THE SATURN V
The Saturn V rocket stood 363 feet tall.
That's 58 feet taller than the
Statue of Liberty.
It weighed 3,200 tons.
Below are photos that show various aspects of its assembly and the rollout to Pad 39-A.
THE THREE STAGES OF THE SATURN V
The three stages were built and tested primarily at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL. They were carried by boat through a river system down to Florida. Here is the second stage going past a drawbridge.
Here the S-II arrives at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.
The first stage also arrived by river barge. From the river bank, it was trucked (very carefully) to the place where the entire rocket was assembled.
This place was the Vertical Assembly Building (in the background). It remains today the largest single-story building in the world. It is 526 feet tall. The Saturn V was put together inside, using cranes and all sorts of other lifting and moving technologies, on top of what was called the Mobile Launcher. This launcher, with the 405-foot launch tower already on it, was then rolled out to the launch pad.
The Vertical Assembly Building, or VAB, was used throughout the Shuttle program and will be used in the future.
Inside the VAB, a crane lifts the first stage into place.
Joining the S-II (second stage) to the S-IVC (first stage).
Putting the Apollo spacecraft (Command Module and Lunar Module) on top of the S-IVB.
The Saturn V, now fully assembled, sits inside the VAB.
The finished rocket is rolled out of the Vertical Assembly Building. The Mobile Launchpad is sitting on top of a giant "crawler" that carried the rocket to Launch Pad 39-A at Cape Canaveral.
Launch Pad 39-A is where all manned spacecraft launches have taken place for the last 58 years.
Aerial view from a nearby helicopter.
Leaving the VAB and on the way to Launch Pad 39-A.
The crawler traveled at a little under 1 mph, making the 3.5 mile trip in just over five hours.
Here the Saturn V is at the start of an incline that carried it up to its final position on the launch pad, which is at the end of the track at the far lower left of the picture.
You can see an opening there for the flames from the engines when they are ignited at liftoff. The trench to divert these flames away from the rocket is 13 feet deep. (It had to be build on a raised pad because in this part of Florida, ground water is nearly at the surface--they could not build an underground trench.)
Moving up the incline to the launch pad...
The rocket's final position is going to be at the end of the raised platform to the left.
Finally, the Saturn V is positioned for liftoff.
Another shot of the rocket in place on the pad.
On pad, ready for launch.
In this video, you can see the reason for the deep trench. The flames you see are merely what is on top of the raised launch pad. There would be a lot more flames and heat (and danger to the rocket) were it not for those diverted out of sight by the 13-foot-high trench directly underneath the rocket.