The Apollo 11 takeoff at 500fps is a joy to behold

21 Sep 2015

Apollo 11 during takeoff with the American flag. Image via NASA

We’ve all seen the footage of the Apollo 11 team land on the moon, but have you seen the takeoff of the Saturn V rocket at a really, really slow speed of 500 frames per second (fps)?

The Apollo 11 takeoff was filmed, of course, on 16 July 1969, in what would become one of the greatest exploration attempts by mankind, which has yet to be replicated in terms of its importance.

While those strapped to the top of the rocket – Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins – were the focus of much of the attention, NASA was more focused on making sure the rocket actually took off.

With this in mind, NASA throughout this time and ever since would place a camera to record footage of the main rocket thruster taking off

This would, in the event of a catastrophe, show what went wrong in the initial launch, allowing it to be investigated afterwards.

With some of the best cameras available at the time, the incredible footage below shared by Spacecraft Films shows the raw footage of the Camera E-8, as it was known.

At a speed of 500fps, a time period of just 30 seconds has been condensed into a whole eight minutes for you to smile at the raw power of one hell of a chemical explosion.

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic