American Saturn 5 rockets were 363 feet tall monsters, weighing around 2,900 tons on the launch pad. They were used by NASA's Apollo and Skylab programs from 1967 until 1973. They remains the tallest, heaviest, and most powerful rocket ever brought to operational status and still holds the record for heaviest payload launched and heaviest payload capacity to Low Earth orbit (LEO). NASA launched 13 Saturn V’’s from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida with no loss of crew or payload. A total of 24 astronauts were launched to the Moon, three of them more than once.

Saturn V

The "V" designation originates from the five powerful F-1 engines that powered the first stage of the rocket. The Apollo spacecraft, including the Command Module (CM), Service Module (SM) and Lunar Module (LM) sat atop the launch vehicle. Above the CM was the emergency escape system. The Saturn V consisted of three stages—the S-IC first stage, S-II second stage and the S-IVB third stage—and the instrument unit. All three stages used liquid oxygen (LOX) as an oxidizer. The first stage used RP-1 for fuel, while the second and third stages used liquid hydrogen (LH2). The upper stages also used small solid-fueled ullage motors that helped to separate the stages during the launch, and to ensure that the liquid propellants were in a proper position to be drawn into the pumps.With their size, these rockets were greedy too.

They used to burn 15 tons of fuel per second. To date, the Saturn V is the only launch vehicle to transport human beings beyond low Earth orbit. 100s of MW of Power was consumed only by the fuel pumps that fed the engines. So much power is enough to light an entire city. 5 F1 engines of its first stage generated power in excess of 150GW (1 GW = 1000 MW). The entire installed power generation capacity in India is equal to 150 GW and it is nearly 2.5 times of the power generation capacity in Texas. Around 7.6 million lb ft thrust is generated by each of the first stage's F1 engine, Supersonic fighter jet F16 have a thrust of 23,000 lb ft and an engine of the boeing 747 generated 60,000 lb ft thrust in comparison of F1 engine. The costing of the Saturn V program was one of the biggest chunks of the overall Apollo program which is quite staggering. The Saturn V program cost around US $ 6.5 Billion across the 1960s and 1970s which comes at around US $ 35-40 Billion after adjusting for today's prices.