March 5: The Museum in Washington, DC will open today. Due to weather, the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA is closed.
This is a 1:96 scale model of an early version of the Saturn rocket. After President Kennedy's May 1961 commitment to land two astronauts on the Moon by the end of the decade, increased emphasis was given to development of the three-stage liquid-fuelled Saturn C-5 launch vehicle (later redesignated the Saturn V) capable of sending a manned spacecraft to the Moon in NASA's Apollo program.
The world's largest operational launch vehicle, a Saturn V first launched a manned Apollo spacecraft in December 1968 when the crew of Apollo 8 were placed into lunar orbit. In July 1969 the rocket sent astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, Jr. of Apollo 11 to the surface of the Moon while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit. Saturn V was utilized in the remaining six Apollo missions to the Moon during 1969-1972 and to launch the Skylab Orbital Workshop into Earth orbit in May 1973.
The model's manufacturer and donor are unknown.