On Saturday, April 25, the Saturn V, the rocket that sent men to the moon 40 years ago, will once again lift off from U.S. soil and soar over the Atlantic.
Only this time, it won't be quite real. Rather, what's going up will be the largest model rocket ever built — a one-tenth scale, 36-foot-tall, fully working replica of the Saturn V.
Its nine rocket engines will provide 8,000 pounds of thrust to lift it between 3,000 and 4,000 feet above its launching point in Price, Md.
Once it reaches its zenith, it'll separate into three sections, each of which will parachute back to the ground.
The entire project is the work of Steve Eves, 50, an Ohio man who's been dreaming of building his own Saturn V for nearly 15 years.
"The Saturn V had always stuck in my mind as the most awesome rocket ever built," Eves explained to Rockets magazine. "And I obtained actual rocket plans off the Internet and from old NASA drawings. I began to seriously consider the possibility of building a truly large Saturn V."
For the past two years, he's been building the giant rocket in his back yard in the Akron suburb of Lake Township. It's cost a lot of money — the 1,700 pounds of ammonium perchlorate fuel alone will cost about $13,000 — and Eves and his partners are taking donations.
"The original Saturn V program took an incredible number of people —l ike 400,000 of them — to reach the moon," Eves tells Rockets magazine. "I may have built this rocket myself, but now there are many people stepping up to help me finish the project and get the rocket off the ground."