up for a trip to the asteroid belt — though it’s not nearly as dangerous out there as you might think. But there’s a LOT waiting to be discovered, including some crucial clues about the formation of the solar system itself.
The Lunar Landing Training Vehicle, and its predecessor, the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, were developed by NASA in the early 1960s to prepare astronauts for the first mission to the moon. Built by Bell Aerosystems, the vehicles featured a GE CF-700-2V jet engine that pointed downward to cancel out 5/6th of the vehicle’s weight. Two 2250 Newton hydrogen peroxide lift rockets were also used to help simulate lunar conditions.
Three out of the five that were created crashed during training, with all of the astronauts, including Neil Armstrong in the first crash, ejecting safely. According to Armstrong, the Lunar Module flew better than the test vehicles, but the test vehicles were vital to the success of the moon landing. In his own words, “What the LLTV gave you was not so much the seat-of-the-pants dynamics as the real-world visual. That and the fact that, if you make a mistake, you can’t hit the reset button.”
File under: Things that don’t seem like they should be able to fly but do.
Reid Reimers explains one of the often-overlooked technologies that humans need to live in, and explore, space: space suits. Learn about the hundred-year history of the pressurized suit, and see what the future of space couture might look like.