Encyclopedia Astronautica
1965.01.21 - Requirements for Apollo spacecraft launched by Saturn IB assessed


At the request of Maj. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips, Apollo Program Director, ASPO reexamined the performance requirements for spacecraft slated for launch with Saturn IBs. MSC currently assessed that the launch vehicle was able to put 16,102 kg (35,500 lbs) into a circular orbit 105 nm above the earth. Based on the spacecraft control weights, however, it appeared that the total injected weight of the modules would exceed this amount by some 395 kg (870 lbs).

A 454-kg (1,000-lb) increase in the Saturn IB's payload was the most desirable solution, ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea wrote Phillips. However, by removing one set of propellant tanks and a helium tank from SM and slightly reducing the propellant supply, the spacecraft could still be kept within the launch vehicle's capability without affecting mission objectives or crew safety. While several other alternative approaches appeared feasible, they would seriously impair spacecraft performance.

On February 23, Phillips informed Shea that he foresaw the requisite payload boost. While the control payload for the Saturn IB would remain unchanged, Phillips said, a new design goal of 16,556 kg (36,500 lbs) would be set. At the end of July it would be decided whether or not to make this last figure a new control capability.

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