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Saturn V: Cheaper To Launch Than The Shuttle?  
User currently offlineThrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2691 posts, RR: 10
Posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 14138 times:

I had a question regarding why the Saturn V was never brought back to service. I understand that budget cuts resulted in its decommissioning, but the Saturn V in today's dollars cost less to launch individually than a shuttle launch individually ($1.1 billion in today's dollars versus $1.5 billion for the shuttle). While it didn't carry as many people up at once, its payload was much heavier and we have been without a heavy-lift booster since its retirement. I guess I wanted to know why they didn't redesign the command module again and again over the years, or build another heavy-lift booster to take its place. Also, would the Saturn V, aside from the fact that it has early 1970s technology, be an efficient rocket by today's standards? Thanks.


Fly one thing; Fly it well
82 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31440 posts, RR: 85
Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 14119 times:
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Since we are not sending payloads to the Moon, the Delta IV and (now retired) Titan IV have enough "oomph" to reach the necessary Earth orbits. There is also the Ariane 5 and the Russians are developing some new heavy lift launch systems (Angara). There is also the Atlas V HLV option if someone wants it.

User currently offlineThrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2691 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 14087 times:

I read recently in an article published in April about a vehicle called SpaceX which would be the biggest rocket to be launched since the Saturn V, capable of carrying both cargo and people. What is the likelihood of another program like the constellation being developed by NASA in the next ten years? I've heard NASA may be done with launching people and may be handing that job over to other companies.


Fly one thing; Fly it well
User currently offlineThrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2691 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 14087 times:

Also, I'd wonder why they're not using the Saturn V since the last Saturn V launch put skylab, an entire space station, into orbit with just one launch. That's equivalent to more than a couple of shuttle launches. I'm not sure if the Delta, Titan, or Atlases are capable of launching something the size of Skylab into orbit with one launch.


Fly one thing; Fly it well
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3594 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 14080 times:
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SpaceX is a company that is developing a launcher - Falcon 9 Heavy.

http://www.spacex.com/falcon_heavy.php

You may recall the recent flight of the Dragon spacecraft - first commercial spacecraft to reenter & land from orbit. This was also a SpaceX project.



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User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3594 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 14076 times:
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Quoting Thrust (Reply 3):
Also, I'd wonder why they're not using the Saturn V since the last Saturn V launch put skylab, an entire space station, into orbit with just one launch.

Primary problem with Saturn V was there were no payloads that required that much lift capability. Congress/NASA cut the funds for the payloads that would have used the Saturn V, which is why we now have Saturn Vs available to see in a museum...



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User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1903 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 13912 times:

Even if you count the developement launches, you only had 13 S-Vs launch at $6.5 billion in 68 dollars, or $44 billion in todays dollars. That's about $3.3 billion a launch. And having to develop the hardware and systems to accomplish all the missions the shuttle handled would have driven the cost up further.
If you want to know why something happened you should start by not fudging numbers to support your premade conclusion.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12185 posts, RR: 51
Reply 7, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 13832 times:

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 6):
Even if you count the developement launches, you only had 13 S-Vs launch

Correct. But to put the mighty Saturn V into prospective, it never had a launch failure. Something no other rocket before or since can claim.

Quoting Thrust (Thread starter):
Also, would the Saturn V, aside from the fact that it has early 1970s technology, be an efficient rocket by today's standards?

The work on the design that became the S-V began in 1960 (as the Saturn I), but the Saturn V is a direct decendent of the German V-2 rocket of WWII.

The first stage of the S-V developed some 7,500,000 lbs of thrust, from 5 F-1 engines.
The second stage developed some 1,000,000 lbs of thrust from 5 J-1 engines.
The third stage developed some 200,000 lbs of thrust from 1 J-1 engine.

Saturn V numbers;

SA-500D and SA-500F were test and fit models, and never intended to fly.
SA-501 to SA-513 were all flight vehicles, with SA-501 and SA-502 unmanned (SA-502 came the closest to being called a launch failure as the 2nd and 3rd stages had some thrust problems. The 1st stage worked flawlessly). SA-514 and SA-515 are on display (with different 2nd or 3rd stages from SA-500D and SA-500F), so their 2 & # stages could be dispalyed at additional museums.

The Saturn V is still the HLV Champion, able to send up to 259,600 lbs (118,000 kg) into LEO. If the S-V program were to be revived today, it would be the most efficent vehicle, in terms of weight lifted, for any Mars Mission.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13254 posts, RR: 77
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 13744 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
Correct. But to put the mighty Saturn V into prospective, it never had a launch failure. Something no other rocket before or since can claim.

I'm a huge admirer of the Saturn, it was amazing to see one on display at KSC museum.
However, while I agree that the Saturn was much safer than the Shuttle, it took the 25th flight of a STS to have a failure, Saturn V never got to that many launches and you have to wonder if it's record could have been sustained.

Still, I wish it had continued, including a improved Saturn I for Apollo to LEO.


User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10937 posts, RR: 37
Reply 9, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 13726 times:

I have a question regarding the cost per seat on Soyuz launchers (with 3 astronauts per launchà vs. cost per seat on Space Shuttle flights taking from 4 up to 6 astronauts depending on missions taking into account the fact that the Soyuz will not take payload while the Shuttle can take payload up to the Station every time it goes up.

I suppose the ATV and Progress and the Japanese unmanned vehicle will be the ones used to take payload now that the Shuttles will be grounded after Atlantis last flight and the Soyuz will be used to take all the astronauts to the Station until the U.S. has a new human carrier to transport them.

Not sure when SpaceX will have their system ready and going for taking the astronauts to the ISS. I wonder if ESA would ever consider building their own astronaut transport vehicle they could send on a more powerful model of the Ariane 5 maybe an Ariane 6 or maybe a re-arranged ATV fit for astronaut transport?
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Launchers_Home/SEMN7A8N9JF_0.html
They certainly have got the technology if not the financial means.

[Edited 2011-05-18 10:42:57]


There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 13727 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
SA-501 to SA-513 were all flight vehicles, with SA-501 and SA-502 unmanned (SA-502 came the closest to being called a launch failure as the 2nd and 3rd stages had some thrust problems. The 1st stage worked flawlessly).

While true on the face of it, SA-502 and SA-509 both experieneced severe POGO problems (oscillations along the long axis), to the point on SA-513 that the 2nd stage centre engine shutdown - displaying redundancy in design, for sure. But much more of the POGO effect *could* have resulted in loss of vehicle. Fortunately Apollo had an abort system, something the Shuttle does not.

Quoting GDB (Reply 8):
I'm a huge admirer of the Saturn, it was amazing to see one on display at KSC museum.
However, while I agree that the Saturn was much safer than the Shuttle, it took the 25th flight of a STS to have a failure, Saturn V never got to that many launches and you have to wonder if it's record could have been sustained.

Still, I wish it had continued, including a improved Saturn I for Apollo to LEO.

I can still really not fathom the decision not to fly the 2nd Skylab lab module (I guess as Skylab 5), as there were IIRC at least two more Saturn 1Bs and similar number of Apollo CSMs which could have been Skylabs 6 & 7. Possibly in the 1974/5 time period. Symbology aside, ASTP really didn't do much for space flight.

With a little teaking, Apollo might also have been made into a 4-person s/c, with a specialised couch underneat where th eusual crew sat. In fact for Skylab 3, when it looked like they might need rescuing, a plan was worked out to fly Skylab 4 up to the lab with a crew of 2, rescue the 3 there, and return with 5.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1903 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 13658 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
Correct. But to put the mighty Saturn V into prospective, it never had a launch failure. Something no other rocket before or since can claim.

Falcon 9 can. Granted, it would be a pretty cheap claim with only 2 launches. And, isn't Atlas V perfect? Unless you meant manned launchers.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 9):
I wonder if ESA would ever consider building their own astronaut transport vehicle they could send on a more powerful model of the Ariane 5 maybe an Ariane 6 or maybe a re-arranged ATV fit for astronaut transport?

ESA is considering a variation of the ATV. It can already dock and has the avionics but making it re-entry capable and adding an LAS would change it so much it would be pretty much an entirely new vehicle.
Ariane V was designed with the structural margin to be man rated.

[Edited 2011-05-18 13:04:41]


Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineDiamondFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1638 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 13649 times:

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 9):
I suppose the ATV and Progress and the Japanese unmanned vehicle will be the ones used to take payload now that the Shuttles will be grounded after Atlantis last flight and the Soyuz will be used to take all the astronauts to the Station until the U.S. has a new human carrier to transport them.

Don't forget the Dragon from SpaceX in the cargo world too. As of now, that's the only thing it has been selected to do. IIRC, there are 2 (perhaps 1, depending on how NASA feels) test flights remaining prior to active deliveries.

-DiamondFlyer


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3594 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 13533 times:
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Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
The second stage developed some 1,000,000 lbs of thrust from 5 J-1 engines.
The third stage developed some 200,000 lbs of thrust from 1 J-1 engine.

The S-II & S-IVB were powered by J-2s.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
Correct. But to put the mighty Saturn V into prospective, it never had a launch failure. Something no other rocket before or since can claim.

As much as I'm amazed by the Saturn V I must say that a launch failure was probably only a matter of time.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
SA-502 came the closest to being called a launch failure as the 2nd and 3rd stages had some thrust problems. The 1st stage worked flawlessly

Had it been manned Apollo 6 would have aborted. 2 engines out on the S-II and no relight on the S-IVB left it far short of the desired velocity. Not to mention the SLA panel blowing out.



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User currently offlinewn700driver From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 13169 times:

Quoting Thrust (Reply 3):

Also, I'd wonder why they're not using the Saturn V since the last Saturn V launch put skylab, an entire space station, into orbit with just one launch. That's equivalent to more than a couple of shuttle launches.

Don't forget setting off seismographs... In Canada! That's got to be among the most powerful flying vehicles ever built...

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
7,500,000 lbs of thrust, from 5 F-1 engines.

More power than 68 GE-90s!

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 13):

As much as I'm amazed by the Saturn V I must say that a launch failure was probably only a matter of time

Ok, but why? It seems they worked out most of the issues it had early on. By no means was it a very sophisticated rocket, I'm sure, but it seems like they came up with a pretty reliable vehicle there...


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 15, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 13128 times:

Quoting wn700driver (Reply 14):
Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 13):

As much as I'm amazed by the Saturn V I must say that a launch failure was probably only a matter of time

Ok, but why? It seems they worked out most of the issues it had early on. By no means was it a very sophisticated rocket, I'm sure, but it seems like they came up with a pretty reliable vehicle there...

See my Reply 10 in that SA-509 (Apollo 13) had a major problem as well: centre-line engine cutout on the S-II stage. I believe the root cause was resonance between the engines and the structure - going back about 40 years here. ZANL188 is right I think in that a mjaor failure was only a matter of time.

Definitely not a sophisticated rocket, just brute force. Which, at the time,w as what was needed. The astros called it "The Beast" for a reason.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinetrigged From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 540 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 13046 times:

I have seen many questions posed as to why we do not simply bring back the Saturn vehicle. Simply put, we can't. The technical drawings and other documents are incomplete and missing, the tooling has been destroyed, and the infrastructure is gone. It is the same reason why we can't bring back the 707 or DC-8 efficiently.

Now, since we have vehicles still around, we could reverse-engineer them and build them from scratch. We would have to develop and install new infrastructure to support them, new tooling to build them, and develop procedures and processes to support them. That would cost far more than to develop and build an all-new vehicle.

I would love more than anything to see a Saturn V launch, but the only way that is happening is by watching documentaries.


User currently offlineGST From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 938 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 13034 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 10):
Fortunately Apollo had an abort system, something the Shuttle does not.

Though several of the pilots had to remove their hands from the abort control as result of the awesome vibration of the first stage (they feared inadvertent abort if their hand remained on the control). If something had gone wrong with stage 1, the immense g in more or less any direction likely to result would make it pretty unlikely that someone could reach out and grab the abort control again with any rapidity.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3594 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 12993 times:
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Quoting wn700driver (Reply 14):
Ok, but why? It seems they worked out most of the issues it had early on. By no means was it a very sophisticated rocket, I'm sure, but it seems like they came up with a pretty reliable vehicle there...

On the contrary, at the time it was the most sophisticated aerospace vehicle around....

As to my prediction of an eventual launch failure:

- It only flew 13 times total... Which means that the total flight experience for the S-IC was on the order of only 30 minutes. None of those 13 S-ICs was ever inspected post flight - who knows what they might have found. Same goes for the S-II & S-IVB.
- Von Braun & MSFC loved to change things... no two Saturn Vs were a like...
- Countless new manufacturing processes & materials were developed for Saturn V
- F-1 combustion instability issues were never really resolved. They came up with a configuration that worked - but not an understanding of why it worked.

And I could go on... That Saturn V worked as well as it did for as long as it did was really a testament to the folks that designed, built, maintained, and flew the thing.



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User currently offlineThrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2691 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 12968 times:

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 6):

I didn't fudge those numbers. I was speaking of the individual cost per launch on a Saturn V. Those launch prices are quoted a recent article by NASA. You can find the link to it on wikipedia..I realize you can manipulate what's written in a wikipedia article, but you can't manipulate what the sources it uses say. The cost per launch of each Saturn V vehicle in 1969 was $1.1 billion in today's dollars. Something else to keep in mind is that the Saturn V was originally designed to fly to the moon, far more costly than simply flying into space, which at the end of its career it launched into orbit once. That $6.5 billion also may have factored in research developments because the amount appropriated for it factors back into 1964, three years before the first Saturn V was launched. The Space Shuttle program since its beginning through early 2008 has cost approximately $170 billion, which worked out to an average cost of about $1.5 billion per shuttle launch. The source for that is here:

http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/ad...on_files/resource-2656-2008.18.pdf

[Edited 2011-05-20 15:01:41]


Fly one thing; Fly it well
User currently offlineThrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2691 posts, RR: 10
Reply 20, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 12947 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 18):

The Saturn V's safety could partially be attributed to the rocket, but also my opinion was that NASA was much more concerned about safety measures than for the shuttle, which IMO had they took greater measures they could have prevented both the Challenger and Columbia problems. even under the most demanding circumstances, it still managed to function properly enough either for the mission to be partially accomplished and always for all the crew to survive. The simple fact that the Saturn V survived being struck by lightning and the fact that it still managed to prove durable enough to return the Apollo 13 astronauts back from the brink of death despite being as crippled as it was shows to me that it was a much more durable vehicle than the Shuttle, which fell victim both to the weather and to a simple foam strike. Space travel is dangerous...there's no two ways about it. Even the most modern rockets have fallen victim to them. that said, you're correct in that we only did 13 launches of that compared to the shuttle. Even with the Apollo 6 incident, the Saturn V still safely reached orbit.

[Edited 2011-05-20 15:23:41]


Fly one thing; Fly it well
User currently offlineThrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2691 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 12942 times:

As far as a shuttle failure, the first near catastrophe occured in January 1985 when the same O-ring problem that would claim Challenger just one year later happened to Discovery. So really, to be honest, considering that nothing major happened until the 25th shuttle mission and that the Saturn V launched successfully 13 times, it's probably safe to say that the Saturn V at minimum at minimum had safety comparable to that of the shuttle. And as someone said earlier...the Apollo spacecraft was flexible in that the lunar module could act as a lifeboat, it had a launch escape system, so in reality just seemed more robust and redundant than the shuttle. The one danger I think it was vulnerable to was the fact that it could not glide to back earth and had to rely on parachutes. The Saturn V just seems to me to have so many redundancies and proved so robust and durable that I can't imagine a spacecraft that could have done any better of a job. Not to mention, we have never again developed a single-unit rocket capable of carrying both heavy cargo and people up to and beyond earth orbit.


Fly one thing; Fly it well
User currently offlineThrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2691 posts, RR: 10
Reply 22, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 12940 times:

Quoting trigged (Reply 16):

The blueprints still exist on microfilm and are somewhere at one of NASA's locations...I want to say Huntsville, Alabama.



Fly one thing; Fly it well
User currently offlineThrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2691 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 12935 times:

All that said, what are the chances that NASA might end up eventually building up another Mars program? I was really looking forward to seeing the Ares V until Obama cut the funding. I am really hoping that we either bring back the Saturn V or build a vehicle that is at minimum as big and powerful.


Fly one thing; Fly it well
User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1903 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 12924 times:

Once again, you quote the price of the entire shuttle program, but only the amount spent on individual Saturn launches, ignoring everything else needed to support the program.
Pick one or the other. Other than mass to orbit the shuttle is far more capable than the Saturn. You can't just ignore Saturn program money not associated with specific launches and Skylab/Apollo costs. And the reason so many years had so few shuttle launches, thus driving the program cost through the roof were much more political than technical. The program costs during lean years didn't go down much. Any large scale program, STS, Apollo or EELV is going to cost a fortune per launch if you hardly ever use it.
The fact is, claiming that building an entire Saturn rocket would be cheaper than turning over a of shuttle just isn't realistic.

The factors that made Shuttle program cost divided by number of launches so ridiculous aren't going to magically disappear because you use Saturns instead. Just like the reality that jobs in districts being the driving factor behind congressional appropriations isn't going to change.



Andy Goetsch
25 ZANL188 : All the Saturn V components had been jettisoned long before the Apollo 13 spacecraft had its problem. That would be true if you left out the Saturn V
26 Thrust : I was referring to both the spacecraft and the parts that had been jettisoned. Even when the Apollo 13 disaster happened, the Saturn V proved capable
27 Thrust : All I was simply doing was comparing the individual launch costs. You're right, maybe I didn't include everything else in the program. But regardless
28 Thrust : Besides cost and frequency of launches, I'm not sure how the shuttle is more capable than the Saturn. Especially since the Saturn could launch much h
29 ZANL188 : You're ignoring the fact that the Saturn V was not present when the Apollo 13 problems occured.
30 Thrust : I guess I always considered the Apollo spacecraft to be a part of the Saturn V. But I guess if you discount the spacecraft, then the Saturn V has a n
31 rwessel : No, it really wasn't. It's a booster - a very big booster, but that's all. There's almost nothing in the S-V that specific to a moon mission. Perhaps
32 nomadd22 : That's part of the problem with comparing the two I guess. When you talk about STS you're talking about the whole system, since you can't really sepa
33 Thrust : I guess I see your point. What makes me say it's robust is a gut reaction to how the Apollo spacecraft experienced such a catastrophe on Apollo 13, n
34 Thrust : IMO, the Saturn V's confidence interval was partly based on the fact that there was less confidence in safety because space was still only a 10 year
35 Thrust : One tradeoff I would say with the Saturn V booster with the shuttle's rocket boosters is that it could reach a speed MUCH higher than that of the soli
36 rwessel : Not sure what you mean. A confidence interval is a statistical term. IOW, I'm 50% confident (based on the very small data set) that the S-V's failure
37 Eagleboy : But at the same time, comparing SkyLab to the ISS isn't really fair.
38 Post contains images rwessel : True enough. After all, after some 45 assembly flights, ISS has almost three times the internal volume as Skylab, and a bit over five times its mass.
39 nomadd22 : Not to mention that ISS will have about 60 times (I'm guessing life till 2028) as many man hours in operation and 10 times the power of Skylab. Skyla
40 rwessel : I was being sarcastic. My point was, that after massive effort, ISS is not really all that much bigger than Skylab. After Skylab and Mir, it's hard t
41 kalvado : And full scale Saturn program would be still needed to keep S-5 manufacturing and launch chain running for just those five launches. It's always the
42 rwessel : To be sure. If you get to the mid-nineties and the only heavy launcher you have is the Shuttle, and want to build a space station, Shuttle compatible
43 trigged : Some do, but not all. From what I have been told by several in Huntsville is that the drawings/blueprints/microfiche are not complete. It would be mu
44 Post contains links rwessel : NASA's official position is that they have them all (or close enough): http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/facts/faq10.html "WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SATURN V PLANS
45 GDB : Maybe, (ain't hindsight great?) it would have been better to keep the Saturn V in (very low rate) production - or mothballed the production equipment
46 rwessel : Hubble could have been comfortably launched on a Titan IIIC. A Saturn IB would have been overkill. A Saturn V could have launched about seven Hubbles
47 GDB : Yes, though our 'Saturn 1B/Titan IIC Hubble' would be different, for repair/servicing with no Shuttle (at best a much smaller personnel carrying opti
48 kalvado : Or one may argue that in-orbit service is too expensive, and constructing second and third sample of Hubble is cheaper than keeping service fleet jus
49 rwessel : Indeed. None of the other big telescopes are serviceable. Compton, Chandra, Webb, Swift, Kepler, and Spitzer to name some of the NASA birds. (Yes, no
50 Post contains images trigged : Veeeeeery interesting! NASA gossip mill... You got some 'splainin to do! (in a Ricky Ricardo voice) I would guess the J-2 plans came in really handy
51 Thrust : It would certainly be interesting if the Saturn V could somehow be made into a reusable rocket. For example, design the first stage and second stage t
52 trigged : MECO on Stage 1 was at about 200k feet. I suppose that a parachute recovery system could be designed for it. A drogue system to keep the section stabi
53 rwessel : FWIW, an empty S-IC (~300klbs) is only about 50% heavier than an empty Shuttle SRB (~200klbs). The S-II is only about 86,000lbs empty. The S-II reent
54 gigneil : 2014. Don't worry. You will see a better rocket, faster, as a result. NS
55 Thrust : I know that NASA studied using the Saturn V in conjunction with the shuttle. Many seem to believe that it would have been a safer design than using th
56 ZANL188 : Shuttle never would have gone beyond LEO unless it was a one way trip. 1. Anything required for an atmospheric entry and runway landing would have be
57 Thrust : To whoever said that launch failure was only a matter of time, that's highly debatable because we never had enough missions to test that theory. The P
58 ZANL188 : Because every other major launch vehicle has had a launch failure. Saturn V had some near misses. It wasn't the super reliable launch vehicle people
59 rwessel : Nobody (rational) claims that. The problem is that the very small number of flights do not present enough evidence to make serious statements about t
60 ZANL188 : What?? Please name a major launch vehicle, other than S-V & Energia (only flew once) & F9 (2 flights), that has not had a launch failure. The
61 ZANL188 : Good von Braun quote here re: Apollo 6 from "Stages to Saturn" (Bilstein, page 361): "Had the flight been manned, the astronauts would have returned s
62 gigneil : Cause we can add? NS
63 rwessel : So you have some evidence that *guarantees* a failure? That's as absurd as the overwrought reliability claims for the S-V. And maybe you could have r
64 ZANL188 : Yes. Please see Apollo 6. The failure had all but already occurred. Please see my other posts on the subject for evidence that it was likely to fail
65 rwessel : You have a funny defintion of "guarantee".
66 ZANL188 : Your word. Not a word I would choose to use in this case.
67 nomadd22 : Actually, Energia dumped it's payload into the ocean on the cargo version launch. They blame the payload propulsion system, but it was still part of
68 Aesma : About "man rating" a vehicle, doesn't that goalpost move with time ? Meaning, we want more and more safety ? Just like you can't make a car without AB
69 Post contains images Thrust : Yes, I understand that The point I'm trying to make is that because it never happened, we can only speculate on whether a launch failure would have h
70 Thrust : Thanks for the info, this helps. Also, I agree that there wasn't enough evidence for reliability either. However, the Saturn V never failed to reach
71 Thrust : Perhaps I should have been more clear when i mentioned a launch failure. When I heard the term launch failure, I was thinking in terms of an absolute
72 Thrust : Could there have been a way to make the F-1s reusable, or even reengine the Saturn V?
73 Thrust : True. Also, Werner Von Braun's rockets were capable of transporting people beyond earth orbit. IMO, the Saturn V presents the most efficient way to t
74 rwessel : The F-1s were reusable in most senses. In fact they were designed for a firing life of 1400 seconds. In practice, they averaged about 650s of static
75 ZANL188 : Sorry must disagree. What it was a testament too was a vehicle that was not yet mature. Also the lightning strike on Apollo 12 was a spacecraft syste
76 ZANL188 : The S-IC got all the glory - that's the bit everyone saw, heard, and felt. Fact is though that most of Saturn Vs triumph was in fact inherent in the
77 rwessel : In terms of the first, the S-II was as important as the S-IVB, and without the high energy upper stages this wouldn't have worked. Of course without
78 ZANL188 : Although the S-II had it's own challenges, the S-IVB had a much more technically demanding mission. RP-1 & LOX had been done many times before. W
79 Thrust : Then I guess I'm arguing for the whole launch stack being safer due to the fact there was a launch escape system on board. As far as a testament to a
80 rwessel : The jump in thrust from the H-1 to the F-1 (~7-fold) was "only" half that as for the RL-10 to the J-2 (~13-fold). So all of the stages broke signific
81 Thrust : I'm assuming that the problem discovered on Apollo 6 was fixed, since it never happened again afterwards?
82 rwessel : Yes. The igniter fuel lines were redesigned and the bellows and braided shields were replaced by solid pipe, with an appropriate set of bends to allo
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