The Saturn V rocket saw many improvements over its lifetime. If it remained in service after Apollo and Skylab as a heavy lift vehicle, who knows what it could have evolved into?In perfect hindsight, could a simplified design be applied to Saturn V to make it cheaper to operate and potentially reusable?My own thinking on this was to have a 2-stage RP1/LOX vehicle by adjusting the Saturn V as follows:- Keep the first stage, extend it if necessary.- Make F-1 engines restartable.- Add landing legs.
- Replace the second stage with a RP1/LOX fueled, F-1 Vacuum powered engine, based on the 1st stage. (Imagine how big a F-1 Vac would be
If you want something more technical, here's a 1963 study of parachute recovery for the S-IC.
Now if I could find some studies on the Saturn-1/1B recovery...
S1C proposal recovery down-range water landing brochure:http://www.collectspace.com/ubb/Forum29/HTML/000880.htmlRandy
Quote from: RanulfC on 04/14/2015 09:01 pmNow if I could find some studies on the Saturn-1/1B recovery...EDIT: Added second report, on paraglider materials.Scott Lowther also sells a Ryan report on recovery of Saturn first stages by paraglider, which I won't attatch, because I don't want to undercut his sales (his price is very reasonable).
I'm not yet convinced that a reusable propulsive landing s1c was out of reach of 1970s tech. Surveyor and Viking demonstrate sub sale propulsive landing. IIRC then I think warheads were reaching 1km accuracy at that point; a 1 km diameter pad is plausible. For the T/W problem then replace the outboard engines with f1a and replace the center engine with a cluster of redesigned, thottlable H1s (or reactivate E1 development?).
None of these are small challenges but are they significantly harder than building the shuttle?
Strikes me that the real reasons are that the prevailing culture was biased in favor of wings and that government was determined to kill S1c anyway (or not to revive it).
Quote from: RanulfC on 04/14/2015 03:00 pmS1C proposal recovery down-range water landing brochure:http://www.collectspace.com/ubb/Forum29/HTML/000880.htmlI really like that idea. If it were combined with a few small solid landing rockets triggered by a radar altimeter (to keep the F-1s from getting too beat up when hitting the water), that is probably the plausible scheme I've seen for a reusable S-IC.
S1C proposal recovery down-range water landing brochure:http://www.collectspace.com/ubb/Forum29/HTML/000880.html