Tech History

January 10, 1962

Saturn V announced

Apollo 17 The Last Moon Shot Edit1.jpg


NASA announces plans to build the C-5 rocket booster. It became better known as the Saturn V moon rocket, which launched every Apollo moon mission.

The Saturn V (spoken as “Saturn five”) was an American human-rated expendable rocket used by NASA between 1966 and 1973.The three-stage liquid-fueled launch vehicle was developed to support the Apollo program for human exploration of the Moon, and was later used to launch Skylab, the first American space station. The Saturn V was launched 13 times from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with no loss of crew or payload. As of 2016, the Saturn V remains the tallest, heaviest, and most powerful (highest total impulse) rocket ever brought to operational status, and holds records for the heaviest payload launched and largest payload capacity to low Earth orbit (LEO) of 140,000 kg (310,000 lb), which included the third stage and unburned propellant needed to send the Apollo Command/Service Module and Lunar Module to the Moon.

Tech History

December 23, 1968

Apollo 8 Orbits the Moon

The view of Earth rising over the lunar surface from Apollo 8

Astronauts Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, and William Anders become the first men to orbit the Moon. Flying in Apollo 8, the men perform 10 total lunar orbits and test many of the procedures that will be used in future lunar missions. Additionally, the men were the first humans to travel beyond low Earth orbit, the first to see Earth as a whole planet, and the first to directly see the far side of the Moon. On Christmas Eve, the crew made a television broadcast from which they read the first 10 verses from the Book of Genesis.  It was the most watched television program ever at the time.