Saturn 1B - COSPAR 1966-059
Status: Retired 1975. First Launch: 1966-02-26. Last Launch: 1975-07-15. Number: 7 . Payload: 18,600 kg (41,000 lb). Thrust: 7,295.10 kN (1,640,004 lbf). Gross mass: 589,770 kg (1,300,220 lb). Height: 51.00 m (167.00 ft). Diameter: 6.61 m (21.68 ft). Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).
From Stages to Saturn:
In July 1962, when NASA announced its intention to use the lunar orbit rendezvous, the space agency also released details on the two other Saturn vehicles. The three-stage Saturn V was planned for the lunar mission. A corollary decision called for development of an interim vehicle, the Saturn IB, to permit early testing of Apollo-Saturn hardware, such as the manned command and service modules, and the manned lunar excursion module in Earth orbit, as well as the S-IVB stage of the Saturn V. This decision permitted such flight testing a year before the Saturn V would be available. Chrysler's initial contract, completed late in 1962, called for 13 first-stage Saturn IB boosters and 8 Saturn I first-stage boosters.
In most respects, the new S-IB first-stage booster retained the size and shape of its S-I predecessor. The upper area was modified to take the larger-diameter and heavier S-IVB upper stage, and the aerodynamic fins were redesigned for the longer and heavier vehicle. The Saturn IB mounted its eight H-I engines in the same cluster pattern as the Saturn I, although successive improvements raised the total thrust of each engine to 890 000 newtons (200 000 pounds) and then to 912 000 newtons (205 000 pounds). The thrust increase raised the overall performance of the Saturn IB; the performance was further enhanced by cutting some 9000 kilograms of weight from the stage cluster. A more compact fin design accounted for part of the reduction, along with modifications to the propellant tanks, spider beam, and other components and removal of various tubes and brackets no longer required. Additional weight savings accrued from changes in the instrument unit and S-IVB, and the insights gained from the operational flights of Saturn I. Many times, engineers came to realize designs had been too conservative-too heavy or unnecessarily redundant. The production techniques worked out for the Saturn S-I stage were directly applicable to the S-IB, so no major retooling or change in the manufacturing sequence was required. With so few basic changes in the booster configuration, existing checkout and test procedures could also be applied. At Huntsville, appropriate modifications were made to the dynamic test stand to account for the different payload configurations of the Saturn IB and the same static test stand served just as well for the S-IB first stage, although engineers reworked the stand's second test position to accept additional S-IB stages.
LEO Payload: 18,600 kg (41,000 lb) to a 185 km orbit at 28.00 degrees. Development Cost $: 1,002.200 million. Launch Price $: 107.000 million in 1965 dollars in 1967 dollars.
Stage Data - Saturn IB
Credit: © Mark Wade
Credit: © Mark Wade
|Saturn 1B LC39|
|Saturn 1B LC34|
|Saturn 1B with LM|
Saturn 1B with LM Payload
|Saturn 1B rad|
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.
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....
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.