The Final Journey of the Saturn V

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 4-17-2012


The Saturn V can be considered one of mankind’s greatest achievements. The outcome of President Kennedy’s 1961 call to put a man on the moon, the Saturn V is a technological marvel that stood more than 36 stories tall. An enormous workforce of engineers, scientists, welders, barge captains, and computer programmers spent an untold number of hours on design, logistics, manufacturing, quality control, and more to launch the Saturn. Neil Armstrong’s “giant leap for mankind” was the culmination of a focused effort to beat the Soviets and prove American ingenuity and productivity was beyond doubt. Unfortunately, the demise of the Apollo program was just as shattering as the force it took to launch the rocket into orbit. A few years after the Eagle had landed, the unused Saturn launch vehicles were left outside to rot. Like the space program itself, the rocket was forgotten and its carcass soon became home to flora and fauna.

Publication Title

University of Akron Press

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