Sunday, November 10, 2019

November 9th was Another Milestone

Yesterday was another milestone in history; the anniversary of the first orbital test flight of a Saturn V rocket, November 9, 1967; 52nd anniversary.   Like a lot of these ~50 year anniversaries, I remember it clearly. 

The launch was on a school day, a Thursday, and I was in the eighth grade.  The launch was set for 7:00 AM and I had a chance to see it before leaving for school.  Here's a detail I don't remember: I rode a school bus in those days, but I don't recall if I pestered my mom to drive me to school so I could squeeze out every last second before I left to catch the launch if I could.

Liftoff at 7:00 AM - NASA archive photo

There are several videos of this test; some that are simply a couple of minutes of network TV tape from 1967; this one is 5 minute piece of a documentary on the Apollo program. 

The one detail I'm sure I recall is one I can't confirm.  If you watch many Apollo launches on YouTube, you'll see some views of the five first stage engines from cameras mounted on the launch platform pointed directly at the engines.  When the vehicle's flames come above the cutout in the launch platform, they turn from dark and full of streamlines to very bright and overexpose the cameras.  I believe I recall that when the flames reached the top of launch platform, one camera view went out.  I heard later that the camera was blown off the launch platform and was found “miles away.” 

Unfortunately, I can't quite get Duck Duck Go to find it for me.  Perhaps someone else will remember or might have a way to find that detail. 

1 comment:

  1. did the first shuttle launch from twenty five miles away in a radar picket aircraft. shook the whole aircraft.