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January 23, 2017 - Saturn Gets the Go-Ahead

Saturn Gets the Go-Ahead   Apollo’s ambitious plan to land astronauts on the Moon before the end of the 1960s took a great leap forward fifty-five years ago this week when NASA authorized the full-scale development of the Saturn C-5 launch vehicle (later known as the Saturn V) in a configuration that featured five F-1 engines in the first stage. That stage, eventually dubbed the S-IC, was 10 meters (33 ft) in diameter and 42 meters (138 ft) long. Its cluster of engines produced 34 meganewtons (7.5 million lbs) of thrust, making the Saturn V the most powerful operational launch vehicle ever built. During the 150 seconds it burned, the S-IC consumed 1,950 metric tons (4.3 million lbs) of kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants. Seen here, the Apollo 6 Saturn V leaves the Vehicle Assembly Building in 1968.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

January 23-29, 2017

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 23

Moon phase Tuesday 24

Saturn 4° south of Moon

1978: Cosmos 954 satellite reenters atmosphere over Canada
1985: STS-51C Discovery launched
1986: Voyager 2 flies past Uranus
1992: Magellan begins third mapping cycle of Venus

Moon phase Wednesday 25

Mercury 4° south of Moon

1736: Joseph Lagrange born
1962: NASA authorizes Saturn V rocket
1983: IRAS launched
1994: Clementine spacecraft launched
2004: Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity lands

Moon phase Thursday 26

Moon phase Friday 27

New Moon 7:07 PM ET

1829: Isaac Roberts born, pioneer astrophotographer
1967: Apollo 1 astronauts Grissom, White, and Chaffee die in cockpit fire on launch pad during test

Moon phase Saturday 28

Chinese New Year

1611: Johannes Hevelius born
1986: Space Shuttle Challenger explodes, 7 astronauts die

Moon phase Sunday 29

1964: SA-5 launched, first Saturn I Block 2 rocket
1989: Phobos 2 enters orbit around Mars

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