This photograph shows the Saturn-I first stage (S-1 stage) being transported to the test stand for a static test firing at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Soon after NASA began operations in October 1958, it was evident that sending people and substantial equipment beyond the Earth's gravitational field would require launch vehicles with weight-lifting capabilities far beyond any developed to that time. In early 1959, NASA accepted the proposal of Dr. Wernher von Braun for a multistage rocket, with a number of engines clustered in one or more of the stages to provide a large total thrust. The initiation of the Saturn launch vehicle program ultimately led to the study and preliminary plarning of many different configurations and resulted in production of three Saturn launch vehicles, the Saturn-I, Saturn I-B, and Saturn V. The Saturn family of launch vehicles began with the Saturn-I, a two-stage vehicle originally designated C-1. The research and development program was planned in two phases, or blocks: one for first stage development (Block I) and the second for both first and second stage development (Block-II). Saturn I had a low-earth-orbit payload capability of approximately 25,000 pounds. The design of the first stage (S-1 stage) used a cluster of propellant tanks containing liquid oxygen (LOX) and kerosene (RP-1), and eight H-1 engines, yielding a total thrust of 1,500,000 pounds. Of the ten Saturn-Is planned, the first eight were designed and built at the Marshall Space Flight Center, and the remaining two were built by the Chrysler Corporation.