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$20,008
pledged of $500,000pledged of $500,000 goal
242
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, November 14 2015 6:16 PM UTC +00:00
$20,008
pledged of $500,000pledged of $500,000 goal
242
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, November 14 2015 6:16 PM UTC +00:00

About

From the moment President John F. Kennedy declared our intentions to send a man to the moon to Neil Armstrong's first historic step onto the lunar surface and every mission thereafter, the Apollo program -- without a doubt -- stands among humankind’s crowning achievements. It was a species-defining evolutionary step that launched a new era of human space exploration and marked a time in history when Americans stood united in their excitement and awe over achieving the impossible. Between December 1968 and December 1972, we sent nine manned missions to the moon. By 1975, however, NASA had cancelled the program, leaving two moon expeditions on the ground. (The Apollo 20 mission became Skylab.)

Join us for one final Apollo mission, and let us reignite our pride in the accomplishments of the heroes who built the hardware and those who set out to explore worlds beyond our own. Help us preserve a priceless piece of American history.

Composite image of every Saturn V launch. Apollo 5 and Apollo 7 were launched on the slightly smaller Saturn IVB launch vehicle.
Composite image of every Saturn V launch. Apollo 5 and Apollo 7 were launched on the slightly smaller Saturn IVB launch vehicle.

What is the Saturn V S-1C and where is it now?

The Saturn V was a three-stage American rocket used by NASA to support the Apollo program and later Skylab, the first American space station. The first stage, known as the S-IC, is 138 feet long and 33 feet in diameter. The stage’s business end could produce more than 7.5 million pounds of thrust from five massive F-1 engines, four mounted on a steerable outer ring and a fifth engine rigidly fastened in the center. When ignited, the roar produced by the five engines together equaled the sound of 8 million 1960s-era hi-fi sets. The liquid oxygen and kerosene combined and burned in the engines for 2.5 minutes, then, at an altitude of about 38 miles, the empty stage separated from the rest of the ascending rocket and burned up as it returned to Earth. 
The few S-1Cs that still exist today were either test articles or what remain of cancelled flights. This piece, originally slated for the cancelled Apollo 19 mission, is the last unpreserved Saturn first stage known to exist. It sits as a testament to U.S. technical confidence, political courage, and scientific ambitions. For more than 45 years, the stage has been stored at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans weathering hurricanes, salt air, and blistering sunshine. If not saved, future generations will wonder what became of it or worse, forget the lessons of Apollo’s “lost missions” all together.

Why move it?

NASA has agreed to permanently loan the booster to the INFINITY Science Center and INFINITY received some funds from the state of Mississippi to move the booster and to put it on permanent display. The state funding will cover the minimum costs to move the booster, however additional funds are needed for site preparation, conservation and interpretive exhibits. We need to first build a foundation in front of the museum along I-10. As visitors drive into Mississippi along I-10, they’ll be greeted by five towering F-1 engines that serve as a visual to Mississippi’s contributions to space exploration. Long-term plans include an extensive multi-phase building and conservation plan that will protect the rocket and tell the region’s role in the Apollo story from start to finish.
Artist rendering of Saturn V S-IC exhibit location
Artist rendering of Saturn V S-IC exhibit location

How will it move?

Plans to move the booster will involve extensive collaboration. Multiple agencies will complete a 10-day process that relocates the Saturn V S-1C from NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility to the INFINITY Science Center. It will be first loaded onto a barge at Michoud's docks and travel through a canal system into the Pearl River. The 40 mile trek upriver to NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi is the same route much of the Apollo hardware took more than 45 years ago! Once at Stennis, the booster will be unloaded and travel by road to and on Interstate 10 before arriving at INFINITY. This move will be epic! But, so were the missions to the moon.
 

Who is Fred Haise?

Mississippi-native and retired Apollo astronaut Fred Haise is best known for serving as the Lunar Module Pilot for the Apollo 13 mission, which was launched from Kennedy Space Center on April 11, 1970. An explosion in one of the oxygen tanks two days into the mission prevented the three astronauts, Commander Jim Lovell, Command Module Pilot Jack Swigert and Fred Haise, from landing on the moon. For four harrowing days, the entire world awaited the safe return of the crew, who successfully splashed down and were recovered in the South Pacific on April 17, 1970. After Apollo 13, Haise served as backup commander for Apollo 16 and was slated to be Flight Commander for Apollo 19. However, NASA cancelled Apollo missions 18 and 19, and Haise never returned to the moon.
Fred Haise, Jack Swigert and Jim Lovell on the USS Iwo Jima after their safe return from the Apollo 13 mission.
Fred Haise, Jack Swigert and Jim Lovell on the USS Iwo Jima after their safe return from the Apollo 13 mission.
Haise then moved to the Space Shuttle program and commanded three of the five ALT (Approach and Landing Tests) for the Space Shuttle Enterprise. Fred Haise piloted Enterprise, NASA’s first space shuttle in free flight to three successful landings. In other words, Fred Haise was the person who landed the space shuttle for the very first time, a process many considered to be the most challenging part of the mission.

Gordon Fullerton, Fred Haise, Joe Engle and Richard Truly pose in front of the prototype orbiter Enterprise
Gordon Fullerton, Fred Haise, Joe Engle and Richard Truly pose in front of the prototype orbiter Enterprise
Today, Haise serves on the INFINITY Science Center board of directors and is our biggest champion for realizing the center's vision of encouraging and inspiring the tomorrow's thinkers. INFINITY aspires to be in the life-changing business, for students, for teachers and the curious at any age. We seek to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians by nurturing their innate curiosity.


How can you help?

This final Apollo mission can't happen without your help. This Kickstarter provides the opportunity for you to be a part of the action. The Apollo program crystallized pride and imagination in generations around the world. We want to reengage that feeling. This is your chance to literally be a part of American history to ensure that a significant piece of it will never fade away. And of course, because we love Fred, this mission is very near and dear to our hearts. Just as the world came together 45 years ago in anticipation of his mission's safe return, we come together now to return to him, and to all of us, a piece of the lost mission that would have sent him back for one last step for man onto the lunar surface.


What are the rewards?

We’ve developed what we hope are some fun and inspirational rewards to help fire up your passion to relocate and restore the Saturn V S-1C and give it new life at the INFINITY Science Center. From informative Apollo swag such as a downloadable Saturn V S-1C spec sheet, fun bumper stickers and rocket kits to authentic memorabilia signed by Fred Haise and personal experiences with the retired Apollo astronaut, our rewards help convey our utmost appreciation for joining us on this mission. It is our hope that these tangible rewards will remind you daily of the undeniable significance of the Apollo program’s place in history and inspire you to embark on your own quest for discovery.

 

As INFINITY is a non-profit, your Kickstarter pledge (minus the value of the reward) is tax deductible. If and when our project is completed and we’ve reached our fundraising goal, we will contact our backers to complete a survey and your reward fulfillment will begin!

Please note, some of the rewards such as the Back the Booster yearbook and VIP dinner with Fred Haise are limited and will be fulfilled several months after the project’s completion. INFINITY Science Center will make every effort to keep the booster's backers informed on the timing and projected completion, delivery and hosting of such rewards.

About INFINITY, a 501(c) 3 non-profit

Located in southern Mississippi off Interstate 10 and just minutes from NASA’s Stennis Space Center, the INFINITY Science Center offers a blend of space, Earth science, engineering and technology content. It also serves as the official NASA visitor center for Stennis Space Center. INFINITY is “Where Fun Meets Fascinating” and the visitor experience encompasses the mix of exhibit space and hands-on experiential programming that seeks to inspire guests and spark imaginations.


Risks and challenges

The Saturn V S-1C that was slated for the cancelled Apollo 19 mission is currently the last remaining piece of Apollo hardware that is currently not on display. In its current state and location, the Saturn V booster remains at risk for continual decay that will eventually render it beyond repair. Without a government pass, you can't get past the gate guards for a close look. This is our opportunity to preserve it, present it and give it new life, so that the booster and the era it represents are not erased. Without your help to move and restore this booster, a priceless American artifact will remain hidden from public view and eventually could be gone forever.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    Level 1: Bolt

    Receive project updates, an official "Back the Booster" certificate of team membership and of course, an official "Back the Booster" thank you email.

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    Level 2: Rivet

    Boost your Saturn V knowledge with a downloadable spec sheet - great for testing your friends' knowledge of this massive feat of Apollo engineering.

    Plus: Project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, certificate of team membership.

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    Level 3: You "Space Nut" you!

    Prepare for your very own voyage beyond the stars with your exclusive downloadable stomp rocket instructions.

    Plus: Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership.

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    Level 4: Fuel Line

    You honk for rockets! A $25 pledge gets you a #backthebooster bumper sticker for your sweet ride.

    Plus: Stomp rocket instructions, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership.

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    Level 5: Y-Ring

    Do rockets have windows? If they did, they'd surely sport a "Back the Booster" vinyl cling. Lucky you!

    Plus: Bumper sticker, stomp rocket instructions, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership.

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    Level 6: Fins

    Give your refrigerator some Saturn V bling with the "Back the Booster" official logo magnet. Just don't expect it to blast off into space.

    Plus: Vinyl cling, bumper sticker, stomp rocket instructions, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership.

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    Level 7: LOX Tank

    The Apollo missions were written in the stars. Write your own destiny with your "Back the Booster" collectors pen.

    Plus: Logo magnet, vinyl cling, stomp rocket instructions, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership.

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    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    Level 8: Base Heat Shield

    Fancy up your lapel with an exclusive booster pin.

    Plus: Logo magnet, vinyl cling, stomp rocket instructions, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership.

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    Pledge US$ 55 or more About US$ 55

    Level 9: Hold Down Posts

    Find a penny, pick it up. All day long you'll have good luck! You're sure to have good luck with your custom booster penny.

    Plus: Lapel pin, pen, stomp rocket instructions, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership.

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Level 10: Telemetry

    Show your booster pride with your "Back the Booster" lanyard.

    Plus: Smashed booster penny, lapel pin, pen, stomp rocket instructions, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Apollo 11 Level

    One small step for man couldn't have happened without first having a good meal. Dine in style with your "Back the Booster" thermal lunch cooler, which is technically a dinner cooler given that Neil Armstrong stepped on to the surface of the moon at 9:56 p.m. CST. Details, details...

    Plus: Lanyard, smashed booster penny, lapel pin, pen, stomp rocket instructions, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership.

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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    Level 12: Slosh Baffle

    A slosh baffle prevents rocket fuel from becoming disorganized and getting all over the place. Keep your affairs in order with the "Back the Booster" laptop case.

    Plus: Lunch cooler, lanyard, smashed booster penny, lapel pin, pen, stomp rocket instructions, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership.

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Apollo 13 Level

    Houston won't have a problem with these rockets - blast off with a set of Rocket Kits - straw, pop, stomp and foam - and turn your backyard into the next NASA testing facility.

    Plus: Laptop briefcase, lunch cooler, lanyard, smashed booster penny, lapel pin, pen, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership.

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    Pledge US$ 275 or more About US$ 275

    Level 14: Retrorocket Level

    Retired NASA astronaut Fred Haise, best known for the famed Apollo 13 mission that returned safely to earth after a fuel tank explosion aborted their mission to the moon, was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on October 4, 1977. Your $275 donation gets you an autographed picture of this American hero.

    Plus: Rocket kits, laptop briefcase, lunch cooler, lanyard, smashed booster penny, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership.

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    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    Level 15: Environmental Controls Level

    When the Apollo program ended, Haise went on to fly space shuttle approach and landing tests in 1977, piloting Space Shuttle Enterprise in free flight to three successful landings. Your $300 donation gets you a framed autographed photo of Fred Haise with the shuttle.

    Plus: Rocket kits, laptop briefcase, lunch cooler, lanyard, smashed booster penny, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership.

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    Pledge US$ 550 or more About US$ 550

    Level 16: Range Safety Level

    After the Apollo 13 mission, Haise remained in the astronaut rotation and served as backup commander for the Apollo 16 mission, which was crewed by Commander John Young, Lunar Module Pilot Charles Duke, and Command Module Pilot Ken Mattingly. Your $550 donation gets you a Fred Haise signed "Back the Booster" poster.

    Plus: Framed photograph signed by Fred Haise, Rocket kits, laptop briefcase, lunch cooler, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Level 17: Fluid Systems Level

    Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the moon. Two days after its launch on April 11, 1970, an explosion in one of the oxygen tanks crippled the Service Module, forcing the astronauts to abort the lunar landing and return to Earth in the Lunar Module. Your $1,000 donation gets you an authentic Fred Haise signed bobble head.

    Plus: "Back the Booster" poster, Rocket kits, laptop briefcase, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership.

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    Pledge US$ 1,500 or more About US$ 1,500

    Lost Apollo 18 Level

    The Apollo program ended with the Apollo 17 mission, cancelling missions 18 and 19. Though we haven't returned to the moon since 1972, our quest for exploration and discovery continues to this day. Your $1500 donation gets you a personal thank you note from Fred Haise, with appreciation for your support.

    Plus: Signed Fred Haise bobble head, "Back the Booster" poster, Rocket kits, laptop briefcase, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership.

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    Pledge US$ 2,000 or more About US$ 2,000

    Bring Home Apollo 19 Level

    Had the Apollo program not ended, Fred Haise would have returned to the moon on the Apollo 19 mission. Your generous support enables us to send the Saturn V on one last mission so we can preserve this priceless artifact for generations to come.

    Your $2,000 donation gets you an official "Back the Booster" gift pack including a personal thank you note signed by Fred Haise, signed Fred Haise bobble head, "Back the Booster" poster, Rocket kits, laptop briefcase, lunch cooler, lanyard, smashed booster penny, lapel pin, pen, magnet, vinyl cling, bumper sticker, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership.

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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    Level 20: Faring

    The start of many of the Apollo missions began not on a launch pad, but on the rivers of Mississippi. Some stages of the Saturn V were transported by barge from Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to Stennis Space Center in Mississippi for testing. It was a major undertaking and an impressive sight to see. This Saturn V will take that same route on its way to its new home at INFINITY. Your $2,500 donation gives you exclusive access to see this move in progress, at a VIP Viewing Party as the Saturn V S-1C makes its way by barge up the Pearl River.

    Plus: "Back the Booster" poster, signed Fred Haise bobble head, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership, all delivered in person by Fred Haise.

    *Date of Viewing Party TBD pending date of S-1C move.

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    Level 21: Rocket Fuel

    The Apollo 13 mission was led by Commander Jim Lovell, Lunar Module Pilot Fred Haise and Command Module Pilot Jack Swigert and took place April 11-17, 1970.

    Today, Haise and Lovell are the two surviving crew members from Apollo 13. Jack Swigert passed away in 1982 from cancer just eight days before being sworn in to Congress.

    With your $5,000 pledge you will receive a Saturn V Model Rocket signed by Fred Haise and Jim Lovell. You will also receive a limited edition "Bringing Home the Booster" yearbook chronicling the S 1C's journey from Michoud to INFINITY. (Please note: The yearbook will be completed several months after the booster's move to INFINITY. We will keep our backers informed on the production timeline of this reward).

    Plus: VIP viewing party access, signed "Back the Booster" poster, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership, all delivered in person by Fred Haise.

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    Level 22: F-1 Engine

    With your $10,000 pledge, you and a guest receive an exclusive invitation to a VIP dinner with Fred Haise. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity offers the chance to spend the evening and hear first-hand the accounts of Haise's exciting career with NASA. We are limiting this reward to provide a personal experience that you're sure to remember forever. Please note: You'll need to use your own rocket fuel to get here (travel expenses are not included.)

    Plus: Signed Saturn V model rocket, VIP viewing party access, signed Fred Haise bobblehead, Saturn V spec sheet, project updates, official "Back the Booster" thank you email, and certificate of team membership, all delivered in person by Fred Haise.

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Funding period

- (30 days)