Saturn V SA-506, the rocket carrying NASA’s Apollo 11
spacecraft, is rolled out of the Vehicle Assembly Building and down the 3.5
mile crawlerway to Launch Complex 39A on May 20, 1969 at the Kennedy Space Center, FL. Credit: NASA
Ken Kremer — SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM – 20
CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – 50 years ago today the mighty Saturn V moon rocket
that propelled Apollo 11 on NASA’s history making first Moon landing journey was
rolled out to Launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The historic trek to pad 39A took place as
the Apollo 10 mission was already on its way to the Moon with a trio of NASA astronauts
for the preparatory flight before the Apollo 11 trio would blastoff two months
later on July 16, 1969.
The 363 foot tall (110 meter) Apollo 11 rocket stack, Launch Umbilical Tower and
Mobile Launcher departed the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at 12:30 p.m. atop the crawler-transporter
for the 3.5 mile journey to pad 39A while
moving about one mile per hour.
The three stage rocket weighs 6,540,000 lb (2,970,000 kg).
Enjoy this gallery of NASA images showing the
entire journey of the Saturn V from the VAB, trundling along the crawlerway and
up the incline before finally reaching the top od pad 39A.
|The Saturn V rocket carrying Apollo 11
shortly after leaving the VAB around 12:30 p.m. ET on its way to Launch Pad 39A
on May 20, 1969 at the Kennedy Space Center, FL. Credit: NASA
Armstrong, Lunar Module Pilot (LMP) Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, and Command Module
Pilot (CMP) Michael Collins were on hand to watch their rocket make its slow
trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy
Space Center,” according to a NASA description.
practicing for the first moonwalk and training for splashdown and recovery,
including wearing Biological Isolation Garments to protect Earth from possible
from splashdown until arrival at the Lunar Receiving Lab was delivered to the
Manned Spacecraft Center, now the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The Lunar
Module (LM) completed tests to certify it for the loads it would encounter
during the Moon landing.”
The Saturn V moves at
one mile per hour down the crawlerway toward pad 39A.
|Ground-level view of the 363-ft. tall Apollo 11
Saturn V on the crawlerway. Credit:
The Apollo 11 Saturn
V approaches the incline to pad 39A. Credit: NASA
The Apollo 11 Saturn
V nears the end of its trip to the launchpad. Credit:
anniversary since Neil Armstrong became the first human to step foot on the
Moon during the Apollo 11 moon landing mission on July 20, 1969 along with Buzz
The last time American astronauts
walked on the Moon was back in Dec. 1972 during NASA’s Apollo 17 moon landing
mission. No human has ventured back since.
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap
for mankind,” declared Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong, uttering his famous first
words from Tranquility Base after stepping off the ladder of the Lunar Module
NASA is finally returning
to the Moon under the newly named Project Artemis.
NASA seeks to accomplish an American lunar landing in just 5 years by 2024 at
the lunar south pole with “the first woman and the next man.”
President Trump has made returning humans to the
moon sooner a highlight of his Administration by supporting NASA and signing ‘Space
Policy Directive One’ in December 2017 which states – “the United States will
lead the return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization,
followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations.”
Watch for Ken’s continuing
onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman
and more space and mission reports direct from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.
Stay tuned here for
Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer
– email: ken at kenkremer.com
Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the
KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about
Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events
Ken’s upcoming outreach events:
May 22-24: Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center, Titusville,
FL, evenings. Learn more about the upcoming/recent NASA
2024 Moon landing goal, SpaceX Starlink-1, SpaceX Falcon 9/CRS-17 launch to ISS, Falcon Heavy, SpaceX Demo-1
launch/test failure, SpaceX Beresheet launch, NASA missions, ULA Atlas & Delta launches, Northrop Grumman Antares,
SpySats and more
11 astronauts (left to right) Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin pose in front of
Saturn V rocket at Launch Pad 39A. Credit: NASA