Today marks the 45th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 11 mission, man's first journey to the moon. In celebration of this event, here is the original footage from the launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The mission, comprised of astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, was fraught with danger (an eerie speech in possibility of their failure had already been drafted for President Richard Nixon) but the promise of a new era for mankind was too strong to deny.
The technical elements involved in the mission were massive. According to onegiantleap.com, the Saturn V rocket itself stood 364 feet tall (over twice the height of the Statue of Liberty) and weighed 6,100,000 lbs when filled with fuel. That fuel was 4,325,132 lbs liquid oxygen, 1,432,662 lbs jet fuel (kerosene), and 202,851 lbs liquid hydrogen. This allowed the massive craft to eventually attain the required speed to enter orbit (a.k.a "escape velocity"), ultimately thrusting at 7 miles per second (or Mach 32.4.)
The liftoff shown in the video was successful thanks to a comprehensive 7.5 million pounds of thrust, or more than that of forty 747 planes.
More Apollo 11 facts to follow this week in celebration of the 45th anniversary!