Author Topic: Saturn I first stage design  (Read 17610 times)

Offline meiza

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Re: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #20 on: 07/16/2007 12:06 pm »
Back then the Saturn I / V combo was against the Titan what the Ares I / V are against the EELV:s... Except that Saturn I was bigger than the early Titans, while Ares I will be similar to high end EELV:s.

Offline Jim

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Re: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #21 on: 07/16/2007 12:34 pm »
Saturn V was never 'against" the Titan

Offline wingod

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RE: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #22 on: 07/17/2007 12:08 am »
Quote
edkyle99 - 14/7/2007  1:20 PM

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CFE - 12/7/2007  12:13 AM

In the end, did the Saturn I/IB series save any money or schedule by going with the clustered first stage tanks?

Some more thoughts about your final question, which is hard to answer because Saturn's history ended up being determined more by politics than by its engineering.  

Saturn was developed by what was, at the time, simply the best group of rocket designers in the U.S. - the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) team commanded by General Medaris that included more than 100 German emigrees directed by Wernher von Braun.  The team had been stripped of its former mission - developing big ballistic missiles - by a 1956 DoD directive.  Saturn was essentially an "end run" - an attempt by ABMA to capture the national heavy space launch mission.  But eventually that mission, too, was given to the Air Force and the ABMA team was left to work for NASA.  The Air Force developed a series of ICBM-based space launch vehicles (Atlas, Titan, and Thor).  These cost less than Saturn simply because they were tapped from existing missile production lines.  The heavy lift DoD mission that Saturn could have handled was given to Titan IIIC.

In the end, Saturn was left with a limited mission - supporting only precursor Apollo missions, Skylab, and the Apollo-Soyuz finale.  Plans to build more powerful "Saturn C-2"" and "C-3" launch vehicles based on the original clustered booster were dropped in favor of the unsustainable Saturn V that was built to race to the moon.  A plan to develop a Saturn IB/Centaur variant that would have launched deep space missions was canceled in 1965, partly due to the Vietnam budget squeeze.  Low-rate production of a rocket that was no longer based on in-production missiles drove per-flight costs up, but so did NASA's mismanagement of its first powerhouse launcher.  Consider that the Agency built two launch complexes encompassing three launch pads that it scrapped after only seven years and 15 launches.  Consider also that it developed an upper stage (S-IV) that it only flew six times.

If it had not been shelved, and if it had not been limited by its assignment to NASA, a modernized Saturn I might be flying today as often as Russia's Proton.  NASA wouldn't be developing an Ares I launch vehicle, because it would already have had a heavy cluster booster able to do the job.  

 - Ed Kyle

Cost less my rear end.  According to Medaris in his 1962 book "Countdown to Decision" the aggregate cost of the Atlas, Thor, and Titan was almost $30 billion dollars in real money!  That is more than what the lunar effort cost!

As for the Saturn configuration, I hear whispers in the halls at certain NASA locations about a liquid Ares 1 booster stage.





Online edkyle99

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RE: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #23 on: 07/17/2007 02:24 am »
Quote
wingod - 16/7/2007  7:08 PM

Quote
edkyle99 - 14/7/2007  1:20 PM

Quote
CFE - 12/7/2007  12:13 AM

In the end, did the Saturn I/IB series save any money or schedule by going with the clustered first stage tanks?

Saturn was developed by what was, at the time, simply the best group of rocket designers in the U.S. - the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) team commanded by General Medaris that included more than 100 German emigrees directed by Wernher von Braun.  The team had been stripped of its former mission - developing big ballistic missiles - by a 1956 DoD directive.  Saturn was essentially an "end run" - an attempt by ABMA to capture the national heavy space launch mission.  But eventually that mission, too, was given to the Air Force and the ABMA team was left to work for NASA.  The Air Force developed a series of ICBM-based space launch vehicles (Atlas, Titan, and Thor).  These cost less than Saturn simply because they were tapped from existing missile production lines.  The heavy lift DoD mission that Saturn could have handled was given to Titan IIIC.

 - Ed Kyle

Cost less my rear end.  According to Medaris in his 1962 book "Countdown to Decision" the aggregate cost of the Atlas, Thor, and Titan was almost $30 billion dollars in real money!  That is more than what the lunar effort cost!


Atlas/Thor/Titan cost less than Saturn on a per-launch basis, largely because of their sheer numbers allowed by their dual use as both space launchers and as ballistic missiles.  Altogether Atlas, Titan, and Thor performed more than 1,600 launches (both missile and orbital launches) - and Delta II is still flying.  For its money, the U.S. got years of on-duty national defense deterrent and decades of space launch power.  With their per-flight cost lowered by the dual-use cost sharing, the big-solid Titans flew something like 123 times over the years.

It cost something like $47 billion (2006 dollars) to develop, build, and fly Saturn I, IB, and V.  For that price, the U.S. got 32 launches (19 Saturn I/IB (including 6 suborbital flights) and 13 Saturn V) over a 14 year span.  That's almost $1.5 billion per launch, on average!  Of course the per-launch cost would have been much less if the U.S. had, say, flown 120 more Saturn IBs rather than Shuttles during the intervening years.

The U.S. is unable to gain the dual use missile and space cost advantage with big boosters these days.  Neither EELV serves missile duty, for example.  Only Minotaur and Taurus come close to the Atlas/Titan/Thor advantage.  Saturn, Shuttle, and now Ares, of course, had/have to bear their own costs as well.

The only way to correct the high launch cost problem will be to fly these new launch vehicles as often as possible for as many years as possible - while resisting the temptation to pour billions more into redesigning them again and again.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline CFE

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RE: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #24 on: 07/17/2007 04:40 am »
Quote
wingod - 16/7/2007  6:08 PM
As for the Saturn configuration, I hear whispers in the halls at certain NASA locations about a liquid Ares 1 booster stage.

This is a bit off-topic, but I'm certain that it will never come to pass (at least not as part of the current lunar return effort.)  How dare NASA deny ATK its piece of pork from the greasy barrel?  It will also be more expensive than the 5-segment SRB, take longer to develop, and will probably have a lower thrust-weight ratio than the SRB (one of NASA's important factors in choosing Ares I in the first place.)
"Black Zones" never stopped NASA from flying the shuttle.

Offline wingod

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Re: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #25 on: 07/17/2007 11:03 pm »
Here is a shot of some of the design variations of the Saturn C1 and C2.  This is an image that is in a set of archived documents by one of the original Saturn 1 lead design engineers.



Offline wingod

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Re: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #26 on: 07/17/2007 11:11 pm »
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Christine - 16/7/2007  2:45 AM

If you replaced the redstone and jupiter cluster monstrosity with a single 6.5m tank bolted to an F-1A and stretched the S-IVB for a J-2S, we'd have to be getting into Titan-4B territory. It also would have left a path for the development of the Jarvis heavy lifter down the road.

Alas, Kennedy and Johnson got us into an idiotic and unaffordable war of choice and it was not to be. Funny how history sometimes rhymes.

There was an SEI version of a Single F1-A engine launcher.



Offline CFE

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Re: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #27 on: 07/18/2007 03:23 am »
Back during the 60's, most of the proposed Saturn IB upgrades involved stretches to the 1st stage propellant tanks and Titan or Minuteman-derived SRB's.  At least these were the options examined by Douglas Aircraft and Chrysler.  

Some of the NASA studies were far more interesting, such as replacing the S-IB with a 260" diameter solid rocket.  Von Braun, known for his opposition to solid rockets for manned spacecraft, probably frowned on the idea.  Nevertheless, it was a precursor to Ares I (solid first stage, J-2 family engine on a hydrogen-fueled upper stage.)  I wonder if Scotty was influenced by this older concept.
"Black Zones" never stopped NASA from flying the shuttle.

Offline TyMoore

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RE: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #28 on: 07/18/2007 10:08 am »
"Cluster's Last Stand"

Amazing machines!

Offline HarryM

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Re: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #29 on: 07/18/2007 07:46 pm »
If you look at cost the 1st (S-IB) stage wasn't too crazy. 9.4 million out of 46 million. It is amazing how much the instrument unit cost (more than the first stage). So even if you simplified the 1st stage it wouldn't bring down the total cost that much.


http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4206/app-a.htm

Online edkyle99

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Re: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #30 on: 07/18/2007 08:50 pm »
Quote
HarryM - 18/7/2007  2:46 PM

If you look at cost the 1st (S-IB) stage wasn't too crazy. 9.4 million out of 46 million. It is amazing how much the instrument unit cost (more than the first stage). So even if you simplified the 1st stage it wouldn't bring down the total cost that much.

http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4206/app-a.htm

The engine cost was presented separately there.  If the engines were included with their respective stages, the first stage cost would have exceeded the IU cost.  (My guess is that it would have been about $13.5 million for S-IB and $16.5 million for S-IVB including engine cost).

But your point is a good one.  The cluster first stage costs less than the single tank diameter second stage by a substantial margin, even with the engines included.

By the way, the Saturn IB production cost presented here works out to about $290 million in 2006 dollars if the table data is assumed to be in 1966 dollars.  If you include the R&D costs presented in Table D of the same document, the Saturn I and IB flights work out to an average of roughly $500 million per vehicle built (2006 dollars) and nearly $600 million per vehicle flown (since three complete Saturn IB vehicles and two Saturn IB first stages were never flown - think about that the next time you see the SA-209 display at the KSC Visitor's Center(!)).  

 - Ed Kyle

Offline wingod

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Re: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #31 on: 07/20/2007 04:08 am »
Quote
CFE - 17/7/2007  10:23 PM

Back during the 60's, most of the proposed Saturn IB upgrades involved stretches to the 1st stage propellant tanks and Titan or Minuteman-derived SRB's.  At least these were the options examined by Douglas Aircraft and Chrysler.  

Some of the NASA studies were far more interesting, such as replacing the S-IB with a 260" diameter solid rocket.  Von Braun, known for his opposition to solid rockets for manned spacecraft, probably frowned on the idea.  Nevertheless, it was a precursor to Ares I (solid first stage, J-2 family engine on a hydrogen-fueled upper stage.)  I wonder if Scotty was influenced by this older concept.

At least one of those stretches did happen between the Saturn 1 and Saturn 1B iterations.



Offline simonbp

Re: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #32 on: 07/20/2007 04:35 am »
Quote
edkyle99 - 18/7/2007  1:50 PM
... the Saturn I and IB flights work out to an average of roughly $500 million per vehicle built (2006 dollars) and nearly $600 million per vehicle flown (since three complete Saturn IB vehicles and two Saturn IB first stages were never flown

That's an interesting data point; STS costs about $4 billion per year, with about four flights a year, for $1 billion per flight. The rough estimates that I've heard for Ares are $750 milllion for Ares I/Orion, and $500 million for Ares V. If that's right (and it's not, probably but right order of magnitude), then Ares I and Saturn I are in the same cost category...

Simon ;)

Offline publiusr

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RE: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #33 on: 08/10/2007 05:11 pm »
Quote

If it had not been shelved...a modernized Saturn I might be flying today as often as Russia's Proton.  NASA wouldn't be developing an Ares I launch vehicle, because it would already have had a heavy cluster booster able to do the job.  

 - Ed Kyle



If it was an Air Force invention and not the ABMA's--it probably would have.

Offline publiusr

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Re: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #34 on: 08/10/2007 05:13 pm »
Quote
HarryM - 18/7/2007  2:46 PM

If you look at cost the 1st (S-IB) stage wasn't too crazy. 9.4 million out of 46 million. It is amazing how much the instrument unit cost (more than the first stage). So even if you simplified the 1st stage it wouldn't bring down the total cost that much.


http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4206/app-a.htm

And to be fair--you have to compare it to Titan III/IV with similar payload capability.

Offline Jim

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RE: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #35 on: 08/10/2007 05:33 pm »
Quote
publiusr - 10/8/2007  1:11 PM

Quote

If it had not been shelved...a modernized Saturn I might be flying today as often as Russia's Proton.  NASA wouldn't be developing an Ares I launch vehicle, because it would already have had a heavy cluster booster able to do the job.  

 - Ed Kyle



If it was an Air Force invention and not the ABMA's--it probably would have.

ABMA never launched a Saturn.

 ABMA legacy is the stick

Offline Proponent

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Re: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #36 on: 05/07/2009 01:02 pm »
[Very old thread, but I came across it and realized that I had a relevant document.]

But it should be kept in mind that the Saturn IB could only launch a 18.6 mT payload to a 185 km orbit.  While this was superior to most of the Titans (including the Titan 3C, Titan 3E, and Titan 34,) it was later topped by the Titan IVB.  The question is whether Saturn IB had the same room for growth that the Titan series did.  While I believe that it did (Astronautix.com has several pages devoted to Saturn IB growth variants,) it's impossible to predict how an alternative history would have played out.

Have a look at the attached 1968 report on SA-217.  With the shaving of a little weight and replacement of the J-2 by a J-2S, the payload to a 185-km low-inclination orbit would have risen to to 20.4 mT.  SA-217 still would have had an instrument unit weighing a little over 1.8 mT.  Given the vast advances in electronics since the 60s, surely if the Saturn were still flying that weight would be down to just about zero by now, giving an LEO capability of 22 mT with little development expense.

The payload given for the Titan 4B by astronautix.com is 21.7 mT, but I presume that's into a polar orbit, where the SA-217's capability, had an appropriately-sited launch pad existed, would have been less.  However, it's hard to believe that a modest sum devoted to improvements (certainly far, far less than was spent over the years on Titan upgrades) could not have raised the Saturn's capability to the same level.

The other point I would make is about reliability.  When you're launching people or billion-plus-dollar spysats, failures are very expensive.  Not only do you lose costly hardware, but the whole program halts for a year or so while still running up expenses at about the same rate.  The basic heavy Titan, with four stages, four separation events and two air-starts can reasonably be expected to be less reliable than the Saturn, with two stages, two separation events, one air-start, and a multiply-redundant first stage.

I made this point once before but was justly criticized for fuzzy argumentation.  Now, however, I've done my homework.  I count 123 heavy Titan launches (i.e., with SRMs).  Of those, seven failed for reasons other than third-stage (e.g., Transtage) malfunctions.  Of those, there are three to which the Saturn was not susceptible:  two SRM failures (34D-9 and 403A K-11) and one failed air-start of the liquid first stage (34D-7; it ignited but misbehaved from the beginning).  No doubt had it flown as many times as the Titan did, the Saturn would have suffered failures too, but there is good reason to expect that they would have been fewer.

Quote
It should be stressed that it didn't make sense to keep both the Saturn IB and Titan production lines open at the same time, when the two launchers had similar performance.  My sense is that, had NASA and the Air Force agreed to down-select between the two boosters, the Saturn IB would have been the cheaper choice.  After all, it only had two stages, and it avoided all the hazmat concerns that accompany solid and storable liquid propellants.

If it didn't make sense to keep both lines going, it probably made even less sense to have opened both in the first place.  In the early 60s, I'd have gone with the Saturn.  By the early 70s, as Jim has pointed out,  all kinds of Titan infrastructure already existed.  Given that because of the Shuttle there weren't going to be huge numbers of launches anyway, the decision to go with the Titan seems sensible.  On the other hand, had there been no Shuttle in the offing, I think one could have made a stonger case for keeping the Saturn.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #37 on: 05/07/2009 01:08 pm »
Hah!  "Cluster's last Stand"  Love it.

Don't know how to work this in, but, I'm sure everyone's heard of Bernie Madoff's new movie deal.  They're calling it, "Swindler's List".
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Art LeBrun

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Re: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #38 on: 05/07/2009 01:21 pm »
[Very old thread, but I came across it and realized that I had a relevant document.]

But it should be kept in mind that the Saturn IB could only launch a 18.6 mT payload to a 185 km orbit.  While this was superior to most of the Titans (including the Titan 3C, Titan 3E, and Titan 34,) it was later topped by the Titan IVB.  The question is whether Saturn IB had the same room for growth that the Titan series did.  While I believe that it did (Astronautix.com has several pages devoted to Saturn IB growth variants,) it's impossible to predict how an alternative history would have played out.

Have a look at the attached 1968 report on SA-217.  With the shaving of a little weight and replacement of the J-2 by a J-2S, the payload to a 185-km low-inclination orbit would have risen to to 20.4 mT.  SA-217 still would have had an instrument unit weighing a little over 1.8 mT.  Given the vast advances in electronics since the 60s, surely if the Saturn were still flying that weight would be down to just about zero by now, giving an LEO capability of 22 mT with little development expense.

The payload given for the Titan 4B by astronautix.com is 21.7 mT, but I presume that's into a polar orbit, where the SA-217's capability, had an appropriately-sited launch pad existed, would have been less.  However, it's hard to believe that a modest sum devoted to improvements (certainly far, far less than was spent over the years on Titan upgrades) could not have raised the Saturn's capability to the same level.

The other point I would make is about reliability.  When you're launching people or billion-plus-dollar spysats, failures are very expensive.  Not only do you lose costly hardware, but the whole program halts for a year or so while still running up expenses at about the same rate.  The basic heavy Titan, with four stages, four separation events and two air-starts can reasonably be expected to be less reliable than the Saturn, with two stages, two separation events, one air-start, and a multiply-redundant first stage.

I made this point once before but was justly criticized for fuzzy argumentation.  Now, however, I've done my homework.  I count 123 heavy Titan launches (i.e., with SRMs).  Of those, seven failed for reasons other than third-stage (e.g., Transtage) malfunctions.  Of those, there are three to which the Saturn was not susceptible:  two SRM failures (34D-9 and 403A K-11) and one failed air-start of the liquid first stage (34D-7; it ignited but misbehaved from the beginning).  No doubt had it flown as many times as the Titan did, the Saturn would have suffered failures too, but there is good reason to expect that they would have been fewer.

Quote
It should be stressed that it didn't make sense to keep both the Saturn IB and Titan production lines open at the same time, when the two launchers had similar performance.  My sense is that, had NASA and the Air Force agreed to down-select between the two boosters, the Saturn IB would have been the cheaper choice.  After all, it only had two stages, and it avoided all the hazmat concerns that accompany solid and storable liquid propellants.

If it didn't make sense to keep both lines going, it probably made even less sense to have opened both in the first place.  In the early 60s, I'd have gone with the Saturn.  By the early 70s, as Jim has pointed out,  all kinds of Titan infrastructure already existed.  Given that because of the Shuttle there weren't going to be huge numbers of launches anyway, the decision to go with the Titan seems sensible.  On the other hand, had there been no Shuttle in the offing, I think one could have made a stonger case for keeping the Saturn.

Titan structures were in place by late 1960s.........SLC-4E the last.
1958 launch vehicle highlights: Vanguard TV-4 and Atlas 12B

Offline Jim

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Re: Saturn I first stage design
« Reply #39 on: 05/07/2009 06:42 pm »
Quote from: Proponent link=topic=8804.msg398980#msg398980

1.   No doubt had it flown as many times as the Titan did, the Saturn would have suffered failures too, but there is good reason to expect that they would have been fewer.

2.   On the other hand, had there been no Shuttle in the offing, I think one could have made a stonger case for keeping the Saturn.

1.  No, the logic is not applicable, just as it is not for Spacex. 

2.  No, Saturn didn't have a upperstage like the Transtage for GSO missions, Saturn would have required Centaur andwould greatly increased its cost.  Saturn couldn't perform the T-IIIB missions that had synergism with the other Titan configurations
« Last Edit: 05/07/2009 06:42 pm by Jim »

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