Apollo 4: Saturn V’s first flight

Apollo 4As questions over the safety of the Apollo spacecraft continue to rage, NASA performs the first “all-up” test of the Saturn V rocket with an unmanned launch officially designated Apollo 4. Unsure of what to expect, onlookers and press are stunned by the roar of the five huge F-1 engines; the vibrations case CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite’s broadcast booth to partially collapse while he’s on the air – over three miles away. The entire vehicle performs flawlessly, propelling the empty (but active) Apollo command/service module to a distance of 10,000 miles before commanding it to return to Earth, simulating the speed and return angle of a vehicle returning from the moon.

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