These are Saturn I Hold-Down Arms used to restrain the giant launch vehicle for almost four seconds after its ignition until sufficient thrust had been developed for lift-off. There are eight arms, one for each of the eight H-1 rocket engines of the Saturn I vehicle. The arms were thus located at equidistant points around the top of the launch pad pedestal. The first time the Saturn 1 arms were used in operation was during the launch of the first Saturn 1 (SA-1) from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, in October 1961 while the last flight was made on in July 1965. However, the arms shown here may be early developmental models. The Saturn 1 was an unmanned vehicle to test the propulsion and aerodynamics of the rocket that was later developed as the Saturn V that took men to the Moon. On iits last three flights in 1964-1965, it placed three Pegasus meteroid satellites into orbit. The Saturn 1The arms were transferred to the Smithsonian in 1974 from the Marshall Space Flight Center.
Transferred from NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center.