Encyclopedia Astronautica
Saturn C-8

Saturn A-1 to C-5
Credit: © Mark Wade
American orbital launch vehicle. The largest member of the Saturn family ever contemplated. Designed for direct landing of Apollo command module on moon. Configuration used eight F-1 engines in the first stage, eight J-2 engines in the second stage, and one J-2 engine in the third stage. Distinguishable from Nova 8L in use of J-2 engines instead of M-1 engines in second stage.

LEO Payload: 210,000 kg (460,000 lb) to a 185 km orbit at 28.00 degrees. Payload: 74,000 kg (163,000 lb) to a translunar trajectory in 1985 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 58.290 million.

Stage Data - Saturn C-8

  • Stage 1. 1 x Saturn S-IC-8. Gross Mass: 3,627,500 kg (7,997,200 lb). Empty Mass: 181,400 kg (399,900 lb). Thrust (vac): 61,925.000 kN (13,921,293 lbf). Isp: 304 sec. Burn time: 157 sec. Isp(sl): 265 sec. Diameter: 12.19 m (39.99 ft). Span: 22.87 m (75.03 ft). Length: 48.79 m (160.07 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 8. Engine: F-1. Status: Study 1960.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Saturn S-II-8. Gross Mass: 770,835 kg (1,699,400 lb). Empty Mass: 63,480 kg (139,940 lb). Thrust (vac): 8,265.260 kN (1,858,104 lbf). Isp: 425 sec. Burn time: 338 sec. Isp(sl): 306 sec. Diameter: 10.06 m (33.00 ft). Span: 10.06 m (33.00 ft). Length: 42.68 m (140.02 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 8. Engine: J-2. Status: Study NASA Feb 62.
  • Stage 3. 1 x Saturn IVB. Gross Mass: 119,920 kg (264,370 lb). Empty Mass: 13,311 kg (29,345 lb). Thrust (vac): 1,031.983 kN (231,999 lbf). Isp: 425 sec. Burn time: 475 sec. Isp(sl): 200 sec. Diameter: 6.61 m (21.68 ft). Span: 6.61 m (21.68 ft). Length: 17.80 m (58.30 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 1. Engine: J-2. Status: Out of Production.

Status: Study 1960.
Gross mass: 4,770,260 kg (10,516,620 lb).
Payload: 210,000 kg (460,000 lb).
Height: 131.00 m (429.00 ft).
Diameter: 12.19 m (39.99 ft).
Thrust: 53,981.00 kN (12,135,411 lbf).
Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • F-1 Rocketdyne Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 7740.5 kN. Isp=304s. Largest liquid rocket engine ever developed and flown. Severe combustion stability problems were solved during development and it never failed in flight. First flight 1967. More...
  • J-2 Rocketdyne lox/lh2 rocket engine. 1033.1 kN. Study 1961. Isp=421s. Used in Saturn IVB stage in Saturn IB and Saturn V, and Saturn II stage in Saturn V. Gas generator, pump-fed. First flight 1966. More...

See also
  • Saturn The Saturn launch vehicle was the penultimate expression of the Peenemuende Rocket Team's designs for manned exploration of the moon and Mars. Numerous designs and variants were studied, but in the end only three models - the Saturn I, IB, and V - were built in the 1960's, and then only used to support NASA's Apollo moon landing program. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Von Braun American manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Von Braun, USA. More...

  • Bilstein, Roger E, Stages to Saturn, US Government Printing Office, 1980.
  • Lowther, Scott, Saturn: Development, Details, Derivatives and Descendants, Work in progress. Availabe chapters may be ordered directly from Scott Lowther at web site indicated. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Stages
  • Saturn S-IC-8 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 3,627,500/181,400 kg. Thrust 61,925.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 304 seconds. More...
  • Saturn S-II-8 Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 770,835/63,480 kg. Thrust 8,265.26 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 425 seconds. Version for Saturn C-8. More...
  • Saturn IVB Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 119,920/13,311 kg. Thrust 1,031.98 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 425 seconds. Configuration as flown on Saturn V. More...

Saturn C-8 Chronology

1962 May 25 - . LV Family: Nova. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-8.
  • Apollo lunar landing mode component schedules and cost breakdowns prepared - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo Lunar Landing. D. Brainerd Holmes, NASA's Director of Manned Space Flight, requested the Directors of Launch Operations Center, Manned Spacecraft Center, and Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to prepare supporting component schedules and cost breakdowns through Fiscal Year 1967 for each of the proposed lunar landing modes: earth orbit rendezvous, lunar orbit rendezvous, and direct ascent. For direct ascent, a Saturn C-8 launch vehicle was planned, using a configuration of eight F-1 engines, eight J-2 engines, and one J-2 engine. MSFC was also requested to submit a proposed schedule and summary of costs for the Nova launch vehicle, using the configuration of eight F-1 engines, two M-1 engines, and one J-2 engine. Each Center was asked to make an evaluation of the schedules as to possibilities of achievement, major problem areas, and recommendations for deviations.

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