The display consisting of a Saturn V holddown arm single bridgewire Apollo standard initiator and
S-II (second) stage vent port seal and
The accompanying sign reads
Reigning in the Beast
Steady and Ready to Go
This explosive device was part of the system that held the Apollo 11 Saturn V
in place on the launch pad. The massive rocket was clamped to the Mobile
Launcher Platform at only four points, called Hold-Down Arms. The arms held
with enough force to support the rocket during high winds at the pad and during
launch until the engines came to full power. This igniter set off a charge that opened the
clamping mechanism, releasing the rocket during lift-off.
This vent spout cap and lanyard were
recovered from the Apollo 11 pad after liftoff. This was part of the system
that kept the Saturn V powered, fueled, and pressurized before launch. The cap
and lanyard were attached to a vent spout on the second stage of the rocket that
pulled away as the Saturn V lifted off. The spring ensured that the seal would
cleanly peel off in one piece as the rocket rose from the pad.
Note that the Saturn Vs were supported on and launched from "mobile launchers."
These mobile launchers were stripped of their launch-umbilical towers (LUTs),
reworked to support the Space Shuttle, and renamed to become "mobile launch