Today in Space History: the F-1 is born.

On March 30, 1964 a humble NASA bureaucrat somewhere in the bowels of the Marshall Space Flight Center signed off on a contract with Rocketdyne.  What was he (or she, maybe?) buying?  Seventy-six of these babies:

Happy days.
Happy days.

What you’re looking at is a set of F-1 rocket engines on the back of Saturn V moon rocket.  The F-1 is the largest liquid-fueled rocket engine ever flown and it’s a big reason America made it to the Moon.  Their size and majesty speak for themselves.  In case you’re wondering, the guy standing with them is none other than Werhner Von Braun himself, the brainchild behind this beast of a rocket.

What was the cost? $158.4 million dollars, or about $1.2 billion in today’s dollars.  A steal, if you ask me.

So, what do you think? Can SpaceX top it? How about the SLS? Only time will tell.

Hat tip: Encyclopedia Astronautica


What do you think about all this?