RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Saturn V interstage separation, artwork. The ring falling back to Earth is an interstage that has just separated from the rocket's second stage (stage II engines at top). The Saturn V was the launch vehicle for NASA's Apollo program of manned missions to the Moon, which took place between 1961 and 1975. The Saturn V was one of the most powerful rockets ever made. The first stage burned for 2 minutes 41 seconds, lifting the rocket to an altitude of 68 kilometres. The second stage burned for 6 minutes, raising the spacecraft to an altitude of 175 kilometres and close to orbital velocity. A third stage placed the spacecraft in its parking orbit.
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