Testing of the Saturn V first stage is accomplished at NASA's Mississippi Test Facility, about 45 miles northeast New Orleans--where the first stage is assembled.
Testing of the Saturn V first stage is accomplished at NASA's Mississippi Test Facility, about 45 miles northeast New Orleans--where the first stage is assembled. The completed rocket is rolled from the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to a dock at the edge of the facility. There it is loaded aboard a barge for the six-hour ride to Mississippi. The rocket travels via the Intracoastal Waterway connecting the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico to the east, up the Pearl River to the test facility and its waterways. At Mississippi Test the stage is removed from the barge by crane and lifted into the 400-foot high test tower and locked in place. test firing is for 125 seconds at full thrust. The stage develops 7???? million pounds of thrust, enough to perform its function of lifting the three-state Saturn V on the first 40 miles of its mission. Testing is done in a dual-place stand on NASA's 13,424-acre test facility. The second stage of the Saturn V is also tested there. Testing procedure is similar to a launch, including a countdown. The object is to test fire the 138-foot stage and evaluate the hundreds of measurements taken to determine how well it performed. The Saturn V first stage holds a total of about 500,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and fuel--59 railroad tank cars of liquid. Not all is burned during the test. Residual fuel and liquid oxygen are drained from the tanks after the test and the stage is returned to New Orleans for refurbishment before being sent to Kennedy Space Center for launch.
The engines are fired several seconds before zero is reached in the countdown, to allow the thrust to build up to a full 7,500,000 pound at the start of the 125-second firing. (The Saturn V first stage on the pad for the 501 launch--and also the)