Sunday, August 16, 2009
Pic of the Day: Saturn V at Michoud
This is what a '92 Tracker looks like when it's parked in front of the biggest, baddest, coolest rocket ever.
That's S-IC #15, the last one built at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, where it's on permanent display. If you follow the map link, click on "Satellite" view and move the view slightly down and left so you can see the facility's main gate (Michoud Facility Rd.). From there you can zoom in on the rocket stage itself.
The S-IC was just the first stage of the massive Saturn V launch vehicle. It makes up nearly half of the 365-foot total height of the rocket: 138 feet long, 33 feet in diameter. Each of those engine bells is about 14 feet wide at the mouth!
Michoud will soon produce its final External Tank for the Space Shuttle. Supposedly, the facility will be used for the Orion Command Module and Ares rocket system (the Shuttle's replacements--together they're a sort of Apollo II), but those don't seem to be moving along very well.