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NASA: Saturn Rocket Big Success in Test Flight

Oct. 27, 1961 - The United States space program took a large leap forward today when an eight-engine Saturn rocket was successfully fired on its first test flight. It was a spectacular debut for a booster whose main task will be to lift three-man capsules on orbital missions around the earth prior to an attempt to land a man on the moon. NASA said the rocket’s eight engines had generated a total thrust of 1,300,000 pounds. This was half a million pounds more than the 800,000 pounds estimated for the vehicles that put the Soviet Union’s two astronauts into orbit. It was more than three times the thrust of any rocket previously launched in the Western world. So, the Saturn is being called “the world’s largest known rocket.”


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