Apollo 11 First Stage liftoff


Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.


He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
 

An evening pause: This was originally posted as an evening pause in 2016. I think that today, the fiftieth anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, it is appropriate to repost it. As I wrote then,

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.

Tonight’s evening pause begins eight days of pauses dedicated to celebrating, and reliving, the Apollo 11 mission. To the Moon!

Readers!
 

Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.
 

This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.
 

This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.
 

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6 comments

  • wayne

    Yes, these engineering camera’s provide exceptional views.

    pivoting—
    exceptionally clear tracking film of the launch for almost 3:30 minutes, including 1st stage & engine skirt separation, and escape tower jettison
    https://youtu.be/t8CJWyBtHOU?t=1349

  • wayne

    excellent on-board film of 1st stage separation

    Apollo Saturn V staging (at aproximately real speed)
    https://youtu.be/cpHM13897Kg
    0:57

    “These images were taken on the Apollo 4 and Apollo 6 Saturn V test flights. They are often mistakenly attributed to Apollo 11. They’re iconic, but when seen, they are usually played back at about 1/4 the speed of the actual event. The cameras were running at 4x normal speed (About 96 fps).”

  • Col Beausabre

    Let us not forget that the successful launch forced The New York Times to have to publicly eat crow.

    On 17 July 1969 the Apollo 11 crew was on the way to the first landing of man on the Moon. That day the New York Times had a special 20-page section on all things related to spaceflight and rocketry. There, it finally printed a sort-of apologetic correction some 34 years after Dr Robert Goddard had died:

    “A Correction. On Jan. 13, 1920,”Topics of the Times,” an editorial-page feature of the The New York Times, dismissed the notion that a rocket could function in vacuum and commented on the ideas of Robert H. Goddard, the rocket pioneer, as follows:

    “That Professor Goddard, with his ‘chair’ in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react – to say that would be absurd. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.”

    Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Isaac Newton in the 17th Century and it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error.”

  • Woody Sprott

    Love this kind of stuff Bob!👍

  • Chris

    On the clip Wayne posted above, note how long the exhaust flame is.
    It may be an illusion but the exhaust looks to be several times the length of the 365 ft rocket assembly.

  • Jeffrey L Breuer

    A split screen showing the rocket leaving the pad in time with the video would enhance the true volume of heat being blow torched at the pad complex

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