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The Saturn V Story

The Saturn V rocket was developed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. It was one of the three types of Saturn rockets NASA built. Two smaller rockets, the Saturn I and IB were used to launch humans into Earth orbit. The Saturn V sent humans beyond the orbit of our planet and all the way to the moon. The first Saturn V was launched in 1967, and it was called Apollo 4; Apollo 6 followed in 1968. Both of these rockets were launched without crews and were designed to test the Saturn V rocket.

The first Saturn V launched with a crew was Apollo 8. On this mission, astronauts orbited the moon but did not land. On Apollo 9, the crew tested the Apollo moon lander by flying it in Earth's orbit without landing. On Apollo 10, the Saturn V launched the lunar lander to the moon. The crew tested the lander in space but did not land it on the moon. In 1969, Apollo 11 was the first mission to land astronauts on the moon. Saturn V rockets also made it possible for astronauts to land on the moon on Apollo 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17. On Apollo 13, the Saturn V lifted the crew into space, but a problem prevented them from being able to land on the moon. That problem was not with the Saturn V, but with the Apollo spacecraft. The Saturn V's final launch occurred in 1973 and was crewless, used to launch the Skylab space station into Earth orbit.

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