Apollo 11 First Stage liftoff in Ultra Slow Motion

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An evening pause: This footage was taken on July 16, 1969 at 500 frames per second, and shows only what happened at the base of the launch tower as the engines of the Saturn 5 rocket ignited and lifted the rocket into the air. Though the video is more than 8 minutes long, the actual events recorded lasted only about 30 seconds, beginning 5 seconds before T minus 0.

What struck me most as I watched this was the incredible amount of complex engineering that went into every single small detail of the rocket and the launch tower and launchpad. We tend to take for granted the difficulty of rocket engineering. This video will make you appreciate it again.

It is also mesmerizing. A lot happens in a very short period of time.

Hat tip Kyle Kooy.

One comment

  • Coolest thing I’ve seen this week.

    The F-1 exhaust temperature was near 6000F. It’s an engineering achievement that anything below the rocket could survive. The site heroicrelics.org has extensive documentation on the F-1 design and build process.

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