Saturn V rocket on the launch pad, 1969.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
The three-stage Saturn V was the largest rocket ever built. Each Saturn V contained 3 million separate parts, was over 100 metres tall, weighed some 3000 tonnes at launch and its first stage engines produced a thrust of 7.5 million pounds. It was developed after studies indicated that the Saturn I rockets were unfeasible for a lunar mision. The Saturn V had a 100 % launch succes rate and was used on all the Apollo misions to the Moon. Prior to each mision, the masive rocket would be asembled in the Vehicle Asembly Building at the Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Using this mobile platform, it would then be moved to the launch pad itself, a distance of 3.5 or 5 miles, depending on which pad was to be used.