A Saturn V blasts off. SOURCE: NASA
Lock up your daughters! Hide the animals! Get the shotguns – here comes a rocket!
The launch of the Saturn V that took the Apollo 11 astronauts to the moon must have been a spectacular sight.
The astronauts rode into space in a tiny capsule atop a 110m-high three-stage rocket packed with explosive fuel, the first stage punching them into space at an initial velocity of 9 920 km/h and burning 2 000 000 kilograms of propellant in the first 68km of flight.
Too bad we’ll never see that again, although a multiple rocket launch at the start of a world-changing ballistic missile attack would be pretty gripping to watch, if only for a short time.
However, I am told that the Space Shuttle launches are pretty damn fiery and earth-shaking and you CAN go and see them down at the Kennedy Space Center in balmy, happy Florida, USA.
Since the Space Shuttle is also an endangered animal – there are to be another seven Space Shuttle launches before the vehicles are retired – if you want to see one, go now.
There are a couple ways to see a launch. You can head off on your own to one of the recommended off-site viewing spots, or you can watch it on site at the Kennedy Space Center. A good option is to sign-up for a tour with an operator.
For a calendar of scheduled Space Shuttle and other rocket launches, click here.
Then go and chase some rockets.