To start the celebrations and festivities of University Research and Knowledge Exchange (RKE) Week, students from the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute (JHI) for Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy brought out the JHI’s model of a Saturn V rocket and put it on display in the foyer of the EIC. This is a 1:24 scale model of the Saturn V which is actually the largest such scale model outside of a museum. The model was built by Dr Kevin Bowman, formerly a senior lecturer at the JHI. It took over 1000 hours to build, and is made entirely of paper and card. When fully assembled vertically it is 4.6 metres tall. However, when laid out horizontally for display purposes, as it is here, it extends to more than twice that distance.
It was a series of Saturn V rockets that took humans to the Moon during the NASA Apollo programme between 1969 and 1972. It was the most powerful rocket ever built up to that time.
Apollo 11 was the first mission to land humans on the Moon in 1969. Five more missions also successfully each put 2 astronauts on the Moon. Apollo 13 famously suffered a malfunction and didn’t land on the Moon. Consequently, only 12 humans have ever walked on the Moon.
NASA is currently planning the Artemis series of missions, which plan to return humans to the Moon. Artemis I was an uncrewed test flight that orbited the Moon and returned safely. Artemis II is planned for 2025 and will be a crewed mission to also orbit the Moon. This will represent the first time that humans have left Earth orbit in over 50 years. Artemis III is planned for about a year after that and should finally return humans to the lunar surface.
JHI Director Prof. Derek Ward-Thompson standing next to the model of a Saturn V rocket.