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A view of the bottom of Saturn V. Onward and upward....
The Saturn V was an American human-rated expendable rocket used by NASA's Apollo and Skylab programs from 1967 until 1973. A multistage liquid-fueled launch vehicle, NASA launched 13 Saturn Vs from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida with no loss of crew or payload. It remains the tallest, heaviest, and most powerful rocket ever brought to operational status and still holds the record for the heaviest launch vehicle payload.
The largest production model of the Saturn family of rockets, the Saturn V was designed under the direction of Wernher von Braun and Arthur Rudolph at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, with Boeing, North American Aviation, Douglas Aircraft Company, and IBM as the lead contractors. Von Braun's design was based in part on his work on the Aggregate series of rockets, especially the A-10, A-11, and A-12, in Germany during World War II.
To date, the Saturn V is the only launch vehicle to transport human beings beyond low Earth orbit. A total of 24 astronauts were launched to the Moon, three of them more than once, in the four years spanning December 1968 through December 1972.
April 24th, 2013
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