Encyclopedia Astronautica
Saturn V-B


American orbital launch vehicle. MSFC study, 1968. Intriguing stage-and-a-half to orbit design using Saturn S-ID stage. The S-ID would be the same length and engines as the standard Saturn IC, but the four outer engines and their boost structure would be jettisoned once 70% of the propellant was consumed, as in the Atlas ICBM. This booster engine assembly would be recovered and reused. The center engine would be gimbaled and serve as a sustainer engine to put the rest of the vehicle and its 50,000 pound payload into orbit. At very minimal cost (36 months leadtime and $ 150 million) the United States could have attained a payload capability and level of reusability similar to that of the space shuttle.

LEO Payload: 22,600 kg (49,800 lb) to a 185 km orbit at 28.00 degrees.

Stage Data - Saturn V-B

  • Stage 0. 1 x Saturn S-ID Booster. Gross Mass: 67,100 kg (147,900 lb). Empty Mass: 67,100 kg (147,900 lb). Thrust (vac): 30,962.500 kN (6,960,647 lbf). Isp: 304 sec. Burn time: 154 sec. Isp(sl): 265 sec. Diameter: 10.06 m (33.00 ft). Span: 19.01 m (62.36 ft). Length: 42.07 m (138.02 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 4. Engine: F-1. Status: Study 1967. Comments: Boeing studies, 1967:'Stage and a half' S-1C with four outboard F-1's jettisoned and inboard F-1 functioning as sustainer as in Atlas. Booster half stage recoverable. Mass estimated based on double mass of four F-1's (based on Atlas example).
  • Stage 1. 1 x Saturn S-ID Sustainer. Gross Mass: 2,219,100 kg (4,892,200 lb). Empty Mass: 68,100 kg (150,100 lb). Thrust (vac): 7,740.300 kN (1,740,089 lbf). Isp: 304 sec. Burn time: 315 sec. Isp(sl): 265 sec. Diameter: 10.06 m (33.00 ft). Span: 19.01 m (62.36 ft). Length: 42.07 m (138.02 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: F-1. Status: Study 1967. Comments: Boeing studies, 1967:'Stage and a half' S-1C with four outboard F-1's jettisoned and inboard F-1 functioning as sustainer as in Atlas. Booster half stage burns 124 seconds in this configuration.

Status: Study 1968.
Gross mass: 2,313,320 kg (5,099,990 lb).
Payload: 22,600 kg (49,800 lb).
Height: 50.00 m (164.00 ft).
Diameter: 10.06 m (33.00 ft).
Thrust: 33,737.70 kN (7,584,537 lbf).
Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).

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Associated Countries
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...
  • Saturn V America's booster for the Apollo manned lunar landing. The design was frozen before a landing mode was selected; the Saturn V could be used for either Earth-Orbit-Rendezvous or Lunar-Orbit-Rendezvous methods. The vehicle ended up with the same payload capability as the 'too large' Nova. The basic diameter was dictated by the ceiling height at the Michoud factory selected for first stage manufacture. Despite the study of innumerable variants, production was ended after only 12 were built and America spent the next fifty years in a pointless slow-motion withdrawal from manned space exploration. More...

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

Associated Stages
  • Saturn S-ID Booster Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 67,100/67,100 kg. Thrust 30,962.50 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 304 seconds. Boeing studies, 1967:'Stage and a half' S-1C with four outboard F-1's jettisoned and inboard F-1 functioning as sustainer as in Atlas. Booster half stage recoverable. Mass estimated based on double mass of four F-1's (based on Atlas example). More...
  • Saturn S-ID Sustainer Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 2,219,100/68,100 kg. Thrust 7,740.30 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 304 seconds. Boeing studies, 1967:'Stage and a half' S-1C with four outboard F-1's jettisoned and inboard F-1 functioning as sustainer as in Atlas. Booster half stage burns 124 seconds in this configuration. More...

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