Rocket, Launch Vehicle, Test, Saturn I, Block 1

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    Rocket, Launch Vehicle, Test, Saturn I, Block 1

    Cylindrical overall, with eight separate cylinders or tanks arranged vertically and clustered in a circle, comprising the first stage, each tank alternately painted black and white, and each black tank with white vertical strip, the painted name, in red, "United States" on it, the name reading downwards; upper stage above, one cylinder only, painted completely white; this stage tapering at a 15 degree angle to smaller diameter cylinder which ends in a 12-13 degree cone atop the rocket; supporting band , painted black, around base of first stage tanks; the entire two upper stages and payload section cone on top, painted in white. Engines, underneath arranged as tight cluster of four in center and four outer engines spaced further from cluster and in cruciform pattern. Note that rocket is supported by prototype hold-down arms, of four wedge-shaped legs, painted blue.

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Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

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.