Saturn V

NASA built Saturn V to be able to send humans to the moon. The V stands for the Roman numeral 5.Saturn V was used in the Apollo program in the 1960s and 1970s. It was the most powerful rocket ever flown successfully.

Saturn V was successfully launched 13 times.

saturn v

Apollo 4

It was first launched for the Apollo 4 mission in 1967. After that, it launched twelve missions for Apollo and a mission to place the Skylab space station in orbit – not once did any crew members lose or load during the journey.

Outer space

To date, Saturn V is the only launch vehicle that transports humans beyond low Earth orbit and to the moon. During the 6 years it was used, Saturn took a total of 24 men to the moon. NASA legends Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin set off using Saturn V.

Size and Weight

Saturn V is the tallest rocket ever built, and is 111 meters high. It’s about the height of a 36-story building. The Saturn V rocket is about 18 meters higher than the Statue of Liberty. Saturn V was 10 m in diameter. It could carry a load of 118 tons to low orbit around the Earth and 47 tons to the moon.

At launch, the Saturn V weighed over 3000 tons of kilogram, which is about as much as 400 adult elephants. The weight mostly consisted of rocket fuel.


The Saturn V rocket that launched the Skylab space station, was built in two stages. The Saturn V rockets that launched the Apollo missions had three stages.

  • The first stage was the strongest because it had the task of launching the heavy rocket into space. The stage managed to take the rocket about 68 kilometers up.
  • The second stage would get it up almost all the way to the Earth’s orbit.
  • The third and final stage took the rocket into Earth’s orbit and launched it to the moon.

The various stages would use their engines until the fuel ran out and then separate from the main rocket. The first two stages that fell ended up in the sea. The last step remained in space or crashed on the moon.

Space Missions

  • Saturn V was used for the Apollo 8 mission. This mission went out in orbit around the moon but they would not try to land on it.
  • During the Apollo 9 mission, the crew tested flying it in Earth’s orbit without landing.
  • The Apollo 10 mission launched the Saturn V lunar lander to the moon. They never landed during that mission.
  • In 1969, Apollo 11 was the first mission that had plans to land astronauts on the moon and succeeded.
  • Saturn V rockets also allowed astronauts to land on the moon on Apollo 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17.
  • Apollo 13, Saturn V launched the crew into space, but an explosion on board prevented them from landing on the moon. The problem had nothing to do with Saturn V, but with the Apollo spacecraft.

The last mission using the Saturn V rocket was in 1973. It was an unmanned mission that put the Skylab space station into orbit. The last manned mission of the Saturn V rocket, Apollo 17, was in 1972.

Since then, manned space travel has only revolved around the earth.

Saturn V is still the tallest, heaviest and most powerful rocket that has ever successfully reached orbit.