The Incredible Technology Behind the Apollo 11 Lunar Mission That Took the First Astronauts to the Moon

Apollo Saturn V

In a nostalgic video essay, Vox producer Coleman Lowndes revisits the awesome technology of the Saturn V rocket and Apollo 11 spacecraft, which took the very first astronauts to the moon. Lowndes particularly notes how the enormous rocket separated into segments, each detaching itself after accomplishing the specific task for which the section was made. Eventually, all that remained was the lunar capsule at the very top of the craft and in which the astronauts returned back to Earth.

There’s the lunar module, the component that would eventually land on the lunar surface, the service module, which had propulsion systems for course corrections and entering and escaping orbit, and the command module, where our three heroes were for most of the mission. And last but not least, this is the launch escape system, which was designed to pull the command module away from the rocket if something went wrong during launch. Together, all these pieces made up the Saturn V rocket and Apollo 11 spacecraft.