Kuiper poses with a Rocketdyne H-1 rocket engine at US Space and Rocket center

Rocketdyne H-1 engine

To get to the Moon, we’re going to need a bigger rocket. ? A way bigger rocket. Several way bigger rockets, in fact. ???

Thanks again to U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL for allowing Kuiper to make a special visit to check out this H-1 rocket engine. This is the 1st engine developed for the Saturn rocket program (named as the successor to Jupiter.)

On July 1, 1960, 4670 Army employees, 1840 acres of land and $100 million worth of assets were transferred from the military to the new (civilian!) Marshall Space Flight Center (which you can visit today as the US Space & Rocket Center.) Marshall became part of the shiny new NASA, created in 1958 by President Eisenhower. On September 8, 1960, Ike gave the center a dedication speech. Excerpt:

“Here, under Army guidance, Redstone and Jupiter and a whole family of missiles have taken form. Here, too, was created Explorer I, America’s first earth satellite. I share with the Army its gratification in these trailblazing achievements, which have their counterparts in other services. These achievements have thrilled the American people and won plaudits throughout this world.”

“The momentum thus gained accelerates today under the civilian management of the new National Aeronautics and Space Administration…The gifted scientists, engineers and technicians who splendidly served the Army are now eagerly developing, for this new organization, the gigantic launch vehicle, ‘Saturn.'”

Wernher von Braun was named the first director of Marshall. He and his team were tasked with creating the Saturn rockets that would take the first people to the Moon. Saturn 1 and 1B were the first in the series, and both of them used 8 of these H-1 rockets clustered together in their first stage.

Although the earlier Saturns didn’t have the oomph needed to get us to the Moon, Saturn 1 marked a key turning point in the Space Race: it was the first time we had a bigger booster than the Soviets. On November 16, 1963 President Kennedy stood directly under a Saturn 1 and chatted with von Braun. He then emphasized the rocket’s capabilities in a speech on November 22.

Sadly, JFK’s life was cut tragically short the following day. ☹️

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/ByeLjI2Fkbm/

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