Riding an Old Man's Rocket: Apollo 13 Astronaut Jim Lovell Describes Launching on a Saturn V

Riding an Old Man's Rocket: Apollo 13 Astronaut Jim Lovell Describes Launching on a Saturn V
An Interview with Jim Lovell

“It’s actually an old man’s rocket to tell you the truth!”

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the dramatic Apollo 13 mission to the Moon, the second launch aboard a Saturn V and the final time Jim Lovell would liftoff to space.

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Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell describes what it was like launching on a Saturn V rocket. Photo Credit: Michael Galindo/Cosmic Chicago

Lovell flew to space with NASA for a total of four launches, Gemini 7 and 12, and Apollo 8 and 13. Gemini missions launched aboard the Titan II rocket, after modifications were made to the launch system to rate it for manned missions.

“The Titan booster was built for ICBMs. And so, when Gemini was on top of it, it was like you were sitting on top of the warhead of an ICBM when it takes off.

The Saturn V rocket was specifically designed as part of the Apollo program, with thirteen rockets launching to the Moon. Astronaut Jim Lovell was one of only three astronauts to ride the Saturn V rocket twice.

In a recent video interview with Cosmic Chicago, Lovell described what it was like launching on a Saturn V rocket.

Throughout the week we are publishing clips from our full interview with Jim Lovell. Subscribe to Cosmic Chicago to get updates delivered directly to your inbox!
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