NASA blew up a lot of rockets before Shepard went up. Despite what the movie shows, a lot of those tests had expectations of destruction but weren't viewed as a failure.
All that said, once they got the hang of it, it really is amazing what they accomplished with the Saturn V, given the technology level at the time.
True. But that was the 1950s. We don't design and develop rockets, or airplanes, or any other type of vehicle that way anymore.
Twice now they've failed to reach their mark.
This is like saying, "Congrats on the success of the first F-35 off the carrier flight. You didn't make it feet dry, in fact the airplane blew up shortly after launch, but you got off the aircraft carrier so great success! High fives all around."
I'd sure hope they've learned a lot, they've blown up a shit ton of money at this point.