AKA: Juno V;Saturn C-1. Status: Retired 1975. First Launch: 1963-03-28. Last Launch: 1965-07-30. Number: 7 . Payload: 9,000 kg (19,800 lb). Thrust: 6,690.00 kN (1,503,970 lbf). Gross mass: 509,660 kg (1,123,600 lb). Height: 55.00 m (180.00 ft). Diameter: 6.52 m (21.39 ft). Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).
The Saturn launch vehicle was the penultimate expression of the Peenemuende Rocket Team's designs for manned exploration of the moon and Mars. The designs were continuously developed and improved, starting from the World War II A11 and A12 satellite and manned shuttle launcher, through the designs made public in the Collier's Magazine series of the early 1950's, until the shock of the first Sputnik launch brought sudden real interest from the U.S. government. On December 30 1957 Von Braun produced a 'Proposal for a National Integrated Missile and Space Vehicle Development Plan'. This had the first mention of a 1,500,000 lbf booster (Juno V, later Saturn I). By July of the following year Huntsville had in hand the contract from ARPA to proceed with design of the Juno V.
Following transfer of the Peenemuende Rocket Team from the US Army to NASA, a year after the first plan was mooted, Von Braun briefed NASA on plans for booster development at Huntsville with objective of manned lunar landing. It was initially proposed that 15 Juno V (Saturn I) boosters assemble a 200,000 kg payload in earth orbit for direct landing on moon. NASA produced two months later, on February 15, 1959, its plan for development in the next decade of Vega (later cancelled after NASA discovered the USAF was secretly developing the similar Hustler (Agena) upper stage), Centaur, Saturn, and Nova launch vehicles (Juno V renamed Saturn I at this point). Throughout the initial planning, Presidential decision, and landing mode debate for the Apollo lunar landing goal, a variety of Saturn and Nova configurations were considered. Of these, only the C-1 and C-5 were taken through to further development.
The political maneuvering that resulted in the Saturn I configuration is described by ABMA commander Medaris in his autobiography:
We had gone through the whole process of selecting upper stages and had made our recommendations to ARPA. We had indicated very clearly that we were willing to accept either the Atlas or Titan as the basis for building the second stage. The real difference was that in one case we would be using the Atlas engines and associated equipment, built by North American, while in the other case, we would be using the Titan power plant built by Aerojet. Largely because of the multitude of different projects that had been saddled on the Atlas, we favor the Titan. Convair builds the Atlas, and we had great confidence in Convair's engineering, but this was over shadowed in our mind by the practical difficulties of getting enough Atlas hardware. However, we assured ARPA that we would take either one.In the event, neither the Saturn A-1 or the Titan C went ahead. After several twists and turns, the Saturn I with the 160-inch upper stage was developed, the second production lot even being configured for Dynasoar. However Dynasoar was finally slated to fly on the Titan 3C, a third alternative in the USAF SLV-4 competition of 1961. Dynasoar in turn was cancelled, and the Saturn I was superseded by the Saturn IB for manned earth-orbit Apollo flights. Only the Titan 3C and its descendants would soldier on into the 21st Century, as the heavy-lift mainstay of American expendable boosters.
The time scale was important. In order to get an operational vehicle in the air as soon as possible, and be able to match and possibly exceed Russia's capabilities, we recommended that the first flying vehicle to be made up of Saturn as the first stage and a second stage built with a Titan power plant. We also recommended using the tooling available at Martin for the airframe. We felt that by the time we got through the second-stage tests, the powerful new Centaur oxygen-hydrogen engine would be in good enough shape to become the third stage. We then calculated that a, year afterwards, or perhaps a little later, could begin to come up with a second-generation satellite vehicle that would cluster the Centaur engine for second stage.
Our people made extensive presentations to ARPA and NASA during the late spring of 1959, always taking the position that we could work with either combination that was agreed to by both. We were anxious to have them agree, because it seemed obvious to us that the nation could not afford more than one very large booster project. We believed that the resulting vehicle would be enormously useful both to the Defense Department for advanced defense requirements, and NASA for its scientific and civilian exploration of space.
We finally got a decision. - - We were told that we could begin designing the complete vehicle along the lines that we had recommended, namely, with the Titan as the basis for the second stage. So far there was no sign of trouble. Remembering the difficulties that we had had in connection with our requirements for North American engines for Jupiter, with the North American people largely under control of the Air Force, we knew that if we were to get on with the job properly we had to make our contract direct with Martin for the second stage work, and with the Convair-Pratt & Whitney group for the adaptation of Centaur to the third stage. We asked the Air Force for clearance to negotiate these matters with the companies concerned The Air Force (BMD) refused, and insisted that we let them handle all areas with the contractor. They used the old argument that they as a group could handle the responsibility much better, and that if they didn't handle it, there were bound to be priority problems connected with the military programs for Titan and others. We knew that the Air Force had no technical capacity of their own to put into this project, and that if we gave them the whole job, they would be forced to use the Ramo-Wooldridge organization, now known as the Space Technology Laboratories, as their contract agent to exercise technical supervision and co-ordination. While we knew and respected a few good men in STL, we felt we had ample cause to lack confidence in the organization as such. As a matter of fact, when the House Committee on Government Operations looked askance at STL with respect to their position as a profit-making organization, some of the best men had left the organization. We threw this one out on the table and said that we would not, under any circumstances, tolerate the interference of STL in this project. We knew that we had all the technical capability that was needed to supervise the overall system, and could not stand the delays and arguments that would most assuredly result were that organization to be thrown in also. Both sides presented their arguments to ARPA…Mr. Roy Johnson ruled that we could go ahead and contract directly Martin and others as required. It is understandable that the Air Force took this decision with poor grace. It represented a major setback to the system of absolute control over their own contractors, no matter for whom those contractors happened to be doing work. It also left them pretty much on the side- lines with respect to major participation in or control over any portion of the Saturn as a space vehicle.
With the amount of money still available to us from fiscal year 1960 and with our authorization from ARPA, we proceeded immediately to negotiate engineering contracts with Martin. We thought that since Mr. Johnson had complete control over this program, we had gotten over the last important hurdle and could get on about our business. Little did we realize the hornet's nest that had been stirred up, and less did we realize that winning that battle was finally to mean that we would lose the war, and would lose von Braun's entire organization.
We had only a few weeks of peace and quiet. From events that occurred later, I think I can make a fair estimate of what happened during this short period. Having been overruled by Johnson, the Air Force took a new approach. They decided that in view of the importance and power that was given the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering by the 1958 changes in the defense organization, Dr. York represented their best avenue of approach through which to get back in the war.
For reasons of economy we had recommended, and it had been approved, that in building the second stage, we would use the same diameter as the Titan first stage -- 120 inches. The major costs of tooling for the fabrication of missile tanks and main structure is related to the diameter. Changes in length cost little or nothing in tooling. How the tanks are divided internally, or the structure reinforced inside, or the kind of structural detail that is used at the end in order to attach the structure to a big booster below, or to a different size stage above, have very little effect on tooling problems. However, a change in diameter sets up a major question of tools, costs, and time.
Suddenly, out of the blue came a directive to suspend work on the second stage, and a request for a whole new series of cost and time estimates, including consideration of increasing the second stage diameter to 160 inches. It appeared that Dr. York had entered the scene, and had pointed up the future requirements of Dynasoar as being incompatible with the 120-inch diameter. He had posed the question of whether it was possible for the Saturn to be so designed as to permit it to be the booster for that Air Force project.
We were shocked and stunned. This was no new problem, and we could find no reason why it should not have been considered, if necessary, during the time that the Department of Defense and NASA were debating the whole question of what kind of upper stages we should use. Nevertheless, we very speedily went about the job of estimating the project on the basis of accepting the 160-inch diameter. At the same time it was requested that we submit quotations for a complete operational program to boost the Dynasoar for a given number of flights. As usual, we were given two or three numbers, rather than one fixed quantity, and asked to estimate on each of them.
By this time, my nose was beginning to sniff a strange odor of "fish." I put my bird dogs to work to try to find out what was going on and with whom we had to compete. We discovered that the Air Force had proposed a wholly different and entirely new vehicle as the booster for Dynasoar, using a cluster of Titan engines and upgrading their performance to get the necessary first-stage thrust for take-off. This creature was variously christened the Super Titan, or the Titan C. No work had been done on this vehicle other than a hasty engineering outline. Yet the claim was made that the vehicle in a two-stage or three-stage configuration could be flown more quickly than the Saturn, on which we had already been working hard for many months. Dates and estimates were attached to that proposal which at best ignored many factors of costs, and at worst were strictly propaganda.
Developments of the Saturn IB launch vehicle were detailed in some depth in the late 1960's. There was a large payload gap between the Saturn IB's 19,000 kg low-earth orbit capacity and the two-stage Saturn V 100,000 kg capability. How to fill it was the result of an exhaustive series of Marshall and contractor trade studies.
The configurations shown were the most promising. The best solution was to add two or four UA1205 five segment solid rocket motors already developed for the Titan launch vehicle. This would boost payload to 40,000 kg. Use of seven segment motors developed for Titan 3M would bring the payload up to 48,000 kg but would require stretching the S-1B first stage by 20 feet. A more modest ten foot stretch, with Minuteman first stage motors for thrust augmentation, would bring a modest payload improvement to 23,000 kg.
In the end, no further orders for Saturns were placed. Of the 12 Saturn IB's built, only nine were flown, the remaining three becoming NASA museum pieces. If Saturn production had continued, it is likely the Saturn IB would have been discontinued anyway, and Saturn II variants would have been used for any intermediate payload requirements.
LEO Payload: 9,000 kg (19,800 lb) to a 185 km orbit at 28.00 degrees. Payload: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb) to a translunar trajectory. Development Cost $: 838.100 million. Launch Price $: 76.000 million in 1963 dollars in 1967 dollars.
Stage Data - Saturn I
|Juno V-A American orbital launch vehicle. By 1958 the Super-Jupiter was called Juno V and the 4 E-1 engines were abandoned in favor of clustering 8 Jupiter IRBM engines below existing Redstone/Jupiter tankage. The A version had a Titan I ICBM as the upper stages. Masses, payload estimated.|
|Juno V-B American orbital launch vehicle. A proposed version of the Juno V for lunar and planetary missions used a Titan I ICBM first stage and a Centaur high-energy third stage atop the basic Juno V cluster. Masses, payload estimated.|
|Saturn A-1 American orbital launch vehicle. Projected first version of Saturn I, to be used if necessary before S-IV liquid hydrogen second stage became available. Titan 1 first stage used as second stage, Centaur third stage. Masses, payload estimated.|
|Saturn A-2 American orbital launch vehicle. More powerful version of Saturn I with low energy second stage consisting of cluster of four IRBM motors and tankage, Centaur third stage. Masses, payload estimated.|
|Saturn B-1 American orbital launch vehicle. Most powerful version of Saturn I considered. New low energy second stage with four H-1 engines, S-IV third stage, Centaur fourth stage. Masses, payload estimated.|
|Saturn C-1 American orbital launch vehicle. Original flight version with dummy upper stages, including dummy Saturn S-V/Centaur (never flown).|
|Saturn C-2 American orbital launch vehicle. The launch vehicle initially considered for realizing the Apollo lunar landing at the earliest possible date. 15 launches and rendezvous required to assemble direct landing spacecraft in earth orbit.|
|Saturn I Blk2 American orbital launch vehicle. Second Block of Saturn I, with substantially redesigned first stage and large fins to accommodate Dynasoar payload.|
|Saturn I RIFT American nuclear orbital launch vehicle. In the first half of the 1960's it was planned to make suborbital tests of nuclear propulsion for upper stages using a Saturn IB first stage to boost a Rover-reactor powered second stage on a suborbital trajectory. The second stage would impact the Atlantic Ocean down range from Cape Canaveral.|
|Saturn IB American orbital launch vehicle. Improved Saturn I, with uprated first stage and Saturn IVB second stage (common with Saturn V) replacing Saturn IV. Used for earth orbit flight tests of Apollo CSM and LM.|
|Saturn IB-A American orbital launch vehicle. Douglas Studies, 1965: S-IB with 225 k lbf H-1's; S-IVB stretched with 350,000 lbs propellants; Centaur third stage.|
|Saturn IB-B American orbital launch vehicle. Douglas Studies, 1965: S-IB with 225 k lbf H-1's; S-IVB stretched with 350,000 lbs propellants and HG-3 high performance engine.|
|Saturn IB-C American orbital launch vehicle. Douglas Studies, 1965: 4 Minuteman strap-ons; standard S-IB, S-IVB stages.|
|Saturn IB-CE American orbital launch vehicle. Douglas Studies, 1965: Standard Saturn IB with Centaur upper stage.|
|Saturn IB-D American orbital launch vehicle. Douglas Studies, 1965: Standard Saturn IB with Titan UA1205 5-segment strap-on motors.|
|Saturn INT-05 American orbital launch vehicle. NASA Study, 1965: Half length 260 inch solid motor with S-IVB upper stage.|
|Saturn INT-05A American orbital launch vehicle. UA Study, 1965: Full length 260 inch solid motor with S-IVB upper stage.|
|Saturn INT-11 American orbital launch vehicle. Chrysler Studies, 1966: S-IB with 4 Titan UA1205 with standard S-IB stage, S-IVB stage, or 4 Titan UA1207 strap-ons with 20-foot stretched S-IB stage, S-IVB stage. S-IB ignition at altitude.|
|Saturn INT-12 American orbital launch vehicle. Chrysler Studies, 1966: S-IB with only 4 H-1 motors, with 4 Titan UA1205 with standard length S-IB stage, S-IVB stage, or 4 Titan UA1207 strap-ons with 20-foot stretched S-IB stage, S-IVB stage. S-IB ignition at sea level at same time as strap-ons.|
|Saturn INT-13 American orbital launch vehicle. Chrysler Studies, 1966: S-IB with 2 Titan UA1205 with standard length S-IB stage, S-IVB stage, or 2 Titan UA1207 strap-ons with 20-foot stretched S-IB stage, S-IVB stage. S-IB ignition at sea level at same time as strap-ons.|
|Saturn INT-14 American orbital launch vehicle. Chrysler Studies, 1966: S-IB with 4 Minuteman motors as strap-ons, with no, 10, or 20-foot stretch S-IB stages, S-IVB stage. S-IB ignition at sea level at same time as strap-ons.|
|Saturn INT-15 American orbital launch vehicle. Chrysler Studies, 1966: S-IB with 8 Minuteman motors as strap-ons, with no, 10, or 20-foot stretch S-IB stages, S-IVB stage. S-IB ignition at sea level at same time as strap-ons.|
|Saturn INT-16 American orbital launch vehicle. UA Studies, 1966: S-IVB upper stage with from 2 to 5 Titan UA1205, 1206, or 1207 motors as first stage, clustered around from 1 to 3 of the same motors as a second stage. S-IVB upper stage.|
|Saturn INT-27 American orbital launch vehicle. UA study, 1965. Saturn variant using various combinations of 156 inch rocket motors as first and second stages, with S-IVB upper stage.|
|Saturn LCB-Alumizine-140 American orbital launch vehicle. Boeing Low-Cost Saturn Derivative Study, 1967 (trade study of 260 inch first stages for S-IVB, all delivering 86,000 lb payload to LEO): Low Cost Booster, Single Pressure-fed N2O4/Alumizine Propellant engine, HY-140 Steel Hull.|
|Saturn LCB-Alumizine-250 American orbital launch vehicle. Boeing Low-Cost Saturn Derivative Study, 1967 (trade study of 260 inch first stages for S-IVB, all delivering 86,000 lb payload to LEO): Low Cost Booster, Single Pressure-fed N2O4/Alumizine Propellant engine, Ni-250 Steel Hull.|
|Saturn LCB-Lox/RP-1 American orbital launch vehicle. Boeing Low-Cost Saturn Derivative Study, 1967 (trade study of 260 inch first stages for S-IVB, all delivering 86,000 lb payload to LEO): Low Cost Booster, Single Pressure-fed LOx/RFP-1 engine.|
|Saturn LCB-SR American orbital launch vehicle. Boeing Low-Cost Saturn Derivative Study, 1967 (trade study of 260 inch first stages for S-IVB, all delivering 86,000 lb payload to LEO): Low Cost Booster, 260 inch solid motor, full length.|
|Saturn LCB-Storable-250 American orbital launch vehicle. Boeing Low-Cost Saturn Derivative Study, 1967 (trade study of 260 inch first stages for S-IVB, all delivering 86,000 lb payload to LEO): Low Cost Booster, Single Pressure-fed N2O4/UDMH Propellant engine, Ni-250 Steel Hull.|
|Super-Jupiter American orbital launch vehicle. The very first design that would lead to Saturn. A 1.5 million pound thrust booster using four E-1 engines - initial consideration of using a single USAF F-1 engine abandoned because of development time. Existing missile tankage was clustered above the engines.|
|Uprated Saturn I American orbital launch vehicle. Initial version of Saturn IB with old-design Saturn IB first stage.|
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Saturn I (1959)|
Saturn I configuration for Project Horizon
Credit: US Army
|Saturn I Stages|
Saturn I , stages 1 to 3, configuration for Project Horizon (1959)
Credit: US Army
As conceived for Project Horizon, 1958.
Credit: © Mark Wade
Credit: © Mark Wade
The Juno-5 was designed to be air-transportable and assembled at austere launch pads.
|Juno-5 Parallel Stag|
A parallel staging scheme was considered for the Juno-5. This would have resulted in a vehicle similar to the Russian R-7 launcher.
Full recovery and reuse of the Juno-5 was planned. The structural provisions were retained in the earliest Saturn I test vehicles, but never used.
|Juno-5 on Test Stand|
The very first Juno-5 test article firing on the stand at the Redstone Arsenal.
|Saturn A-1 to C-5|
Credit: © Mark Wade
Credit: © Mark Wade
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Saturn 1B LC34|
|Saturn 1B LC39|
|Saturn 1B with LM|
Saturn 1B with LM Payload
|Saturn 1B rad|
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Saturn 1B/4 SRBs|
Saturn 1B with 4 solids replacing S-1B
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Saturn 1B/MM SRB|
Saturn 1B with Minuteman strapons
Credit: © Mark Wade
The U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., began studies of a large clustered-engine booster to generate 1.5 million pounds of thrust, as one of a related group of space vehicles. During 1957-1958, approximately 50,000 man-hours were expended in this effort.
AFBMD presented the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board's Ad Hoc Committee with a summary of follow-on ballistic missile weapon systems and advanced space programs that could be undertaken. Included among the programs was the proposed development of high-thrust space vehicles for orbital and lunar flights.
The Army Ballistic Missile Agency completed and forwarded to higher authority the first edition of A National Integrated Missile and Space Vehicle Development Program, which had been in preparation since April 1957. Included was a "short-cut development program" for large payload capabilities, covering the clustered-engine booster of 1.5 million pounds of thrust to be operational in 1963. The total development cost of $850 million during the years 1958-1963 covered 30 research and development flights, some carrying manned and unmanned space payloads. One of six conclusions given in the document was that "Development of the large (1520 K-pounds thrust) booster is considered the key to space exploration and warfare." Later vehicles with greater thrust were also described.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency ARPA provided the Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) with authority and initial funding to develop the Juno V (later named Saturn launch vehicle. ARPA Order 14 described the project: "Initiate a development program to provide a large space vehicle booster of approximately 1.5 million pounds of thrust based on a cluster of available rocket engines. The immediate goal of this program is to demonstrate a full-scale captive dynamic firing by the end of calendar year 1959." Within AOMC, the Juno V project was assigned to the Army Ballistic Missile Agency at Redstone Arsenal Huntsville, Ala.
Following a Memorandum of Agreement between Maj. Gen. John B. Medaris of Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) and Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) Director Roy W. Johnson on this date and a meeting on November 4, ARPA and AOMC representatives agreed to extend the Juno V project. The objective of ARPA Order 14 was changed from booster feasibility demonstration to "the development of a reliable high performance booster to serve as the first stage of a multistage carrier vehicle capable of performing advanced missions."
Representatives of Advanced Research Projects Agency, the military services, and NASA met to consider the development of future launch vehicle systems. Agreement was reached on the principle of developing a small number of versatile launch vehicle systems of different thrust capabilities, the reliability of which could be expected to be improved through use by both the military services and NASA.
The Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC), the Air Force, and missile contractors presented to the ARPA-NASA Large Booster Review Committee their views on the quickest and surest way for the United States to attain large booster capability. The Committee decided that the Juno V approach advocated by AOMC was best and NASA started plans to utilize the Juno V booster.
Maj. Gen. John B. Medaris of the Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) and Roy W. Johnson of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) discussed the urgency of early agreement between ARPA and NASA on the configuration of the Saturn upper stages. Several discussions between ARPA and NASA had been held on this subject. Johnson expected to reach agreement with NASA the following week. He agreed that AOMC would participate in the overall upper stage planning to ensure compatibility of the booster and upper stages.
In response to a request by the DOD-NASA) Saturn Ad Hoc Committee, the Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) sent a supplement to the "Saturn System Study" to the Advanced Research Projects Agency ARPA describing the use of Titan for Saturn upper stages. Additional Details: here....
The first Rocketdyne H-1 engine for the Saturn arrived at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA ). The H-1 engine was installed in the ABMA test stand on May 7, first test-fired on May 21, and fired for 80 seconds on May 29. The first long-duration firing - 151.03 seconds - was on June 2.
The national booster program, Dyna-Soar, and Project Mercury were discussed by the Research Steering Committee. Members also presented reviews of Center programs related to manned space flight. Maxime A. Faget of STG endorsed lunar exploration as the present goal of the Committee although recognizing the end objective as manned interplanetary travel. George M. Low of NASA Headquarters recommended that the Committee:
NASA authorized $150,000 for Army Ordnance Missile Command studies of a lunar exploration program based on Saturn-boosted systems. To be included were circumlunar vehicles, unmanned and manned; close lunar orbiters; hard lunar impacts; and soft lunar landings with stationary or roving payloads.
After a meeting with officials concerned with the missile and space program, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced that he intended to transfer to NASA control the Army Ballistic Missile Agency's Development Operations Division personnel and facilities. The transfer, subject to congressional approval, would include the Saturn development program.
The initial plan for transferring the Army Ballistic Missile Agency and Saturn to NASA was drafted. It was submitted to President Dwight D. Eisenhower on December 1 1 and was signed by Secretary of the Army Wilber M. Brucker and Secretary of the Air Force James H. Douglas on December 16 and by NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan on December 17.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency ARPA and NASA requested the Army Ordnance Missile Command AOMC to prepare an engineering and cost study for a new Saturn configuration with a second stage of four 20,000-pound-thrust liquid-hydrogen and liquid-oxygen engines (later called the S-IV stage) and a modified Centaur third stage using two of these engines later designated the S-V stage). Additional Details: here....
H. H. Koelle told members of the Research Steering Committee of mission possibilities being considered at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency. These included an engineering satellite, an orbital return capsule, a space crew training vehicle, a manned orbital laboratory, a manned circumlunar vehicle, and a manned lunar landing and return vehicle. He described the current Saturn configurations, including the "C" launch vehicle to be operational in 1967. The Saturn C (larger than the C-1) would be able to boost 85,000 pounds into earth orbit and 25,000 pounds into an escape trajectory.
The Army Ballistic Missile Agency submitted to NASA the study entitled "A Lunar Exploration Program Based Upon Saturn-Boosted Systems." In addition to the subjects specified in the preliminary report of October 1, 1959, it included manned lunar landings.
Eleven companies submitted contract proposals for the Saturn second stage (S-IV): Bell Aircraft Corporation; The Boeing Airplane Company; Chrysler Corporation; General Dynamics Corporation, Convair Astronautics Division; Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc.; Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation; Lockheed Aircraft Corporation; The Martin Company; McDonnell Aircraft Corporation; North American Aviation, Inc.; and United Aircraft Corporation.
The Army Ballistic Missile Agency's Development Operations Division and the Saturn program were transferred to NASA after the expiration of the 60-day limit for congressional action on the President's proposal of January 14. (The President's decision had been made on October 21, 1959.) By Executive Order, the President named the facilities the "George C. Marshall Space Flight Center." Formal transfer took place on July 1.
Members of STG presented guidelines for an advanced manned spacecraft program to NASA Centers to enlist research assistance in formulating spacecraft and mission design.
To open these discussions, Director Robert R. Gilruth summarized the guidelines: manned lunar reconnaissance with a lunar mission module, corollary earth orbital missions with a lunar mission module and with a space laboratory, compatibility with the Saturn C-1 or C-2 boosters (weight not to exceed 15,000 pounds for a complete lunar spacecraft and 25,000 pounds for an earth orbiting spacecraft), 14-day flight time, safe recovery from aborts, ground and water landing and avoidance of local hazards, point (ten square-mile) landing, 72-hour postlanding survival period, auxiliary propulsion for maneuvering in space, a "shirtsleeve" environment, a three-man crew, radiation protection, primary command of mission on board, and expanded communications and tracking facilities. In addition, a tentative time schedule was included, projecting multiman earth orbit qualification flights beginning near the end of the first quarter of calendar year 1966.
STG's Robert O. Piland, during briefings at NASA Centers, presented a detailed description of the guidelines for missions, propulsion, and flight time in the advanced manned spacecraft program:
The third meeting of the Space Exploration Program Council was held at NASA Headquarters. The question of a speedup of Saturn C-2 production and the possibility of using nuclear upper stages with the Saturn booster were discussed. The Office of Launch Vehicle Programs would plan a study on the merits of using nuclear propulsion for some of NASA's more sophisticated missions. If the study substantiated such a need, the amount of in-house basic research could then be determined.
The fourth meeting of the Space Exploration Program Council was held at NASA Headquarters. The results of a study on Saturn development and utilization was presented by the Ad Hoc Saturn Study Committee. Objectives of the study were to determine (1) if and when the Saturn C-2 launch vehicle should be developed and (2) if mission and spacecraft planning was consistent with the Saturn vehicle development schedule. No change in the NASA Fiscal Year 1962 budget was contemplated. The Committee recommended that the Saturn C-2 development should proceed on schedule (S-II stage contract in Fiscal Year 1962, first flight in 1965). The C-2 would be essential, the study reported, for Apollo manned circumlunar missions, lunar unmanned exploration, Mars and Venus orbiters and capsule landers, probes to other planets and out-of- ecliptic, and for orbital starting of nuclear upper stages. Additional Details: here....
The Manned Lunar Landing Task Group (Low Committee) transmitted its final report to NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr. The Group found that the manned lunar landing mission could be accomplished during the decade, using either the earth orbit rendezvous or direct ascent technique. Multiple launchings of Saturn C-2 launch vehicles would be necessary in the earth orbital mode, while the direct ascent technique would require the development of a Nova-class vehicle. Information to be obtained through supporting unmanned lunar exploration programs, such as Ranger and Surveyor, was felt to be essential in carrying out the manned lunar mission. Total funding for the program was estimated at just under $7 billion through Fiscal Year 1968.
The current Saturn launch vehicle configurations were announced:
Representatives of Marshall Space Flight Center recommended configuration changes for the Saturn C-1 launch vehicles to NASA Headquarters. These included:
NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., established the Ad Hoc Task Group for a Manned Lunar Landing Study, to be chaired by William A. Fleming of NASA Headquarters. The study was expected to produce the following information:
The engineering sketch drawn by John D. Bird of Langley Research Center on May 3, 1961, indicated the thinking of that period: By launching two Saturn C-2's, the lunar landing mission could be accomplished by using both earth rendezvous and lunar rendezvous at various stages of the mission.
After study and discussion by STG and Marshal! Space Flight Center officials, STG concluded that the current 154-inch diameter of the second stage (S-IV) adapter for the Apollo spacecraft would be satisfactory for the Apollo missions on Saturn flights SA-7, SA-8, SA-9, and SA-10.
NASA announced a change in the Saturn C-1 vehicle configuration. The first ten research and development flights would have two stages, instead of three, because of the changed second stage (S-IV) and, starting with the seventh flight vehicle, increased propellant capacity in the first stage (S-1) booster.
Huge Saturn launch complex at Cape Canaveral dedicated in brief ceremony by NASA, construction of which was supervised by the Army Corps of Engineers. Giant gantry, weighing 2,800 tons and being 310 feet high, is largest movable land structure in North America.
'The Lundin Committee completed its study of various vehicle systems for the manned lunar landing mission, as requested on May 25 by NASA associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr. The Committee had considered alternative methods of rendezvous: earth orbit, lunar orbit, a combination of earth and lunar orbit, and lunar surface. Launch vehicles studied were the Saturn C-2 and C-3. Conclusion was that 43,000 kg stage (85% fuel) was needed for a lunar landing mission. The concept of a low- altitude earth orbit rendezvous using two or three C-3's was clearly preferred by the Committee. Reasons for this preference were the small number of launches and orbital operations required and the fact that the Saturn C- 3 was considered to be an efficient launch vehicle of great utility and future growth.
Meeting with Webb/Dryden, work on Saturn C-2 stopped; preliminary design of C-3 and continuing studies of larger vehicles for landing missions requested. STG push for 4 x 6.6 m diameter solid cluster first stage rejected for safety and ground handling reasons.
NASA announced that further engineering design work on the Saturn C-2 configuration would be discontinued and that effort instead would be redirected toward clarification of the Saturn C-3 and Nova concepts. Investigations were specifically directed toward determining capabilities of the proposed C-3 configuration in supporting the Apollo mission.
NASA invited 12 companies to submit prime contractor proposals for the Apollo spacecraft by October 9: The Boeing Airplane Company, Chance Vought Corporation, Douglas Aircraft Company, General Dynamics/Convair, the General Electric Company, Goodyear Aircraft Corporation, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, The Martin Company, North American Aviation, Inc., and Republic Aviation Corporation. Additional Details: here....
Largest known rocket launch to date, the Saturn I 1st stage booster, successful on first test flight from Atlantic Missile Range. With its eight clustered engines developing almost 1.3 million pounds of thrust at launch, the Saturn (SA-1) hurled waterfilled dummy upper stages to an altitude of 84.8 miles and 214.7 miles down range. In a postlaunch statement, Administrator Webb said: "The flight today was a splendid demonstration of the strength of our national space program and an important milestone in the buildup of our national capacity to launch heavy payloads necessary to carry out the program projected by President Kennedy on May 25.".
NASA announced that the Chrysler Corporation had been chosen to build 20 Saturn first-stage (S-1) boosters similar to the one tested successfully on October 27 . They would be constructed at the Michoud facility near New Orleans, La. The contract, worth about $200 million, would run through 1966, with delivery of the first booster scheduled for early 1964.
Power run completed the test series on the Kiwi B-1A reactor system being conducted at the Nevada Test Site by AEC's Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. Fourth in a series of test reactors in the joint AEC-NASA nuclear rocket propulsion program, Kiwi B-1A was disassembled for examination at the conclusion of the test runs.
NASA selected Mason-Rust as the contractor to provide support services at NASA's Michoud plant near New Orleans, providing housekeeping services through June 30, 1962 for the three contractors who would produce the Saturn S-I and S-IB boosters and the Rift nuclear upper-stage vehicle.
Second suborbital test of Saturn I. The Saturn SA-2 first stage booster was launched successfully from Cape Canaveral. The rocket was blown up intentionally and on schedule about 2.5 minutes after liftoff at an altitude of 65 miles, dumping the water ballast from the dummy second and third stages into the upper atmosphere. The experiment, Project Highwater, produced a massive ice cloud and lightning-like effects. The eight clustered H-1 engines in the first stage produced 1.3 million pounds of thrust and the maximum speed attained by the booster was 3,750 miles per hour. Modifications to decrease the slight fuel sloshing encountered near the end of the previous flight test were successful.
Third suborbital test of Saturn I. Saturn-Apollo 3 (Saturn C-1, later called Saturn I) was launched from the Atlantic Missile Range. Upper stages of the launch vehicle were filled with 23000 gallons of water to simulate the weight of live stages. At its peak altitude of 167 kilometers (104 miles), four minutes 53 seconds after launch, the rocket was detonated by explosives upon command from earth. The water was released into the ionosphere, forming a massive cloud of ice particles several miles in diameter. By this experiment, known as "Project Highwater," scientists had hoped to obtain data on atmospheric physics, but poor telemetry made the results questionable. The flight was the third straight success for the Saturn C-1 and the first with maximum fuel on board.
At a meeting of the MSC-MSFC Flight Mechanics Panel, it was agreed that Marshall would investigate "engine-out" capability (i.e., the vehicle's performance should one of its engines fail) for use in abort studies or alternative missions. Not all Saturn I, IB, and V missions included this engine-out capability. Also, the panel decided that the launch escape system would be jettisoned ten seconds after S-IV ignition on Saturn I launch vehicles.
North American completed construction of Apollo boilerplate (BP) 9, consisting of launch escape tower and CSM. It was delivered to MSC on March 18, where dynamic testing on the vehicle began two days later. On April 8, BP-9 was sent to MSFC for compatibility tests with the Saturn I launch vehicle.
The first stage of the Saturn SA-5 launch vehicle was static fired at MSFC for 144.44 seconds in the first long-duration test for a Block II S-1. The cluster of eight H-1 engines produced 680 thousand kilograms (1.5 million pounds) of thrust. An analysis disclosed anomalies in the propulsion system. In a final qualification test two weeks later, when the engines were fired for 143.47 seconds, the propulsion problems had been corrected.
Fourth suborbital test of Saturn I. The S-I Saturn stage reached an altitude of 129 kilometers (80 statute miles) and a peak velocity of 5,906 kilometers (3,660 miles) per hour. This was the last of four successful tests for the first stage of the Saturn I vehicle. After 100 seconds of flight, No. 5 of the booster's eight engines was cut off by a preset timer. That engine's propellants were rerouted to the remaining seven, which continued to burn. This experiment confirmed the "engine-out" capability that MSFC engineers had designed into the Saturn I.
The Defense Department announced the selection of Thiokol Chemical Corporation, Aerojet-General Corporation, and Lockheed Propulsion Company to conduct work on the development of large solid-propellant motors as part of the Space Systems Division's Large Solid Rocket Motor Program (Program 623A). Development work was divided into four tasks: (1) Thiokol and Aerojet-General were to develop 260-inch diameter, solid rocket motors of 3 million pounds of thrust for demonstration static firings; (2) Thiokol was to work on a 156-inch, 3 million-pound thrust, two-segment solid rocket motor; (3) Thiokol was to develop and static fire a 156-inch, one-segment solid rocket motor of one million pounds thrust demonstrating thrust vector control (TVC) through movable nozzles; and (4) Lockheed was to static fire a 156-inch, single segment solid rocket motor of one million pounds thrust that demonstrated TVC through jet tabs.
In what was to have been an acceptance test, the Douglas Aircraft Company static fired the first Saturn S-IV flight stage at Sacramento, Calif. An indication of fire in the engine area forced technicians to shut down the stage after little more than one minute's firing. A week later the acceptance test was repeated, this time without incident, when the vehicle was fired for over seven minutes. (The stage became part of the SA-5 launch vehicle, the first complete Saturn I to fly.)
OMSF, MSC, and Bellcomm representatives, meeting in Washington, D.C., discussed Apollo mission plans: OMSF introduced a requirement that the first manned flight in the Saturn IB program include a LEM. ASPO had planned this flight as a CSM maximum duration mission only.
NASA canceled four manned earth orbital flights with the Saturn I launch vehicle. Six of a series of 10 unmanned Saturn I development flights were still scheduled. Development of the Saturn IB for manned flight would be accelerated and "all-up" testing would be started. This action followed Bellcomm's recommendation of a number of changes in the Apollo spacecraft flight test program. The program should be transferred from Saturn I to Saturn IB launch vehicles; the Saturn I program should end with flight SA-10. All Saturn IB flights, beginning with SA-201, should carry operational spacecraft, including equipment for extensive testing of the spacecraft systems in earth orbit.
Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller had recommended the changeover from the Saturn I to the Saturn IB to NASA Administrator James E. Webb on October 26. Webb's concurrence came two days later.
MSFC directed Rocketdyne to develop an uprated H-1 engine to be used in the first stage of the Saturn IB. In August, Rocketdyne had proposed that the H-1 be uprated from 85,275 to 90,718 kilograms (188,000 to 200,000 pounds) of thrust. The uprated engine promised a 907-kilogram (2,000 pound) increase in the Saturn IB's orbital payload, yet required no major systems changes and only minor structural modifications.
First first mission of Block II Saturn with two live stages. SA-5, a vehicle development flight, was launched from Cape Kennedy Complex 37B at 11:25:01.41, e.s.t. This was the first flight of the Saturn I Block II configuration (i.e., lengthened fuel tanks in the S-1 and stabilizing tail fins), as well as the first flight of a live (powered) S-IV upper stage. The S-1, powered by eight H-1 engines, reached a full thrust of over 680,400 kilograms (1.5 million pounds) the first time in flight. The S-IV's 41,000 kilogram (90,000-pound-thrust cluster of six liquid-hydrogen RL-10 engines performed as expected. The Block II SA-5 was also the first flight test of the Saturn I guidance system.
Popovich has left on a tour of Australia, and Tereshkova is in England. The propaganda front of the Soviet space program is going well. But Kamanin is disquieted by the American testing of the Saturn I rocket. Its 17 tonne payload is more than double that of any Soviet booster. Greater efforts are needed, instead he is wasting his time editing Tereshkova's new book...
Lockheed Propulsion Company test fired a 156-inch diameter, solid-propellant rocket motor for the first time. The one-segment test motor (156-3-L), with tab jet thrust vector control, produced more than 900,000 pounds of thrust during its 110-second firing. The test was conducted as part of the Space Systems Division's Large Solid Rocket Motor research and development program (Program 623A).
Thiokol Chemical Corporation's Wasatch Division fired its first 156-inch, one-segment, solid rocket motor (156-1-T) with gimballed nozzle thrust vector control. The motor produced approximately 1.3 million pounds of thrust for two minutes. This was the third test firing of a 156-inch solid rocket motor in Space Systems Division's Large Solid Rocket Motor Program (Program 623A).
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). Additional Details: here....
A Saturn I vehicle SA-9 launched a multiple payload into a high 744 by 496 km (462 by 308 mi) earth orbit. The rocket carried a boilerplate (BP) CSM (BP-16) and, fitted inside the SM, the Pegasus I meteoroid detection satellite. This was the eighth successful Saturn flight in a row, and the first to carry an active payload. BP-16's launch escape tower was jettisoned following second-stage S-IV ignition. After attaining orbit, the spacecraft were separated from the S-IV. Thereupon the Pegasus I's panels were deployed and were ready to perform their task, i.e., registering meteoroid impact and relaying the information to the ground.
The Thiokol Chemical Corporation (Brunswick Division) static-fired a two-segment, 156-inch diameter, 100-foot long solid-propellant rocket motor (156-2-T). This 900,000-pound motor, the largest solid-propellant motor yet fired, generated over three million pounds of thrust for one minute, more than twice as much as any previous motor. This test firing was intended to validate design criteria for the 260-inch motor program that was officially transferred from Space Systems Division management to that of NASA's Lewis Research Center (LeRC) on 1 March.
MSC requested that Grumman incorporate in the command list for LEMs 1, 2, and 3 the capability for turning the LEM transponder off and on by real-time radio command from the Manned Space Flight Network. Necessity for capability of radio command for turning the LEM transponder on after LEM separation resulted from ASPO's decision that the LEM and Saturn instrument unit S-band transponders would use the same transmission and reception frequencies.
The first stage of the Saturn IB booster (the S-IB-1) underwent its first static firing at Huntsville, Alabama. The stage's eight uprated H-1 engines produced about 71,168-kilonewtons (1.6 million lbs) thrust. On April 23, Marshall and Rocketdyne announced that the uprated H-1 had passed qualification testing and was ready for flight.
Pegasus 2 was a meteoroid detection satellite. The Saturn I launch vehicle (SA-8) placed the spacecraft, protected by a boilerplate CSM (BP-26), into a 740-by-509-km (460-by-316-mi) orbit. Once in orbit, the dummy CSM was jettisoned. Pegasus 2, still attached to the second stage of the launch vehicle, then deployed its 29-m (96-ft) winglike panels. Within several hours, the device began registering meteoroid hits.
Independent studies were made at MSC and North American to determine effects and impact of off-loading certain Block II service propulsion system components for Saturn IB missions. The contractor was requested to determine the weight change involved and schedule and cost impact of removing one oxidizer tank, one fuel tank, one helium tank and all associated hardware (fuel and oxidizer transfer lines, propellant quantity sensors and certain gaging wire harnesses) from CSM 101 and CSM 103. The MSC study was oriented toward determining technical problems associated with such a change and the effects on spacecraft operational requirements. The North American study indicated that removing the equipment would save about 690 000, along with a weight reduction of approximately 454 kg (1,000 lbs). Additional Details: here....
Officials from Bellcomm, MSFC, and the Apollo offices in Houston and in Washington planned primary and alternate missions for the Saturn IB (applicable to SA-201 through SA-208). On July 16, the Office of Manned Space Flight specified launch vehicles (both Saturn IB and V hardware) for Apollo missions.
North American reported to MSC that no structural changes to the spacecraft would be required for uprating the thrust of the Saturn IB's H-1 engine from 90,718 to 92,986 kg (200,000 to 205,000 lbs). Effects on the performance of the launch escape vehicle would be negligible.
During the preceding six months, officials in ASPO and the Engineering and Development Directorate evaluated the performance of the launch escape vehicle (LEV) during aborts on and near the launch pad. That performance, they had determined, was inadequate. To solve this problem, MSC ordered North American to incorporate a number of design changes in both the LEV and the spacecraft:
NASA launched Pegasus 3, third of the meteoroid detection satellites, as scheduled at 8:00 a.m. EST, from Cape Kennedy. As earlier, an Apollo spacecraft (boilerplate 9) served as the payload's shroud. This flight (SA-10) marked the end of the Saturn I program, which during its seven-year lifetime had achieved 10 straight successful launches and had contributed immeasurably to American rocket technology.
Samuel C. Phillips, Apollo Program Director, notified the Center directors and Apollo program managers in Houston, Huntsville, and Cape Kennedy that OMSF's launch schedule for Apollo-Saturn IB flights had been revised, based on delivery of CSMs 009 and 011:
A decision made at a Program Management Review eliminated the requirement for a land impact program for the CM to support Block I flights. Post-abort CM land impact for Saturn IB launches had been eliminated from Complex 37 by changes to the sequence timers in the launch escape system abort mode. The Certification Test Specification and related Certification Test Requirements would reflect the new Block II land impact requirements.
Motor 156-6-L was a monolithic motor with a high burn rate propellant and submerged nozzle. During its one minute test firing, the motor generated over three million pounds of thrust. This was the sixth test firing in Space Systems Division's Large Solid Rocket Motor Program (Program 623A).
Apollo-Saturn 201 was launched from Cape Kennedy, with liftoff of an Apollo Block I spacecraft (CSM 009) on a Saturn IB launch vehicle at 11:12:01 EST. Launched from Launch Complex 34, the unmanned suborbital mission was the first flight test of the Saturn IB and an Apollo spacecraft. Total launch weight was 22,000 kilograms.
Spacecraft communications blackout lasted 1 minute 22 seconds. Reentry was initiated with a space-fixed velocity of 29,000 kilometers per hour. CM structure and heatshields performed adequately. The CM was recovered by the USS Boxer from the Atlantic about 72 kilometers uprange from the planned landing point. (8.18 S x 11.15 W).
A memo to KSC, MSC, and MSFC from the NASA Office of Manned Space Flight reported that the NASA Project Designation Committee had concurred in changes in Saturn/Apollo nomenclature recommended by Robert C. Seamans, Jr., George E. Mueller, and Julian Scheer:
First orbital test Saturn IB; no spacecraft. AS-203 lifted off from Launch Complex 37, Eastern Test Range, at 10:53 a.m. EDT in the second of three Apollo-Saturn missions scheduled before manned flight in the Apollo program. All objectives - to acquire flight data on the S-IVB stage and instrument unit - were achieved.
The uprated Saturn I - consisting of an S-IB stage, S-IVB stage, and an instrument unit - boosted an unmanned payload into an original orbit of 185 by 189 kilometers. The inboard engine cutoff of the first stage occurred after 2 minutes 18 seconds of flight and the outboard engine cutoff was 4 seconds later. The S-IVB engine burned 4 minutes 50 seconds. No recovery was planned and the payload was expected to enter the earth's atmosphere after about four days.
NASA signed a supplemental agreement with Chrysler Corp.'s Space Division at New Orleans, La., converting the uprated Saturn I first-stage production contract from cost-plus-fixed-fee to cost-plus-incentive-fee. Under the agreement, valued at $339 million, the amount of the contractor's fee would be based on ability to perform assigned tasks satisfactorily and meet prescribed costs and schedules. The contract called for Chrysler to manufacture, assemble and test 12 uprated Saturn I first stages and provide system engineering, integration support, ground support equipment, and launch services.
Spacecraft 011 was essentially a Block I spacecraft with the following exceptions: couches, crew equipment, and the cabin postlanding ventilation were omitted; and three auxiliary batteries, a mission control programmer, four cameras, and flight qualification instrumentation were added.
Of six primary test objectives assigned to the mission, the objectives for the environmental control, electrical power, and communications subsystems were not completely satisfied. All other spacecraft test objectives were successfully accomplished.
The first manned flight of the Apollo CSM, the Apollo C category mission, was planned for the last quarter of 1966. Numerous problems with the Apollo Block I spacecraft resulted in a flight delay to February 1967. The crew of Virgil I. Grissom, Edward H. White II, and Roger B. Chaffee, was killed in a fire while testing their capsule on the pad on 27 January 1967, still weeks away from launch. The designation AS-204 was used by NASA for the flight at the time; the designation Apollo 1 was applied retroactively at the request of Grissom's widow.
Thiokol Chemical Corporation's Wasatch Division test fired the ninth 156-inch diameter, solid-propellant motor in Space Systems Division's Large Solid Rocket Motor Program (Program 623A). Motor 156-9-T demonstrated a flexible seal thrust vector control system while generating more than one million pounds of thrust for one minute.
NASA launched Apollo 5 - the first, unmanned LM flight - on a Saturn IB from KSC Launch Complex 37B at 5:48:08 p.m. EST. Mission objectives included verifying operation of the LM structure itself and its two primary propulsion systems, to evaluate LM staging, and to evaluate orbital performances of the S-IVB stage and instrument unit. Flight of the AS-204 launch vehicle went as planned, with nosecone (replacing the CSM) jettisoned and LM separating. Flight of LM-1 also went as planned up to the first descent propulsion engine firing. Because velocity increase did not build up as quickly as predicted, the LM guidance system shut the engine down after only four seconds of operation, boosting the LM only to a 171 x 222 km orbit. Mission control personnel in Houston and supporting groups quickly analyzed the problem. They determined that the difficulty was one of guidance software only (and not a fault in hardware design) and pursued an alternate mission plan that ensured meeting the minimum requirements necessary to achieve the primary objectives of the mission. The ascent stage separated and boosted itself into a 172 x 961 km orbit. After mission completion at 2:45 a.m. EST January 23, LM stages were left in orbit to reenter the atmosphere later and disintegrate. Apollo program directors attributed success of the mission to careful preplanning of alternate ways to accomplish flight objectives in the face of unforeseen events.
Thiokol-Wasatch Division test fired the 10th, and final, 156-inch diameter, solid-propellant rocket motor (156-8-T). The motor developed one million pounds of thrust during its 118-second firing, which tested a segmented fiberglass case and non-hydroclaved nozzle provided by the Air Force Materials Laboratory (AFML). This test firing completed the Large Solid Rocket Motor Program (Program 623A) begun under Space Systems Division management in 1963.
MSFC and KSC officials agreed upon procedures for maintaining the capability to check out and launch the remaining Saturn IB vehicle inventory. Their joint recommendations included a phasedown on contractor activity following the AS 205 launch; deactivation of Launch Complexes 34 and 37 to allow maximum storage of equipment and minimum maintenance on items remaining in place; and continuance of KSC analysis of manpower required to support the AAP dual launch requirement, with contractor participation at the earliest date.
Apollo 7 (AS-205), the first manned Apollo flight, lifted off from Launch Complex 34 at Cape Kennedy Oct. 11, carrying Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Donn F. Eisele, and R. Walter Cunningham. The countdown had proceeded smoothly, with only a slight delay because of additional time required to chill the hydrogen system in the S-IVB stage of the Saturn launch vehicle. Liftoff came at 11:03 a.m. EDT. Shortly after insertion into orbit, the S-IVB stage separated from the CSM, and Schirra and his crew performed a simulated docking with the S-IVB stage, maneuvering to within 1.2 meters of the rocket. Although spacecraft separation was normal, the crew reported that one adapter panel had not fully deployed. Two burns using the reaction control system separated the spacecraft and launch stage and set the stage for an orbital rendezvous maneuver, which the crew made on the second day of the flight, using the service propulsion engine.
Crew and spacecraft performed well throughout the mission. During eight burns of the service propulsion system during the flight, the engine functioned normally. October 14, third day of the mission, witnessed the first live television broadcast from a manned American spacecraft.
Management of the Saturn IB project and AAP-assigned spacecraft was transferred from the Apollo program to AAP. This transfer of management responsibility included Saturn IB launch vehicles SA-206 through SA-212 and Saturn IB unique spares and unique facilities. The Apollo program would continue to fund the Saturn IB effort through FY 1969, except for that effort unique to AAP. Beginning in FY 1970, the Saturn IB funding would be an AAP responsibility. This transfer of responsibilities placed management of the Saturn IB project under control of the program that would use it and relieved Apollo management of some responsibilities, allowing more time for concentration on the mainline Apollo program.
KSC officials and AAP managers recommended to the Manned Space Flight Management Council that the Saturn IB AAP launches take place from LC-37 rather than LC-34. They were incorporating the recommendation into the latest program operating plan proposals. If the recommendation were accepted, LC-34 would be partially deactivated and placed in a 'down- mode' condition.
A major study was performed by KSC, The Boeing Company, and Chrysler Corporation to determine the feasibility of launching S-IB vehicles from LC-39. Major facilities and equipment needed to convert LC-39 to an elevated pedestal configuration were studied, as well as estimated cost figures, program schedules, and interrelationships with other NASA programs. The study indicated that use of the elevated pedestal concept in LC-39 appeared technically and operationally feasible. However, because of the close operational coupling of the Apollo and AAP if this concept were implemented, it was decided to defer further consideration of this concept.
KSC Director Kurt H. Debus announced that LC-34 would be used for Saturn IB-related AAP manned launches (scheduled to begin in mid-1972), while LC-37 would be placed in a semi- deactivated 'minimum maintenance' condition. Thomas W. Morgan, AAP Manager of the Florida Center, said that design of modifications to LC-34 to meet the needs of AAP would begin on 1 January 1970, while the modifications to the pad itself would begin around the end of the summer. The current estimate for the cost of modifying the complex and bringing it to a state of readiness was about $3.7 million.
NASA Hq announced that both the manned and unmanned (Saturn IB and Saturn V) launches of the Skylab Program would be from KSC LC-39. Previous plans were to conduct the Saturn IB launches from LC-34, a part of the U.S. Air Force Eastern Test Range used by NASA, a tenant at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. However, program studies showed the feasibility of the pedestal concept of launching the Saturn IB from LC-39 and indicated a cost savings of $13.5 million. The pedestal would be of standard steel structural design; however, there were unique conditions considered. One of these was the requirement to withstand engine exhaust temperatures of 3000 K (5000°F). Another dealt with winds. The pedestal was designed to launch an S-IB at maximum vehicle allowed winds (59.4 km) and to withstand a 200-km per hr hurricane without the launch vehicle. Launch Complex 34, which became operational in 1961, was placed in a standby condition after the Apollo 7 flight in October 1968. It would have required extensive updating of equipment and repairs to ready it for the Skylab Program.
With the issuance of the Launch Complex 34/37 Phaseout Plan, Skylab Program management responsibility- for these two launch complexes was terminated. Although use of Launch Complex 37 for Space Shuttle engine testing had been considered, other options were chosen, and the complexes were to be removed from NASA operational facilities inventory.
MSFC modified a contract with Chrysler Corporation to authorize additional work in the Saturn IB program. Chrysler was the prime contractor for the first stage of the Saturn IB, which was assembled at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Under the current modification, the company would maintain nine Saturn IB boosters in storage. Three of the nine vehicles were for the Skylab Program and would be launched in 1973. Those three, plus a fourth that would serve as a backup, would be maintained and modified as necessary under terms of this contract. Prelaunch checkout of the Skylab vehicles would also be accomplished under this modification. The period of performance was from 1 January 1971 to 15 August 1973. Six of the vehicles were located at the Michoud Facility; the other three were at MSFC in Huntsville.
MSFC awarded Chrysler's Space Division a contract modification for additional work on Saturn IB launch vehicle booster stages. The contract extension would run through 31 January 1974. The additional work was to refurbish four S-IB booster stages that would be used in the Skylab Program in 1973. The fourth vehicle (SA-209) would be assigned as a backup. All four stages had been in storage for several years. The major portion of the work would be removing the stages from storage, preparing them for delivery to KSC, and providing launch support to them throughout the Skylab launch readiness period, which would end in early 1974. Most of the work would be done at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, but some work would be done at MSFC.
The Skylab 2 spacecraft, mated to its launch vehicle, was transferred 27 February from the KSC Vehicle Assembly- Building to Launch Complex 39B in preparation for launch. The SL-2 space vehicle consisted of the following major components: an S-IB (the first stage); an S-IVB (the second stage, which comprised the propulsion stages); an IU; a CSM; and an SLA. Additional Details: here....
Epic repair mission which brought Skylab into working order. Included such great moments as Conrad being flung through space by the whiplash after heaving on the solar wing just as the debris constraining it gave way; deployment of a lightweight solar shield, developed in Houston in one week, which brought the temperatures down to tolerable levels. With this flight US again took manned spaceflight duration record.
Skylab 2 , consisting of a modified Apollo CSM payload and a Saturn IB launch vehicle, was inserted into Earth orbit approximately 10 minutes after liftoff. The orbit achieved was 357 by 156 km and, during a six-hour period following insertion, four maneuvers placed the CSM into a 424 by 415 km orbit for rendezvous with the Orbital Workshop. Normal rendezvous sequencing led to stationkeeping during the fifth revolution followed by a flyaround inspection of the damage to the OWS. The crew provided a verbal description of the damage in conjunction with 15 minutes of television coverage. The solar array system wing (beam) 2 was completely missing. The solar array system wing (beam) 1 was slightly deployed and was restrained by a fragment of the meteoroid shield. Large sections of the meteoroid shield were missing. Following the flyaround inspection, the CSM soft-docked with the OWS at 5:56 p.m. EDT to plan the next activities. At 6:45 p.m. EDT the CSM undocked and extravehicular activity was initiated to deploy the beam 1 solar array. The attempt failed. Frustration of the crew was compounded when eight attempts were required to achieve hard docking with the OWS. The hard dock was made at 11:50 p.m. EDT, terminating a Skylab 2 first-day crew work period of 22 hours.
The Skylab 3 space vehicle was moved to KSC Launch Complex 39, Pad B, on 11 June in preparation for launch. The space vehicle consisted of a Saturn IB launch vehicle S-IB-207 first stage, S-IVB-207 second stage, and a S-IU-208 instrument unit; a CSM; and a spacecraft lunar module adapter. Additional Details: here....
Continued maintenance of the Skylab space station and extensive scientific and medical experiments. Installed twinpole solar shield on EVA; performed major inflight maintenance; doubled record for length of time in space. Completed 858 Earth orbits and 1,081 hours of solar and Earth experiments; three EVAs totalled 13 hours, 43 minutes.
The space vehicle, consisting of a modified Apollo command and service module payload on a Saturn IB launch vehicle, was inserted into a 231.3 by 154.7 km orbit. Rendezvous maneuvers were performed during the first five orbits as planned. During the rendezvous, the CSM reaction control system forward firing engine oxidizer valve leaked. The quad was isolated. Station-keeping with the Saturn Workshop began approximately 8 hours after liftoff, with docking being performed about 30 minutes later.
Final Skylab mission; included observation and photography of Comet Kohoutek among numerous experiments. Completed 1,214 Earth orbits and four EVAs totalling 22 hours, 13 minutes. Increased manned space flight time record by 50%. Rebellion by crew against NASA Ground Control overtasking led to none of the crew ever flying again. Biological experiments included two Mummichog fish (Fundulus heteroclitus).
The space vehicle consisted of a modified Apollo CSM and a Saturn IB launch vehicle. All launch phase events were normal, and the CSM was inserted into a 150.1- by 227.08-km orbit. The rendezvous sequence was performed according to the anticipated timeline. Stationkeeping was initiated about seven and one-half hours after liftoff, and hard docking was achieved about 30 minutes later following two unsuccessful docking attempts. Planned duration of the mission was 56 days, with the option of extending it to a maximum of 84 days.
KSC was directed to discontinue plans for the Skylab rescue capability and to move the rescue vehicle (SA-209 and CSM-119) back to the Vehicle Assembly Building. Upon completion of this action, Headquarters responsibility for the SA-209 and CSM-119 would be transferred to the Program Director of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Program.
This flight marked the culmination of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, a post-moon race 'goodwill' flight to test a common docking system for space rescue. 15 July 1975 began with the flawless launch of Soyuz 19. Apollo followed right on schedule. Despite a stowaway - a 'super Florida mosquito' - the crew accomplished a series of rendezvous manoeuvres over the next day resulting in rendezvous with Soyuz 19. At 11:10 on 17 July the two spacecraft docked. The crew members rotated between the two spacecraft and conducted various mainly ceremonial activities. Stafford spent 7 hours, 10 minutes aboard Soyuz, Brand 6:30, and Slayton 1:35. Leonov was on the American side for 5 hours, 43 minutes, while Kubasov spent 4:57 in the command and docking modules.
After being docked for nearly 44 hours, Apollo and Soyuz parted for the first time and were station-keeping at a range of 50 meters. The Apollo crew placed its craft between Soyuz and the sun so that the diameter of the service module formed a disk which blocked out the sun. This artificial solar eclipse, as viewed from Soyuz, permitted photography of the solar corona. After this experiment Apollo moved towards Soyuz for the second docking.
Three hours later Apollo and Soyuz undocked for the second and final time. The spacecraft moved to a 40 m station-keeping distance so that the ultraviolet absorption (UVA MA-059) experiment could be performed. This was an effort to more precisely determine the quantities of atomic oxygen and atomic nitrogen existing at such altitudes. Apollo, flying out of plane around Soyuz, projected monochromatic laser-like beams of light to retro-reflectors mounted on Soyuz. On the 150-meter phase of the experiment, light from a Soyuz port led to a misalignment of the spectrometer, but on the 500-meter pass excellent data were received; on the 1,000-meter pass satisfactory results were also obtained.
With all the joint flight activities completed, the ships went on their separate ways. On 20 July the Apollo crew conducted earth observation, experiments in the multipurpose furnace (MA-010), extreme ultraviolet surveying (MA-083), crystal growth (MA-085), and helium glow (MA-088). On 21 July Soyuz 19 landed safely in Kazakhstan. Apollo continued in orbit on 22-23 July to conduct 23 independent experiments - including a doppler tracking experiment (MA-089) and geodynamics experiment (MA-128) designed to verify which of two techniques would be best suited for studying plate tectonics from earth orbit.
After donning their space suits, the crew vented the command module tunnel and jettisoned the docking module. The docking module would continue on its way until it re-entered the earth's atmosphere and burned up in August 1975.