There is a beautiful photo of two Space Shuttles on launch pads 39A and 39B. Apollo 10 was the only Saturn V launch from pad 39B. Were either Apollo 9 or Apollo 11 close enough in time to have two Saturn Vs occupying both pads? If yes, does a photo exist?

Saturn V and Saturn 1B

A Saturn V with Skylab and a Saturn 1B with the first crew (source: NASA)

Atlantis and Endeavour

Atlantis and Endeavour (source: NASA)


1 Answer 1



From the Apollo 10 preparation timeline, the spacecraft was rolled out to 39B on March 11, 1969.

Apollo 9 launched on March 3, 1969, so there can not be a photo of the two launch vehicles both rolled out to 39B and 39A.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/50-years-ago-apollo-11-rolls-out-to-the-launch-pad Has this picture of Apollo 11 rolling out to 39A, with the text:

On May 20, 1969, while Apollo 10 was on its way to the Moon, the Saturn V that carried Apollo 11 on its historic journey took the first steps toward its ultimate destination.

Apollo 10 launched on May 18. Thus, no such photo can exist.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A sad truth, missed a great photo opportunity by two days... $\endgroup$
    – Ludo
    Commented May 3, 2021 at 11:38
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ The lede is pretty clear: i.sstatic.net/9oSec.png $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2021 at 11:56
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    $\begingroup$ @SE-stopfiringthegoodguys do you mind to add the launch data of Apollo 10 in? Or I can do it, if that's ok. $\endgroup$
    – Ludo
    Commented May 3, 2021 at 11:59
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Edit away. I miss when that was the normal on SE. $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2021 at 12:07
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    $\begingroup$ It seems possible that the Apollo 11 Saturn V was deliberately not rolled out prior to Apollo 10 launching, in order to protect the Apollo 11 Saturn V in case of unplanned rapid disassembly of the Apollo 10 rocket. $\endgroup$
    – dotancohen
    Commented May 4, 2021 at 5:42

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