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Racing to the Moon

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The Race Begins
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Vostok and Voskhod
Mercury and Gemini
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A Soviet Moonshot?
Apollo Lunar Suit
The Moon Rocket Challenge
The Moon Race Ends
 

THE MOON ROCKET CHALLENGE


When the Space Race began, there was no rocket powerful enough to send a man to the Moon and back. Both the Americans and the Soviets had to develop a super-booster, or Moon rocket. The United States succeeded with the mighty Saturn V. The Soviets' N-1 Moon rocket never made it into space.


Both the United States and the Soviet Union began their separate quests for a Moon rocket by scaling up existing smaller rockets into gigantic multi-stage launch vehicles.
Saturn V and N-1
139 k jpeg
SI#: 97-15884-11

United States

Mercury-Atlas

Size: 29 m (95 ft)
Thrust: 1,632,000 newtons (367,000 lb)
Payload to orbit: 1,400 kg (3,000 lb)

Image credit: "Rockets of the World" by Peter Alway,
published by Saturn Press.
Mercury-Atlas graphic
176 k jpeg

Saturn V

Size: 111 m (363 ft)
Thrust: 33,600,000 newtons (7,500,00 lb)
Payload to orbit: 129,300 kg (285,000 lb)
Payload to Moon: 48,500 kg (107,000 lb)

Image credit: "Rockets of the World" by Peter Alway,
published by Saturn Press.
Saturn V graphic
115 k jpeg


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