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"JFK sees Saturn rocket, then helicopter to see Polaris fired from sub USS Andrew Jackson." This newsreel is dated 4 days before the Kennedy assassination in Dallas, Texas.
Public domain film from the National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
The Saturn I (pronounced "Saturn one") was the United States' first heavy-lift dedicated space launcher, a rocket designed specifically to launch large payloads into low Earth orbit. Most of the rocket's power came from a clustered lower stage consisting of tanks taken from older rocket designs and strapped together to make a single large booster, leading critics to jokingly refer to it as "Cluster's Last Stand". However, its design proved sound and very flexible. Its major successes were launching the Pegasus satellites and flight verification of the Apollo Command and Service Module aerodynamics in the launch phase. Originally intended as a near-universal military booster during the 1960s, it served only for a brief period and only with NASA; ten Saturn Is were flown before it was replaced by the derivative Saturn IB, which featured a more powerful upper stage and improved instrumentation.
President John F. Kennedy identified the Saturn I, and the SA-5 launch in particular, as being the point where US lift capability would surpass the Soviets, after being behind since Sputnik. That was last mentioned in a speech he gave at Brooks AFB in San Antonio on the day before he was assassinated...
SA-5 was the first launch of the Block II Saturn I rocket and was part of the Apollo Program...
Upgrades and objectives
The major changes that occurred on SA-5 were that for the first time the Saturn I would fly with two stages - the S-I first stage and the S-IV second stage. The second stage featured six engines burning liquid hydrogen. Although this design was meant to be tested several years earlier in the Centaur rocket design, in the end the first Centaur launch was only two months before SA-5. This rocket stage was delivered to the Cape by a modified B-377 aircraft, nicknamed the Pregnant Guppy.
Other major design changes included the enlargement of the fuel tanks on the first stage. For the first time the rocket would carry its planned 750,000 lb (340,000 kg) of propellant and would use eight upgraded engines producing a thrust each of 188,000 lbf (836 kN). The first stage also featured for the first time eight fins for added stability during flight. But as with the earlier flight the rocket would still carry only a Jupiter-C nosecone instead of a boilerplate Apollo spacecraft...
The Polaris missile was a two-stage solid-fuel nuclear-armed submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) built during the Cold War by Lockheed Corporation of California for the United States Navy.
It was designed to be used as part of the Navy's contribution to the United States arsenal of nuclear weapons, replacing the Regulus cruise missile. Known as a Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM), the Polaris was first launched from the Cape Canaveral, Florida, missile test base on January 7, 1960.
Following the Polaris Sales Agreement in 1963, Polaris missiles were also carried on British Royal Navy submarines between 1968 and the mid-1990s.
Plans to equip the Italian Navy with the missile ended in the mid-60s, after several successful test launches carried out on board the Italian cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi. Despite the successful launching tests, the US never provided the missiles, due to political convenience. Instead the Italian Government set to develop an indigenous missile, called Alfa, with a successful program, officially halted by Italian Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ratification and failure of the NATO Multilateral Force.
The Polaris missile was gradually replaced in the US Navy by the Poseidon missile, beginning in 1972. During the 1980s, these missiles were replaced on the ten newest missile submarines by the Trident I missile.
Many new project management techniques were introduced during the development of the Polaris missile program, to deal with the inherent system complexity. This includes the use of the Program Evaluation and Review Technique PERT. This technique replaced the simpler Gantt Chart methodology...
USS Andrew Jackson (SSBN-619) was a Lafayette-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, it was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Andrew Jackson (1767--1845), the seventh President of the United States (1829-1837)...