Flames then quickly shoot out hundreds of feet from either side of Pad 39A, but the Apollo 11 Saturn V just seems to silently sit there. Then there is a slight, slow upward movement of the 363 foot tall rocket stack with Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin riding on top. We start to hear a rumble and then an increasingly louder crackling roar. Waves of sound assault our ears and physically batter our chests—we feel the sound as well as hear it. The rocket rises agonizingly slowly above the launch tower. It very gradually gains speed and rises through the scattered, sparse clouds. Soon all that is visible is a bright white dot in the sky. Meanwhile, as the crowd cheers the spectacle, I have been furiously snapping pictures of the liftoff. I am surprised both by how slowly the Saturn V rises from the pad and by how violently the delayed, deafening sound waves attack us.
#Apollo11Eyewitness Post #45 July 16, 1969 Events