The Largest Rocket That Never Launched

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When the Saturn V first launched in 1967 it was the largest and most powerful rocket ever made. But a rocket designed years before the Saturn V would have shattered the scale of rocket design. This video looks at the enormous 60’s rocket concept known as the Sea Dragon. It also looks at it’s interesting design and why it was ultimately never built.

Special thanks to the following channels for their awesome Sea Dragon footage:

xDarkMonkeyz –

» Magical Gravity – Asher Fulero

» Secret Conversations – The 126ers

Written by: Ryan Saunders & Ewan Cunningham (

Animated by: Thomas Bracke (

  1. XPilot P

    Saturn V thanks to the German Designer. Van Braun

  2. kevblin

    took its time?

  3. Turtle

    Why are some parts in KSP

  4. AJTheWizard

    The unpredictability of how waves could alter the rocket’s angle of attack is probably why every rocket is launched from land-based launch sites.

  5. Manraj Gill

    curious droid anyone?

  6. Enrique Moreno

    I think that this is larger:

  7. Jake Elliott

    Duracks looks like Jim Carrey

  8. just1eon

    What’s about the sls? It’s pretty big too

  9. Bill Kerman

    these ocean renders are pretty cool

  10. Tem

    great video it was really entertaining

  11. WALLMARIO234

    Already? 21 comments?

  12. 张天阳

    Something this big is definitively not simple and cheap at the first place…

  13. 籠中鳥


  14. AnchovyKnowledge

    Incredible as always

  15. 416dl

    Did I hear you say Sea Dragon was a crazy idea? What could be crazier than what we ended up doing; a trophy space program costing far more, and leaving us still in low earth orbit, where getting to space remained so expensive we are going to essentially toss away the Hubble Space Telescope, perhaps the most amazing scientific instrument ever constructed, because it’s too expensive to re-fuel it. Crazy is as crazy does.

  16. William Chamberlain

    Would kill _so many_ whales and dolphins by deafening them. Might be ok if launched from an enclosed atoll lagoon

  17. Keith Allver

    I wish NASA would consider the idea of resurrecting the Sea Dragon project.

  18. Antoine Misran

    Humans prove so puny sometimes.. quite amusing

  19. Fares Mezzi

    Translate to Arabic ❤

  20. Space is Cool


  21. Flatlife

    Was a pleasure to work with you for the animations! Very interesting video!

  22. Mike 1958

    It looks like war and killing people was more important than the sea dragon. The SpaceX rocket looks like vibrator with fins.

  23. RundownPear

    Still not the largest or most capable rocket ever designed. Onto largest by an official NASA team. Russia and Convair had far crazier and capable designs.

  24. Lio L.

    The same principles with that is spacex building their rockets, either Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy or super heavy/starship:

    E.g. using a default Linux and standard computer components as their launch steering and control systems

    The only rocket at the moment that is reusable

    Cost savings:
    Is coming with the first two points

  25. Arizona Boyonas

    I have many racket found envintion

  26. CONCERTMANchicago

    *No way, a reusable inexpensive rocket named **_Dragon,_** capable of slowing itself down before slamming into the ocean.* *_I guess history does rhyme a lot, ask anyone named Tesla and pet barge I still love you._*

    ¿¿Rocket missiles were already launched from the sea during World War II, and NASA’s budget was slashed by the end of the 1960s because we went to war in Vietnam??
    Isn’t that like putting histories chicken before the egg?


    The postal mail is spreading the coronavirus don’t touch the mail 🤧💜🤧

  28. Lin Yen Chin

    I hope big brother Elon Musk gets to upgrade and construct a Sea Dragon 2.0.

  29. Ayushman Jaswal

    Guys watch the series For All Mankind it’s in it

  30. AirborneFCA

    At least it happened in for all mankind

  31. NiNinja Ancienne chaine

    For All Mankind post credit scene

  32. austin1839

    Proving once again that War is the most profitable business and more important than research.

  33. Ante la crisis

    Sea Dragon will become a reality one day once the hunger for lifting bigger things, even entire cities to orbit becomes a necessity

  34. nom d ecran

    This rocket never happened. It isn’t likely it ever will. Let it go.

  35. Khaffit

    if you are wondering how they deal with the massive sound generated by rockets today
    the answer is still water :D
    just not that they launch from the sea
    but rockets get sprayed down with huge amounts of water during liftoff
    this creates water vapor and muffles the sounds substantially

  36. KSP United

    2 things: 1: is 1:34 Kerbal Space Program?! And 2: this is the first time I’ve every heard the F-1 referred to as “smaller”

  37. Karthik P sreekumar

    Thanks for not saying measurements in McDonalds per football field….

  38. TheNeoNTex

    Omg how to add more Oxigen and Hidrogen onto water.

  39. Baladár

    Things that never been built and used… we have an attic full of such things.

  40. Skukkix23

    Nice thumbnail :D

  41. King Slushie101

    Makes me sad this beauty of a beast hasn’t been developed.

  42. lukas Morski

    Always hope for a breakthrough with new kind of engine.Or imagine some kind of enormous slingShot to support start.Not mention some crazy sky platform /skytower elevator/or flying ^^ xD

  43. Siddharth Chavan

    No ,sea dragon was possible considering nasa’s budget and logistics. But no Vietnam war was more important to 🇺🇸, which was a huge loss and jaw breaking defeat. Rather it had allocated that resources there had been multiple ISS, moon missions and even colonies on mars. Sea dragon was immensely capable. Unfortunate 😣

  44. Josh Boucher

    Don’t know why they never tried to get an Apollo sized sea dragon program into service or testing. I can see why the scale of sea dragon turned NASA off from it.

  45. Curator on the internet.

    Isn’t this being called Starship ??

  46. LT Saral

    It is HUUUGE! love your content bro

  47. TOMAS

    ELLON MUSK ” is the re-incarnation of Dr. Robert Ttruax !!!

  48. Grouper 16

    Sea dragon actually was supposed to be around 150 metres or 490 ft tall.

  49. RC Hobbyist Extreme

    No way does the sea dragon compair to today’s rockets.

  50. Robert Cieslak

    Size similar to the space shuttle external fuel tank.

  51. OsoTanuki

    I think the N1 was heavier, taller and definitely more powerful when it launched.

    So much more powerful, in fact, that it exploded all 4 times in less than a minute after those launches.

  52. Arsasoor

    I’m still scared of the sea dragon

  53. Brett Anon

    I think there was an additional idea to build an artificial lagoon for it to launch from, so you wouldn’t need to take it all the way out to sea.

    I love the design, but the combustion instability would have been something else.

  54. Porkchop Sandwiches

    I want to hear that engine launch… From 100miles away.

  55. The Bloxy Creeper

    your animation is amaizing!

  56. Gesshoku01

    The CHAD Sea Dragon vs the virgin SLS.

  57. mark kostecka

    we could have been to mars in the 70s if this was a thing

  58. informationtolearn 11

    Thanks for the information and keep it up!!

  59. JM Studios


  60. Brandon Hill

    something that loud underwater would have to have some effect on native sea life…and not a positive one either…

  61. Anton Bogun

    What about comparison of the Seadragon and the Starship? You said in the video it’s the closest thing we got and you even mentioned the stats, but I doubt most of the viewers remembered the stats of Seadragon to be able to compare it. This will now make me go and do the research myself as to how they compare, and I’d say this decreases the quality of the video, especially if this happened near the end as it leaves the bitter feeling of not getting the answer easily.

  62. Dragoninthewest

    *Everybody Wants to Rule the World intensifies*

  63. Kevin Fidler

    Only in a Seadragon video could the Rockedine F1 engine be referred to as “smaller”.

  64. Andy Black

    Good video & Intriguing design. They have a company in Europe working on a small sat version that launches from the sea & both stages are recoverable. Oh the company in question is called ripple aerospace.

  65. Ted Baxter

    Private development of technologies has proven to be more efficient and forward looking than if NASA had continued. Good that their budget was reduced. NASA has become an impediment to cost efficient advancement of what it says it champions. The more Political NASA becomes, the less effective and more needy of funds it becomes.
    Space-X has advanced rocket technology faster and cheaper than NASA could have. NASA should be remembered for what it did when it was important and praise worthy. Now it is time to put it to bed and turn off the lights and turn to a fresh page where man can again dream without being stifled by bureaucracy.

  66. Natewatl

    04:20 you use the unfortunate magic word “craziest” that is unbecoming to a scientific channel. I shall have to reject any and all further offerings from the channel.

  67. Robin Jacobs

    The concept was far from “Crazy”. As todays quest for reusable rocket technology demonstrates.

  68. Viesturs Siliņš

    The propellant tanks of the first stage look pitifully tiny compared to the engine. I wonder for how long can they feed that monster.

  69. Science pod

    it actually doesn’t still hold the record Starship is larger

  70. Neale Scott

    that 2nd stage is bonkers, well actually the whole thing is bonkers

  71. Sea Dragon

    I’m very grateful you made this video! It’s always amazing learning more about my obessesion xD

  72. Dr. QuantaProfesional R

    5:22 is the best part lol

  73. Yeff

    There is some great cgi footege of it launching in the final episode of the tv show For All Manking

  74. CarpIXOYE

    So basically a 1960s Starship + Super Heavy – Grandma I still love you

  75. Michael Newbon

    The engine bell would never work. There a reason why they use clusters of small engines.

  76. Touvernal

    2:10 That’s ksp footage if I’ve ever seen it

  77. C.C. ORR

    As an engineer, I could make an even larger one that will *never* launch

  78. ryan1981 cool

    If NASA had a warehouse full of ET tanks and SRBs. They would have been able to launch a space shuttle every two weeks or so.

  79. xDarkMonkeyz / Ksp-Movie

    It’s been a real privilege to contribute (a bit) to this video . Thank you for the opportunity.

  80. Mi 28

    Sea Dragon didn’t flew because there was never a need to deliver so much payload into orbit, regular small rockets like Saturn V were capable of doing the required job.

  81. Josh

    Unfortunately the closest we’ll ever get to seeing the Sea Dragon fly, will be in the second season of For All Mankind.

  82. Aubergine Bellen

    “Surfshark is the only VPN that can be used on multiple devices simultaneously.” Nope. My VPN service allows me to use it on up to four devices simultaneously, and I’ve done it on two so I know it works.

  83. Ace of Spades

    I love youPrimal Space, you take huge concepts and simplify them. Keep up the great work!

  84. craig leigh

    Apple TV production For all Mankind, includes Sea Dragon in series one, episode 10, closing scene after the credits.

  85. Näthâñ Żëńg

    Bruh the 1st stage’s “parachute” looks like a condom smh

  86. eliya sne

    Well… The story is a little more complicated then that.
    About “largest”:
    If its by hight then *yes* , but there were several rockets that were wider like the N1, space shuttle and buran-energia.
    About “most powerful”:
    If its payload to LEO you are talking about then *yes* , but if you mean thrust (at lift of) then both N1 and buran-energia had more.

  87. Victor Barrios

    If anyone can make a reusable
    Sea Dragon its Elon Musk

  88. WHColours999

  89. Reinerio Bargamento

    If the sea dragon was real welp, rip fish

  90. HIYU

    Absolute unit of a rocket!

  91. Kinda Simpson

    They should as least make some scale down versions to verify the theory and engineering possibilities.

  92. Daniel Whyatt

    And now we can see this at the end of the first season, and hopefully in the whole of the second season of For All Mankind.

  93. Lőrinc Soroncz-Szabó

    Starship is now 120 meters tall!

  94. Isaac L-L

    2:13 I recognize those engine particles and that water… that’s not earth! It’s Kerbin!

  95. Kyle Stark

    There’s always a “but”

  96. no u

    When you’re new at a vid and don’t know what to say

  97. NG1 N3

    Sea Dragon: One big engine

    Saturn V: 5 relatively small engines

    Starship: *37 Engines*

  98. planetsector9

    The concept is still viable, just at a smaller scale.

  99. MassLox

    It’s quite hard to wrap my head around how large it was.

  100. Hannes Größlinger

    Thats the first time i have ever heard the F1 being referred to as “smaller engines”

Comments are closed.