Nov. 9, 1967 It takes a lot of propulsive muscle to get to the moon, and that in turn takes a big rocket. The Saturn V delivered. The masterpiece of engineering maestro Wernher von Braun, the Saturn 5 was rocketry writ large very large. The missile stood 363 feet (or 36 stories) tall, weighed just under 7.5 million pounds and generated just over 7.5 million pounds of thrust. With that small difference between tonnage and punch, you'd think the rocket couldn't generate much speed. But every second it flew, it burned a load of fuel, and that made it progressively lighter and progressively faster. The first unmanned flight not only proved that the big missile worked but also that it could loft a payload up to an altitude of 11,000 miles a good practice run for the first stages of the long haul to the moon.