Stunning Slow-motion Video Of The Apollo 11-Saturn V Launch

July 16, 1969 launch of Apollo 11 to the moon captured in extreme slow motion with a camera running at 500 frames per second. 

Feel the power! I ran across this video on the Australian IceInSpace site of the Saturn V rocket take off I thought you might enjoy. The Saturn V (Saturn five) that launched Apollo 11 to the moon remains the most powerful machine ever built. It generated 7.6 million pounds of thrust, enough to break the bonds of Earth’s gravitational embrace and propel a crew to the moon. Seven times.

Liftoff for Apollo 11 atop the 363-foot (111 m) tall Saturn V

During the well-narrated launch sequence, you’ll see the initial firing up of the rocket as kerosene reacts with liquid oxygen. The chemical reaction creates extremely hot gases which expand and push out the nozzles at high speed, providing the necessary thrust for liftoff.

The business end of the Saturn V. Compare to the people at the bottom of the frame. Credit: Wikipedia

The slow-mo video unfolds in painstaking detail as 30 seconds of real time stretches to over 8 minutes.  The second video includes some footage from the first but gives a broader view of what happened on July 16, 1969, a day that now seems so far away.

8 Responses

  1. caralex

    The sight of that Saturn V rocket in the Kennedy Space Centre left me with my mouth hanging open! It’s an amazing sight!

  2. KK in NM

    The crowd watching the launch… glad the footage included those crowd pan shots! They were witnessing an incredible moment. Thank you for the work you do on this blog/site. Sincerely,
    KK in NM

    1. astrobob

      Thank you KK. Some of the expressions on people’s faces in the crowd – well, they kind of choked me up. They’re as much a record of that event as the landing.

  3. Edward M. Boll

    I guess that technology brought us the Space Shuttle. Beside bright comets seen from Earth, my favorites that I have seen are the Space Shuttle fly overs and Northern Lights. I have yet to see a total eclipse of the Sun.

  4. Richard Keen

    WOW, another great find, Astro Bob! Think you can get that ignition sequence into an IMAX with surround sound? Better than a Pink Floyd concert!
    I recognise my old boss in the crowd shots – Lyndon Johnson (next to Lady Bird), who by then was retired and finally enjoying himself.

      1. Richard Keen

        Bob, well, no, never got to meet Mr. Johnson, but he did send me a “greetings from the president” letter, and for the next two years Johnson (and his successor, Mr. Nixon) were my Commander in Chief. I did meet Nixon during campaign stops and had a profound conversation that went something like “Hi. Good Luck” and “Thanks”; not playing favorites, I had a similar encounter with Mr. Kennedy. It was a lot easier to get close to candidates back then.
        Some years later I met Buzz Aldrin after a talk he gave here at the U of Colorado, and we talked briefly about selling moon rocks to fund the space program. As you know, he was one of the humans on the other end of that awesome pillar of fire on Apollo 11.

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