The mighty Saturn V

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. That was the first major news event that I can remember experiencing as it happened. I was almost 8 years old. I vividly recall watching that grainy video of Neil Armstrong taking those first steps off the LEM. What wonderful fuel for a child’s imagination!

View from the base of a Saturn V rocket built with Legos, laying horizontally on a desk

To commemorate this anniversary, I built a Lego NASA Apollo Saturn V kit. 1969 pieces in 12 bags. I decided to build one bag a day, and document my progress. All the photos below were taken after each bag was complete.

A Lego box for a Saturn V model and bags of Lego pieces surrounding an instruction manual on a desk Lego pieces forming the first stage of a Saturn V rocket Lego pieces from 2 bags forming the first stage of a Saturn V rocket Lego pieces from 3 bags forming the first stage of a Saturn V rocket Lego pieces from 4 bags forming the first stage of a Saturn V rocket Lego pieces from 5 bags forming the first stage of a Saturn V rocket

This is the first Lego kit I ever bought for myself. Working on it really made me nostalgic for those model airplane and space ship kits I built when I was a kid. With Legos though, no stinky glue, and you can redo things if you make a mistake (I only made a couple of those). It took six bags of pieces to complete the first stage (next photo below), and bags seven through eleven formed stages two and three. Each bag took between 30 and 45 minutes to build.

Lego pieces form complete the first stage of a Saturn V rocket After 7 bags of Lego pieces, the second stage of a Saturn V rocket begins to form The 8th bag of Lego pieces continues the second stage of a Saturn V rocket After 9 bags of Lego pieces, the second stage of the Saturn V rocket is almost complete After 10 bags of Lego pieces, the first and second stages of a Saturn V rocket are done Bag 11 completes the third stage of a Saturn V rocket built with Legos

After bag twelve, the mighty Saturn V is complete! It stands 100cm tall. For some scale, see the Lego astronaut standing in front of the main engines.

View from the base of a Saturn V rocket built with Legos, standing on a desk, with the Lego box and lamp in the background

A model of a Saturn V rocket built with Legos, laying horizontally on a desk with the box and lamp in the background

A lunar module (which does fit in the rocket below the service module), and an extra command module for a splashdown scene were also included in the kit.

Lego pieces form a Lunar Module and Command Module

This turned out to be a fun project!

View from the top of a Saturn V rocket built with Legos, laying horizontally on a desk

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