Saturn V launch tower model

Yes, yes. I know I’ve been posting a lot about the Space Program recently. But the anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing was just a couple of days ago, and I’ve been a Space Geek all of my life.

Anyway, I came across this: 1/96 Apollo Saturn V Launch Umbilical Tower Model. Pretty damned impressive if you ask me, especially since it’s made of paper. They make one in 1/144 scale for the Monogram or Airfix Saturn V kits as well for $40.

Hm… I may have to dig into my Big Box Of Unbuilt Models and pull out the ol’ SaturnV! (And the LEM, and the Mercury, and the Gemini…)

Speaking of the Saturn V, I have enjoyed watching the new building go up to house the Saturn V at the Space & Rocket Center here in Huntsville. They have most of the rocket moved into place now. The building is open on one side so when you drive past on I-565 you get an excellent view of the “real” rocket lying suspended inside the building, with the full-size upright model standing nearby.

Here’s the website, but surprisingly it doesn’t have any recent photos. The webcam is the only thing that shows what you can see when you drive by right now.

And I have one of the very cool Saturn V license plates on my car.

Very cool; I’ll have to check that out the next time I’m in Huntsville.

The Saturn V remains the most impressive and powerful rocket to have been constructed and launched, and despite the production cost, it’s a dreadful shame (although understandable in the political and fiscal climate of the day) that NASA completely and irrevocably shut down production to favor the STS/Shuttle, which is much less capable. Had the Saturn V remained in production, the design would likely have been streamlined to reduce complexity and cost, and upgrades in the design of the F1 and J-2 engines would have increased payload and mission flexibility. The platform probably could readily have been expanded into Von Braun’s super-heavy lift Nova booster (with a planned payload-to-LEO of somewhere in the 200 tonne range), or the basis for using a nuclear thermal upper stage had the problematic NERVA program not been terminated. It certainly wouldn’t have left us with the gap in heavy lift capacity in the post-Challenger catastrophe environment, and would probably have been a better basis for and extensible heavy lift booster family than the Atlas- and Delta-based designs that came out of the EELV program.