Wernher von Braun Witnesses the Launch of the First Saturn V Rocket
November 9, 1967
Author: Wernher von Braun, American Rocket Engineer
The Saturn V rocket was successfully tested today as the Apollo 4 mission. It stood 363 feet tall and and weighed five million pounds. The giant blasted off with such an earthshaking roar, that such believed that the rocket hadn't rose, but rather Florida had sunk.
After the third stage's fuel was used, the command and service module were ejected to an orbit 115 miles high. The module then returned at 25,000 miles an hour and floated to only ten miles from the landing site.
At the news conference I said, " No single event since the formation of the Marshall Center in 1960 equals today's launch in significance, I regard this happy day as one of three or four highlights of my professional life - to be` surpassed only by the manned lunar landing." I meant every word.
I remember the days when I just graduated from the Berlin Institute of Technology and had joined the VRF (Society for Space Travel). Those days we worked with eight pound rockets that barely climbed to two hundred feet. The dream was already alive then. How lucky I am to follow
high-altitude rocketry from its infantry to now, the launch of the massive Saturn V! How amazing life is.
The "all up" rule set by George Mueller, NASA's associate administrator, is more efficient than
the previous incremental testing. "All up" tests the complete vehicle all together and saves desperately important time so we can make the moon landing deadline. Mueller's rule will be remembered as a vital step towards the coming Moon landing.