Recently, it has been revealed that a booster rocket that was supposed to be used in a cancelled Apollo moon mission has been collecting dust in storage in New Orleans. The rocket was part of the Saturn V series of rockets that helped to first get Americans to the moon. The rocket was going to be used in the Apollo 19 mission.
Now, a Kickstarter campaign is trying to raise money to bring the rocket to the Infinity Science Center in Mississippi so that it can be observed by the public. The museum started the campaign on its own, and is trying to raise $500,000. Unfortunately, it does not look like the museum will reach its intended goal.
During the 13 Apollo launches that took place between 1967 and 1973, only the command module containing the astronauts would successfully return to Earth. The rockets were abandoned in space or they burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere. The rocket in New Orleans is perhaps the only Saturn V rocket left.
The rocket booster is 138 feet long, and it has a diameter of 33 feet. It was able to produce more than 7.5 million pounds of thrust using five giant F-1 engines.
If successful, the Kickstarter campaign will fund the cost of the rocket’s trip from its storage location at the Michoud Assembly Facility of NASA to the Infinity Science Center in southern Mississippi. Once at the science center, the rocket would be preserved and put on display.
One supporter of the idea is Mississippi native and retired Apollo astronaut Fred Haise. During his career, Haise served as the lunar module pilot in the Apollo 13 mission, and he was supposed to be the flight commander for the cancelled Apollo 19 mission. Because of that cancellation, Haise never got a chance to return to the moon.
While, it’s looking like the campaign will fall short of its goal, perhaps some last minute donations could make the possibility a reality.