Originally Posted By: preearth
A Saturn V can lift some 135,000 kgs (300,000 lb) to low earth orbit (LEO).

This is SEVEN times the payload of the shuttle.

That seems good to me.

And since nothing we launch these days weigh that much, why is it a good thing?

Originally Posted By: preearth
As to the Geek's moronic comment, that, "the ability to lift mass into orbit has nothing to do with the ability to go to the moon." Well,... that is just ridiculous.

Hardly. Once in orbit relatively small amounts of thrust are needed to change to a TLO type orbit. Ergo, rockets designed for that purpose tend to have upper stages which are intended for such low-thrust purposes. LEO launches, in contrast, require a completely different thrust profile - high thrust, throughout the entire launch. As such their upper stages (if they have them) are designed for that intent. If you wanted to use the SaturnV for optimal LEO launches you'd need to redesign the upper stages for higher thrust applications, to maximise your to-orbit payload.

Different jobs, different thrust profiles. Basic rocket science.