A classic study of the development of the Saturn launch vehicle that took Americans to the moon in the 1960s and 1970s, Stages to Saturn is one of the finest official histories ever produced. The Saturn rocket was developed as a means of accomplishing President John F. Kennedy's goal for the United States to reach the moon before the end of the decade. Without the Saturn V rocket, with its capability of sending as payload the Apollo Command and Lunar Modules--along with support equipment and three astronauts--more than a quarter of a million miles from earth, Kennedy's goal would have been unrealizable. Stages to Saturn not only tells the important story of the research and development of the Saturn rockets and the people who designed them but also recounts the stirring exploits of their operations, from orbital missions around earth testing Apollo equipment to their journeys to the moon and back. Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the development of space flight in America and the course of modern technology, this reprint edition includes a new preface by the author providing a 21st-century perspective on the historic importance of the Saturn project.