U.S. Space and Rocket Center Site Index
Saturn V S-IVB (Third) Stage Gallery


The sign which accompanied the stage when it was located in the Rocket Park. It reads

NASA Saturn V Launch Vehicle
S-S-IVB Stage and Instrument Unit

This was the third stage of the Saturn V. It gave the Apollo spacecraft/crew the final boost for achieving Earth orbit as well as for reaching the moon. Earth orbit was reached approximately 12 minutes after launch. After a three-hour period for systems checkout, the J-2 engine was ignited once again to accelerate Apollo on a 3-day journey to the moon at a speed of 40,100 km/hour (24,900 mph). Although the stage's Earth weight is greater than the J-2 engine thrust (see below), the stage could be easily propelled because of the microgravity conditions of space. The Instrument Unit (IU), on display in the museum, contained equipment for guidance, navigation, and control of the Saturn V rocket during flight.

Length: 58.5 ft (17.8 m)
Weight: 265,600 lbs (1,181,900 N)
Thrust: 225,000 lbs (1,001,000 N)
Propellant: liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen

McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company
Rocketdyne Div., North American Aviation (propulsion)

Sign accompanying the Saturn V S-IVB (Third) Stage at U.S. Space and Rocket Center
Time picture taken Sat Jul 27 09:52:01 2002
Location picture taken Rocket Park
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Huntsville, AL
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