Author Topic: Saturn S-1C-T  (Read 1296 times)

Offline CitabriaFlyer

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Saturn S-1C-T
« on: 01/16/2018 02:50 PM »
Going on a trip to KSC visitors center as a chaperone for a bunch of fifth graders and part of the trip is visiting the Saturn V.

Does anyone know why the S-1C-T was used as the first stage exhibit?

How did it come to KSC when most of its service was at MSFC?

If AS 514 2nd and 3rd stages are at KSC why not the AS 514 first stage?  Why is it at JSC?

Are the engines on display in the S-1C-T the engines that were fired at MSFC or are they replicas.


Thanks for any info

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Saturn S-1C-T
« Reply #1 on: 01/16/2018 04:12 PM »
Going on a trip to KSC visitors center as a chaperone for a bunch of fifth graders and part of the trip is visiting the Saturn V.

Does anyone know why the S-1C-T was used as the first stage exhibit?

How did it come to KSC when most of its service was at MSFC?

If AS 514 2nd and 3rd stages are at KSC why not the AS 514 first stage?  Why is it at JSC?

Are the engines on display in the S-1C-T the engines that were fired at MSFC or are they replicas.


Thanks for any info
The detailed answer is in the excellent book "Saturn V: The Complete Manufacturing and Test Records" by Alan Lawrie.  I own one, but don't have it with me at the moment.  The S-IC-T F-1 engines are the real deal, I'm certain.  The stage, by the way, was test fired at both MSFC and at the Mississippi Test Facility - a total of at least 22 test firings.  Lawrie's book tells the history, down to the specifics for each engine.

At the end of the program, the remaining flight S-IC stages were at Michoud, but the "T-Bird" and the S-IC-D dynamic test stage were still at MSFC.  Perhaps the end of program shuffling of the remaining hardware had to do with cost.  I do wonder why Marshall didn't keep S-IC-T, since it was built there and was the very first Saturn V first stage.  S-IC-D, now on display in Huntsville, was built at Michoud!  I'll look at my book tonight unless others have the answers.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 01/16/2018 04:24 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline AS_501

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Re: Saturn S-1C-T
« Reply #2 on: 01/16/2018 04:37 PM »
On a side note, the Smithsonian restoration crew had to clean blue berries, twigs and other material from some of the F1 combustion chambers.  These were deposited by birds over the years while the stage was outdoors.  There is a Smithsonian magazine article that describes the restoration program (don't have the publication date).

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Saturn S-1C-T
« Reply #3 on: 01/16/2018 04:46 PM »
As far as I can recall it was a "battleship" version that was overbuilt for testing purposes only...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Saturn S-1C-T
« Reply #4 on: 01/16/2018 05:46 PM »
The Huntsville Saturn V is the only one with complete matching serial numbers so to speak, in that the entire Saturn is SA-500D. The others are a mix of Saturn V vehicles.  Perhaps that is why they sent S-1C-T to KSC?

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Saturn S-1C-T
« Reply #5 on: 01/16/2018 06:01 PM »
The Huntsville Saturn V is the only one with complete matching serial numbers so to speak, in that the entire Saturn is SA-500D. The others are a mix of Saturn V vehicles.  Perhaps that is why they sent S-1C-T to KSC?
A likely explanation.  Huntsville also kept the dymanic test versions of the Saturn I Block I and Block II vehicles, which are displayed today.  These dynamic test vehicles were fully assembled in their respective vertical test towers at MSFC.  The unanswered question is why S-IC-T to KSC instead of S-IC-15, which ended up at Michoud and is today at Stennis, or even better the matching S-IC-14, which ended up at JSC?

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 01/16/2018 06:05 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Saturn S-1C-T
« Reply #6 on: 01/16/2018 08:40 PM »
The Huntsville Saturn V is the only one with complete matching serial numbers so to speak, in that the entire Saturn is SA-500D. The others are a mix of Saturn V vehicles.  Perhaps that is why they sent S-1C-T to KSC?
A likely explanation.  Huntsville also kept the dymanic test versions of the Saturn I Block I and Block II vehicles, which are displayed today.  These dynamic test vehicles were fully assembled in their respective vertical test towers at MSFC.  The unanswered question is why S-IC-T to KSC instead of S-IC-15, which ended up at Michoud and is today at Stennis, or even better the matching S-IC-14, which ended up at JSC?

 - Ed Kyle

We may never know now and I wonder if they even knew which stage was being shipped!  I also wonder why they didn't keep the first stage for 500F.

Offline IanThePineapple

Re: Saturn S-1C-T
« Reply #7 on: 01/16/2018 08:45 PM »
The Huntsville Saturn V is the only one with complete matching serial numbers so to speak, in that the entire Saturn is SA-500D. The others are a mix of Saturn V vehicles.  Perhaps that is why they sent S-1C-T to KSC?
A likely explanation.  Huntsville also kept the dymanic test versions of the Saturn I Block I and Block II vehicles, which are displayed today.  These dynamic test vehicles were fully assembled in their respective vertical test towers at MSFC.  The unanswered question is why S-IC-T to KSC instead of S-IC-15, which ended up at Michoud and is today at Stennis, or even better the matching S-IC-14, which ended up at JSC?

 - Ed Kyle

We may never know now and I wonder if they even knew which stage was being shipped!  I also wonder why they didn't keep the first stage for 500F.

Keeping 500F (maybe repainting it (looking at you S-IVB)) and displaying it somewhere else (Smithsonian?) would be way better than it getting scrapped.
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Saturn S-1C-T
« Reply #8 on: 01/16/2018 10:35 PM »
A bit more from the book I mentioned upthread.

Lawrie tells us that S-IC-T, the "All Systems Test Stage", as currently displayed has two or three functional F-1 engines and one or two "serialized mock-ups".  There are two different accounts.  One account says that functional engines F-3T1 and F-4T2 (both manufactured using spare parts as a NASA "learning exercise") are mounted, along with two F-2000 series engines and a mockup.  The second account says that F-3T1, F-2008, F-2010, FM-106, and FM-107 (the latter two mockups) are on the stage in positions 105, 103, 104, 101 and 102, respectively (105 is the center position).  F-2008 and F-2010 were actually test fired multiple times on the S-IC-T stage.

Sometime during the mid-1970s, S-IC-T was shipped to KSC to create the bicentennial display outside the VAB.  My guess is that the display was set up in early 1976.  The stage remained outdoors until 1996, when it was transferred to the new Saturn 5 Center where it now resides.

The KSC Saturn 5 second stage, S-II-14, was shipped to KSC during October 1970 where it was placed on long term storage, awaiting its then-Apollo 18 assignment (Apollo 18 was apparently cancelled just before S-II-14 arrived).  It moved to the outdoor bicentennial display in 1976.  S-IVB-514, the displayed third stage, was stored at North American Aviation Huntington Beach during December 1970 for Apollo 18.  It was removed from storage in early 1973 and shipped to KSC.  In April 1976, it went outside to the display. 

S-IC-14, once also assigned to Apollo 18, but never having made the trip to KSC (first stages were shipped last), was moved from Michoud to JSC in 1977, leaving on a barge on September 16 of that year.

S-IC-15 served as a backup for the Skylab launch.  The stage remained indoors at Michoud until December, 1978, when it was moved ouside for display near the entrance gates.  The stage was moved to Stennis a year or two ago.

So the KSC Saturn display was assembled before the JSC Saturn 5 display.  Perhaps, in 1976, NASA wanted to hang on the flight stages just a little bit longer?

 - Ed Kyle 


« Last Edit: 01/16/2018 10:55 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Saturn S-1C-T
« Reply #9 on: 01/17/2018 12:43 AM »
Thanks Ed.  My brother is reading my copy of that book at the moment.  And it a fantastic resource!

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Saturn S-1C-T
« Reply #10 on: 01/17/2018 12:45 AM »
OK, and now a new bit of information - something I did not know.  S-IC-T was shipped from MSFC to KSC in 1974 (possibly during March), two full years before the bicentennial.  It was displayed by itself for a time, outside the VAB.  See a photo here:
http://heroicrelics.org/info/ksc/vintage-ksc.html

So, S-IC-T was moved out for display three-plus years before NASA finally moved the two S-IC flight stages out of storage.   Makes me think that timing was a factor.  There was probably a process - much paper work, etc. - needed to disposition the Apollo program flight hardware.  The Agency was "done" with S-IC-T a few years before it was done with the other stages.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 01/17/2018 02:07 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline CitabriaFlyer

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Re: Saturn S-1C-T
« Reply #11 on: 01/17/2018 01:46 AM »
Thanks for the great info Mr. Kyle.  Always enjoy reading your posts.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Saturn S-1C-T
« Reply #12 on: 01/17/2018 06:36 PM »
OK, and now a new bit of information - something I did not know.  S-IC-T was shipped from MSFC to KSC in 1974 (possibly during March), two full years before the bicentennial.  It was displayed by itself for a time, outside the VAB.  See a photo here:
http://heroicrelics.org/info/ksc/vintage-ksc.html

So, S-IC-T was moved out for display three-plus years before NASA finally moved the two S-IC flight stages out of storage.   Makes me think that timing was a factor.  There was probably a process - much paper work, etc. - needed to disposition the Apollo program flight hardware.  The Agency was "done" with S-IC-T a few years before it was done with the other stages.

 - Ed Kyle
I saw it for the first time Ed in front of the VAB  parking lot July 1977. Things were pretty laid back and quite in those days you could climb up along side the engine bells or even inside if you chose to...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

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