Collection Item Summary:
This is a Saturn 1 Block 1 test launch vehicle, examples of which successfully launched during 1961-1963. The Saturn 1 was the basic test vehicle that led to the development of the Saturn V that carried men to the Moon for Project Apollo. The Block 1 second and third stages had dummy stages. The Block 2 differed in having a live upper stage and fins on its first stage.
To save money in its development, the Saturn 1 used existing hardware. The first was assembled from a lengthened Jupiter missile tank in the center with eight lengthened Redstone missile tanks around it. This Saturn 1 was transferred to the Smithsonian from the NAS/Marsahall Space Flight Center in 1980.