Author Topic: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?  (Read 324865 times)

Offline RyanC

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #20 on: 09/03/2011 01:20 am »
I did cost calculations for STS development costs a bit back and individually inflated each year's outlay to 2010 dollars in the tables below:

Raw data was from SP-4012 Volumes III and V.

Year   STS (Total)
1970   $70.25
1971   $422.33
1972   $522.00
1973   $975.00
1974   $2,099.50
1975   $3,229.88
1976   $4,618.98
1977   $5,087.16
1978   $4,506.33
1979   $4,914.90
1980   $4,958.15
1981   $4,788.00
Total   $36,192.48
   
Year   STS (Orbiter)
1970   $46.65
1971   $252.86
1972   $78.30
1973   $684.85
1974   $1,605.01
1975   $2,570.77
1976   $3,321.89
1977   $3,237.84
1978   $2,715.62
1979   $2,796.90
1980   $3,218.43
1981   $3,094.80
Total   $23,803.91
   
Year   STS (SSME)
1970   $23.60
1971   $112.44
1972   $235.42
1973   $199.07
1974   $363.80
1975   $385.97
1976   $539.26
1977   $655.92
1978   $659.32
1979   Unknown
1980   Unknown
1981   Unknown
Total   $3,174.80 (1970-78)

Year   STS (SRB)
1970   $0.00
1971   $0.00
1972   $0.00
1973   $8.35
1974   $37.87
1975   $85.63
1976   $314.98
1977   $361.44
1978   $350.69
1979   Unknown
1980   Unknown
1981   Unknown
Total   $1,158.95 (1970-78)

Year   STS (ET)
1970   $0.00
1971   $0.00
1972   $0.00
1973   $0.00
1974   $80.00
1975   $137.70
1976   $251.63
1977   $302.40
1978   $294.02
1979   Unknown
1980   Unknown
1981   Unknown
Total   $1,065.75 (1970-78)
« Last Edit: 09/03/2011 01:21 am by RyanCrierie »

Offline Mike D

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #21 on: 09/03/2011 02:15 pm »
Skylab was never meant to be resupplied, so even if Apollo hadbe extended, the station would only have had one or two missions left to it.

A follow-on station, however, would have been soon realized.

In fact, the answer to all of this is seen in the Russian space program over the same decades.  They kept their "Apollo", and developed space stations that evolved from their Skylab (Salyut 1) to the Mir Space Station.  We would have done the same, but in the end, our "Mir" would have been a vast cluster of Skylabs.

Offline aquanaut99

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #22 on: 09/03/2011 03:02 pm »
Skylab was never meant to be resupplied, so even if Apollo hadbe extended, the station would only have had one or two missions left to it.

A follow-on station, however, would have been soon realized.

In fact, the answer to all of this is seen in the Russian space program over the same decades.  They kept their "Apollo", and developed space stations that evolved from their Skylab (Salyut 1) to the Mir Space Station.  We would have done the same, but in the end, our "Mir" would have been a vast cluster of Skylabs.

Which is, more or less, exactly the scenario I presented. Our "Mir" is called "Spacelab" in this timeline, with larger 30+ ton modules.

Offline Archibald

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #23 on: 09/03/2011 03:32 pm »
This is an excellent question, which I have often asked myself! I actually came to quite similar conclusions.

I'm assuming Shuttle is cancelled in 1971 for budget reasons.

I'm assuming that, too. :)
 I'm writting this very (alternative) history for a looooong moment - 4 years, and 350 pages so far. Big work in progress. No hope of ever been published, but it is a hell interesting intellectual excercise !

Quote
Nixon is not interested in and allocates no money for a lunar return. Instead, NASA's new mission is to be LEO space stations to match recent Soviet developments (and a possible threat of military space stations, which, as we now know, actually flew as Almaz).

Amen to that !

Quote
The first big fight is whether to continue the Saturn/Apollo line or whether to centralize everything on the Titan launcher.

Indeed. It is a very interesting question. Another headache is: Block III Apollo or Big Gemini ?

Quote
In this scenario, I'm assuming Airforce will oppose making Titan available for manned launches (they want to keep their own booster), so the Saturn line will be continued and used for NASA manned missions.

There we diverge. The way I see it, the damn OMB is quite able to force USAF to concede Titan IIIs to NASA, if that save money when compared to either Saturn or the Shuttle.
OMB put a hellish pressure on NASA, its contractors, and the economists.

What happened was that, late 1971 the shuttle program was a train wreck. NASA had essentially lost control, and OMB had took over. Weinberger muttered in Nixon ear much better that Fletcher...

Quote
However, the Saturn V and Saturn IB will both be retired after flying their last missions.

Yep. What boosters remain will be recycled for space station buildup.

Quote
NASA proposes to replace them with a New Saturn (based on the INT-20 http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/satint20.htm). This vehicle can be flown in the 2, 3 or 4 F-1A version with a payload to LEO of around 22 up to around 64mT. It would replace both the Saturn IB and be a launcher for future "wet-workshop" derived Skylabs. It will be called Saturn 2, 3 or 4 (depending on the number of engines and with Arabic numerals to set itself apart from the previous generation) .

I have a crush on the Saturn INT-20, too. But it is oversized...

Quote
So, I would guess maybe the following timeline:

Up to 1975 (ASTP), as actually happened.

Development of INT-20 continues apace along with the F-1A and J-2S, which is now also optimized for mass production and cost reduction. Pad-39B is reconfigured, with a new permanent access tower for the 85m Saturn 2/3/4. Also, development of the block III Apollo (smaller, lighter SM, and solar panels, optimized for LEO work, up to 5 man crew).

Then:

1976: Maiden flight of Saturn 2
1977: Launch of Skylab-5, using a Saturn 2 and block II leftover. Around 90 days in orbit,
1978: Launch of Skylab-6, using the new block III, 4 man crew, station reboost, 70 days. Skylab B is cancelled for good, instead development of Spacelab, a modular spacestation based on 35 ton blocks to be launched by Saturn 3 and assembled on orbit.
1979: Skylab-7 (4 man, 100 days). Last Skylab flight because the station has major problems, cutting mission short after only 32 days. Maiden flight of Saturn 3.

1981: Launch of Spacelab-A (core module, unmanned, on Saturn 3). Development of Apollo Block-IV, capable of loitering for 200 days) and Apollo-C (cargo version). Maiden flight of Apollo IV in LEO.
1982: Launch of Spacelab-B (hab module, on Saturn 3) and Spacelab-1 (first crew, 3 man, EVA assembly of Spacelab). Spacelab-2 continues assembly. Maiden flight of Apollo C, unmanned, automatic docking test.
1983: Launch of Spacelab-C (experiment module). Spacelab 3, 4, and 5, assembly and science. President Reagan invites "our friends and allies" to participate (yes, we get Space Station Freedom).
1985: Launch of Spacelab-D (2nd experiment module). Launch of Expedition 1, first permanent crew.
From now on, it's pretty much ISS with crew and cargo, with JAXA and ESA participation. Studies begin on a "lunar return" using derived hardware...

I'll leave it at that for the moment. A lunar return in the 1990s is possible. We can continue along this line of thought if there is interest.


This is very much like an earlier atempt I did when it all started, circa 2008.
http://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=91794

Admittedly,  INT-20 / Block III Apollo is more glamourous than Big Gemini / Titan III...

Quote
In fact, the answer to all of this is seen in the Russian space program over the same decades.  They kept their "Apollo", and developed space stations that evolved from their Skylab (Salyut 1) to the Mir Space Station.  We would have done the same, but in the end, our "Mir" would have been a vast cluster of Skylabs

Two words: SPOT ON. A cluster of Skylabs, that's the thing. The  way I see it: Skylab modules light enough to be launched by recylced Saturn IBs (with four or eight minuteman solids, that's 25 tons to LEO.

Cheers !
« Last Edit: 09/03/2011 03:39 pm by Archibald »
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Offline alk3997

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #24 on: 09/03/2011 03:41 pm »
I hate to rain on your parade a bit, but assuming you are using this hardware to get out of LEO, then you would have most likely lost a crew in the 1974-1975 timeframe due to solar activity or the reliability of the hardware.  Don't forget to factor the recovery for the crew loss as well as the public's and Congress' reaction to that changing your budget.  Of course that only applies if going beyond LEO.

Your costs are going to be very high using this hardware for LEO only.  You might want to convert a Saturn IB flight to today's dollars and assume you have to build all new hardware (development is the expensive side).

And, then while we are factoring real world stuff in this exercise, don't forget test flights of hardware that has to be changed because the manufacturing processes that originally built those vehicles no longer exists.  A J-2X becomes needed much earlier because you can't build the original J-2 anymore.  I forget how many items on the original Saturn were "lifetime buys", so that NASA stored enough through the last Saturn V and then would have to go back to the drawing board if more were needed.

It's not all roses in this alternate reality, is it?

Andy
« Last Edit: 09/03/2011 03:45 pm by alk3997 »

Offline Patchouli

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #25 on: 09/03/2011 03:43 pm »
There were a lot of things that could have been done to improve the Saturn vehicles the most obvious would be to redo the S-IC to be stage and a half this is called the S-ID.

You can have the crew LV be just a S-ID which is called the Saturn V-B

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/saturnvb.htm

Cargo add an S-IVB to the I-ID making the Saturn V-C
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/saturnvc.htm

This had an 81,000kg payload smaller then the Saturn V but larger then the INT-21.
It gets rid of one of the most expensive parts the S-II and cuts the expended F1s down the just 1.

The future would have likely be reusable ferries like the Nerva shuttle or the chemical OTV along with SEP tugs for LEO to lunar transport so TLI would less important then LEO payload.
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/otv.htm

As for Apollo I think Big Gemini or some sorta lifting body vehicle would replace it for LEO use.

The Apollo CSM might in an updated form still have been used well into  80s for BEO.
It was in clear need of updates by the 70s but no shuttle they would have had spent only on them.
The most glaring need was the risky pure O2 atmosphere had to go.

Eventually they probably would loose the large SM as confidence in the OTV builtup or one of the LEO lifting bodies modified to BEO.

I hate to rain on your parade a bit, but assuming you are using this hardware to get out of LEO, then you would have most likely lost a crew in the 1974-1975 timeframe due to solar activity or the reliability of the hardware.  Don't forget to factor the recovery for the crew loss as well as the public's and Congress' reaction to that changing your budget.  Of course that only applies if going beyond LEO.

Your costs are going to be very high using this hardware for LEO only.  You might want to convert a Saturn IB flight to today's dollars and assume you have to build all new hardware (development is the expensive side).

And, then while we are factoring real world stuff in this exercise, don't forget test flights of hardware that has to be changed because the manufacturing processes that originally built those vehicles no longer exists.  A J-2X becomes needed much earlier because you can't build the original J-2 anymore.  I forget how many items on the original Saturn were "lifetime buys", so that NASA stored enough through the last Saturn V and then would have to go back to the drawing board if more were needed.

It's not all roses in this alternate reality, is it?

Andy
It depends on a lot of variables.
If they have a lunar base they'd likely have some sorta solar storm shelter.
If in transit the CSM can provide enough shielding by keeping the SM between the crew and the sun.
They might have an increased risk of cancer but I heard it described as the difference between being a little radiation sick and needing a bone marrow transplant.

The danger zone is if they're on the surface away from the base as the LEM it's self provides little protection.
« Last Edit: 09/03/2011 03:59 pm by Patchouli »

Offline Joris

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #26 on: 09/03/2011 08:31 pm »
Just noticed that the Saturn V used to launch Skylab had a payload of 75t to LEO.

Adding an upper stage (S-IVB) would increase this to 127t in.  ;)

Doesn't have much Shuttle or Constellation heritage.
But does this pass the law for SLS as it currently is besides that?

I'm semi-seriously asking.
« Last Edit: 09/04/2011 01:11 pm by Joris »
JIMO would have been the first proper spaceship.

Offline RyanC

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #27 on: 09/03/2011 09:17 pm »
The most glaring need was the risky pure O2 atmosphere had to go.

It was simple and reliable -- remember that if you get the nitrox mix wrong, it can be very dangerous -- witness G.B. North's accident involving a nitrogen-rich feed during ground testing of early Mercury capsule atmospheric system designs on 21 April 1960.

It's also important to note that the flammability of a O2 environment is related to the pressure it's under -- Apollo 1 was so devastating because it was at 16-17 PSI -- brought about by the need to provide a positive pressure differential between the capsule and sea level 14.7 PSI in order for the plugs out test to work.

That high pressure of 16+ PSI of O2 meant that the enormous amounts of raschel netting and velcro in 012 -- something like 5,000~ square inches of it -- simply *exploded*.

At a flight environment of 5 PSI, fire propagation would be much slower; and in the Block II environment of Betacloth and fireproof paper; there's significantly less flammable materials to burn.

Nitrox systems make sense for a fully developed and mature space infrastructure that has achieved the reliability of modern air travel. For an experimental complex, which is what things are going to be for the foreseeable future, O2 makes more sense, not only because it eliminates pre-breathing for spacesuit EVAs, but also because it allows safety systems to be fully utilized.

In SP-2008-565 Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Report; I found the following items to be incredibly aggravating:

Integration issues include: the crew cannot keep their visors down throughout entry because doing so results in high oxygen concentrations in the cabin

and

Breathing 100% O2 results in O2-enriched air being exhaled into the shuttle cabin. Over time, this increases the O2 concentration in the cabin, amplifying the potential for fire. Therefore, the amount of time that crew members have their visors down and are breathing 100% O2 is limited operationally to reduce this hazard.

Even if they had had some sort of inflatable foamed aeroshell stowed under their seats to survive the thermal environment of re-entry and the breakup of the orbiter cabin, the above doctrine of visors up to limit O2 in the cabin means that they'd never have had a chance to use it; since they all lost consciousness the moment the orbiter depressurized in less than a second or so.

Of course, the solution given in SP-2008-565 was to have some sort of automatic suit activation system to close and lock the visor automatically, similar to the auto-pressurization system on SR-71 suits; rather than simply adopting O2 again, with all the knock on effects that'd have for simplifying EVAs
« Last Edit: 09/03/2011 09:20 pm by RyanCrierie »

Offline Jim

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #28 on: 09/03/2011 09:21 pm »
The most glaring need was the risky pure O2 atmosphere had to go.


Wrong, the post Apollo 1 fix was adequate.

Offline RyanC

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #29 on: 09/03/2011 09:23 pm »
Uh Jim, I already answered that in my post. Sometimes I use BOLD as a poor man's quote

Offline Jim

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #30 on: 09/03/2011 09:25 pm »
Even if they had had some sort of inflatable foamed aeroshell stowed under their seats to survive the thermal environment of re-entry and the breakup of the orbiter cabin,

You mean a non existing, non demonstrated feasibility, Scifi type system? 

Offline RyanC

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #31 on: 09/03/2011 09:36 pm »
You mean a non existing, non demonstrated feasibility, Scifi type system? 

Project MOOSE underwent some testing, including flying heat shield material samples on a Mercury mission, as well as inflating bags with test subjects inside, and dropping dummies from a height to see if the crushable foam would work.

It would have needed further intensive development to reach operational status; but it was in no way a "sci fi" type of system.

The point I was trying to make was this: It doesn't matter if MOOSE was fully developed and demonstrated operational, if the person we're trying to save immediately loses consciousness in said situation because we're afraid of spacecraft operations with visors down; reducing his chances of survival from at best 25-35% to 0%.
« Last Edit: 09/03/2011 09:39 pm by RyanCrierie »

Offline Patchouli

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #32 on: 09/03/2011 10:31 pm »
Nitrox systems make sense for a fully developed and mature space infrastructure.

You just answered why the pure O2 had to go there's a good reason why the Russians dropped it early on.

For something actually operational you need a mixed atmosphere.

For short duration pure O2 is not risky but for weeks it starts becoming a health risk.

Skylab needed Nitrox to prevent respiratory issues such as atelectasis though it used 80% O2 and 20% N2 at 5 lbs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atelectasis

All modern crewed spacecraft today operate at between 14.7 to 10 pisg and there are many good medical reasons for this.
The lower is for EVA as it reduces prebreathing.
I consider Nitrox one of the things the Russians got right early on.
« Last Edit: 09/03/2011 10:44 pm by Patchouli »

Offline luke strawwalker

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #33 on: 09/04/2011 12:28 am »
There were a lot of things that could have been done to improve the Saturn vehicles the most obvious would be to redo the S-IC to be stage and a half this is called the S-ID.

You can have the crew LV be just a S-ID which is called the Saturn V-B

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/saturnvb.htm

Cargo add an S-IVB to the I-ID making the Saturn V-C
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/saturnvc.htm

This had an 81,000kg payload smaller then the Saturn V but larger then the INT-21.
It gets rid of one of the most expensive parts the S-II and cuts the expended F1s down the just 1.

The future would have likely be reusable ferries like the Nerva shuttle or the chemical OTV along with SEP tugs for LEO to lunar transport so TLI would less important then LEO payload.
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/otv.htm

As for Apollo I think Big Gemini or some sorta lifting body vehicle would replace it for LEO use.

The Apollo CSM might in an updated form still have been used well into  80s for BEO.
It was in clear need of updates by the 70s but no shuttle they would have had spent only on them.
The most glaring need was the risky pure O2 atmosphere had to go.

Eventually they probably would loose the large SM as confidence in the OTV builtup or one of the LEO lifting bodies modified to BEO.

I hate to rain on your parade a bit, but assuming you are using this hardware to get out of LEO, then you would have most likely lost a crew in the 1974-1975 timeframe due to solar activity or the reliability of the hardware.  Don't forget to factor the recovery for the crew loss as well as the public's and Congress' reaction to that changing your budget.  Of course that only applies if going beyond LEO.

Your costs are going to be very high using this hardware for LEO only.  You might want to convert a Saturn IB flight to today's dollars and assume you have to build all new hardware (development is the expensive side).

And, then while we are factoring real world stuff in this exercise, don't forget test flights of hardware that has to be changed because the manufacturing processes that originally built those vehicles no longer exists.  A J-2X becomes needed much earlier because you can't build the original J-2 anymore.  I forget how many items on the original Saturn were "lifetime buys", so that NASA stored enough through the last Saturn V and then would have to go back to the drawing board if more were needed.

It's not all roses in this alternate reality, is it?

Andy
It depends on a lot of variables.
If they have a lunar base they'd likely have some sorta solar storm shelter.
If in transit the CSM can provide enough shielding by keeping the SM between the crew and the sun.
They might have an increased risk of cancer but I heard it described as the difference between being a little radiation sick and needing a bone marrow transplant.

The danger zone is if they're on the surface away from the base as the LEM it's self provides little protection.


Agree with this...

Saturn I-D would have been an excellent stage and a half launcher.  I'm not sure recovery and reuse of the F-1's would have proved any more cost effective than shuttle did, but it's an interesting possibility.  I think money would have been better spent on a *simplified* F-1/F-1A versus developing recoverable F-1 booster ring.  Similar to shuttle payload in a stage and a half all kerolox vehicle that's manrated, that's a winner!   

The idea was SO good it was revived under the NLS program for their stage and a half proposal, using 6 SSME's and no SRB's for liftoff and then dropping the outer four in mid-flight, and going on to orbit on the remaining 2 SSME's. 

I like the INT-20.  I think you need payloads for it.  There were other station proposals besides Skylab that could have been developed, including one that basically replaced the SLA panels above the S-IVB with a conical station.  Had this paradigm been evolved into "modules" we could have done something similar to Mir in the late 70's early 80's. 
INT-20 or it's equivalent with a S-ID first stage would be a good launcher and maintain a lot of capability. 

In reading about Saturn IB, there were a lot of replacements proposed, from solid first stages of single 260 inch monolithic motors to clusters of 120 inch motors from Titan III.  I don't think any of them were particularly realistic or even desirable.  Intuitively, the amalgamation of clustered tanks and small kerolox H-1 engines and heavy stage weight looks terribly inefficient, and in a way it is, but on the other hand, it was PAID FOR and design and development of a new system is VERY expensive!  From what I've read, the performance improvements of a "dual propellant tank" Saturn IB replacement probably wouldn't have justified the development costs in capability or cost savings over continuing with the standard Saturn IB.  IF however you wanted to streamline the program to reduce costs, Saturn IB was an expensive beast to keep around, and money that would be better spent elsewhere, by eliminating the stage costs and H-1 engine program.  Repowering the existing Saturn IB first stage for F-1's would have been penny wise pound foolish as well.  IF the need was there (and it's VERY doubtful it was or could be justified) then developing a new first stage, powered by the same F-1/F-1A's powering the Saturn V evolution, might barely have squeezed through... (though I doubt it).  Such a 260 inch twin F-1 powered first stage could have acted as an LRB for Saturn V (though of course this would have had enormous consequences at KSC).  I've tinkered with the idea of what three of these boosters in a three-body configuration like Delta IV heavy could have accomplished, with 6 F-1's thrusting at liftoff (like some proposals for upgrading Saturn V proposed by adding a sixth F-1 beside the center one and shifting the outer four outboard 39 inches).  It would require a bigger upper stage than S-IVB, maybe a 260 inch adaptation of it with twin or even three or four J-2S, but it would have been a very powerful launcher!  I SEVERELY doubt, however, that the project would have ever been 'sold' in the atmosphere of the 70's. 

Saturn II, (airlit S-II stage flanked by four Titan III SRM's, with or without S-IVB upper stage) would have been the wrong path as much as shuttle or any other solid boosted rocket.  The costs of solids would have doomed it in the end.  It would have worked, no doubt, but it would have been very expensive, just as shuttle has been.  The only benefit it has going for it is keeping the S-II stage alive (which isn't needed for INT-20 or basically any other non-exploration class missions, with the possible exception of launching large dry space stations on an INT-21 type vehicle.  It also would have had the benefit of using the common J-2S engine as the S-IVB, and eliminating the need for F-1/F-1A.  Personally I think that would have proven a poor choice indeed, since it would have required the Titan III boosters to lift if off the pad, and exchanging the F-1/F-1A for the UA-1205/1207 boosters would have ultimately proven as expensive and foolish as it was trading F-1 for SRB's.  Someone suggested a 33 foot S-IVB replacement-- no real need, as a single J-2S couldn't have used the fuel capacity of such a stage.  Perhaps with study, a barrel-shortened version of S-II using a single, pair, or even 3-4 (depending on the barrel shortening possible) version of S-II could have proven feasible, but I doubt there would have been money for it. 

Basically this entire exercise is predicated on the idea that "shuttle will cost too much to develop; there's no sense in doing it on the cheap, so let's improve incrementally what we have and use that.  So I doubt that new twin F-1 booster stages can be justified, or new upper stages.  Streamlining the program, simplifying production of F-1, and incrementally improving and simplifying the construction of existing stages would seem the way to go.  S-ID mods could have been incorporated as an "incremental improvement" to the thrust structure of S-IC, so it's FAR more likely than any new S-IB replacement first stage. 

Later! 
OL JR :)
NO plan IS the plan...

"His plan had no goals, no timeline, and no budgetary guidelines. Just maybe's, pretty speeches, and smokescreens."

Offline RyanC

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #34 on: 09/04/2011 12:47 am »
For something actually operational you need a mixed atmosphere.

Yes; because it lets you send up a wider spectrum of people into space with less training needed.

But we're a while away from such routinized spaceflight.

Quote
For short duration pure O2 is not risky but for weeks it starts becoming a health risk.

(snip talk about Atelectasis)

Thanks for the link to Atelectasis. I'll have to read up further on that; specifically at what point Atelectasis begins to become a major issue.

The longest pure O2 mission was in Gemini at 14 days, while the longest shuttle mission was 17 days; so it does appear to me that there's a point to be made for use of O2 systems for short duration missions, due to system simplicity, ease of EVA access, etc.

Offline RyanC

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #35 on: 09/04/2011 01:55 pm »
Your costs are going to be very high using this hardware for LEO only.  You might want to convert a Saturn IB flight to today's dollars and assume you have to build all new hardware (development is the expensive side).

Study of an Evolutionary Interim Earth Orbit Program (6 April 1971) gave costs as being:

Production Restarts:

Saturn IB: $70 million ($376.89 million in 2010 Dollars)
S-IVB Production: $30 million ($161.52 million in 2010 Dollars)
S-IC/S-II Production (for INT-21): $130 million ($699.93 million in 2010 Dollars)
Apollo CSM Production: $100 million ($538.41 million in 2010 Dollars)

(S-IVB is listed here individually since the report also considered using Solid Rocket Motor boosted S-IVB stages as an alternative to Titan III)

Program Development Costs:

Titan IIIM Restart + Man-Rating + Apollo Spacecraft Adapter: $250 million ($1,346 million in 2010 dollars)

Once the production lines had been restarted or the hardware developed, the procurement costs would have been about:

Titan IIIM Costs: $25 million ($134.60 million in 2010 Dollars)
Saturn IB Costs: $50 million ($269.20 million in 2010 Dollars)
Saturn INT-21 Costs: $80 million ($430.73 million in 2010 Dollars)
Apollo CSM Costs: $45 million ($242.28 million in 2010 Dollars)

There's a good reason to go with Saturn IB over Titan IIIM, namely, the 46,000~ lb to LEO capability of the Saturn IB (Skylab 4 CSM Mass), versus the 26,300 lb of the Titan IIIM.

Of course, we can't leave out the elephant in the room; Space Shuttle costs, which were pretty much super-optimistic:

Nuclear Shuttle System Definition Study, Phase III Final Report Volume I Executive Summary (May 1971) gave STS per mission costs as $5 million ($26.92 million in 2010 Dollars) for something that was fully reusable (Early studies with flyback boosters).

Even by 1976, the costing for Shuttle was still super optimistic; the Carter-Mondale Transition Planning group in January 1977 gave the STS cost per launch as being $13 million in 1976 dollars, which translates to about $49.82 million in 2010 dollars.

Quote
And, then while we are factoring real world stuff in this exercise, don't forget test flights of hardware that has to be changed because the manufacturing processes that originally built those vehicles no longer exists.

MSFC rules of the period required two test launches to man-rate something -- this was factored into the development costs for all the INTermediate vehicles and uprated Saturn V's studied during that period.

Quote
A J-2X becomes needed much earlier because you can't build the original J-2 anymore

Why would we need J-2X? We'd just you know, produce the J-2S, which offered more performance for lower cost, both in procurement and operations -- it would have eliminated no longer-needed GSE connections which would reduce the manpower needed to check out each J-2S equipped stage, and then to maintain it once on the pad.
« Last Edit: 09/04/2011 01:56 pm by RyanCrierie »

Offline RyanC

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #36 on: 09/04/2011 02:39 pm »
I've done some thinking about what would have followed Skylab if we hadn't retired the Saturn V.

Keep in mind that Skylab A/B were very much done on the cheap, via converting S-IVB-212 to Skylab A and S-IVB-515 to Skylab B, to reduce development costs.

Starting from a slightly more blank slate, Skylab C and D could have offered slightly more interior space and more consumables; since the design could be more optimal, rather than being totally constrained by the tank dimensions of the S-IVB to minimize developmental costs.

Beyond that; there are some very impressive things you could do with a modular space station with the Saturn V's lifting capability -- STUDY OF AN EVOLUTIONARY INTERIM EARTH ORBIT PROGRAM, dated 6 April 1971 gives the payload parameters for a two stage Saturn V to the orbital parameter of 235 nautical miles high and 50 degree inclination used by Skylab as being 197,000 pounds -- actual payload to that position would remain at 170,000~ lbs to account for shroud mass and to provide a safety margin in case of an underperforming booster.

If you adopted the ISS' architecture of dedicated modules for power/life support/research, you could do really awesome things with a hypothetical follow on Skylab E.

Such as launching a S-IVB based/sized module to provide electrical power, life support, and attitude control, etc for Skylab E; and then following it up with a S-II sized module for living quarters and experiments.

It's certainly possible to put a S-II sized module up -- the dry mass of S-II-11 was 80,362 lbs; while S-II-13 was 80,463 lbs.

It won't be as dense as Skylab, so it makes sense to chain it up with a smaller, more dense module which provides hotel power.

According to "Description of S-II Stage Structures" from 20 April 1967; the S-II's LH2 tank was 36,883 cubic feet; which means a S-IVB + S-II station would have a pressurized volume of about 45,000~ cubic feet.

Contrast this to the 32,000~ cubic feet ISS will have when the last major module is docked in 2012.

Assembly costs would be massively lower too, you'd only have to pay for two Saturn INT-21 launches, which would have cost only $861~ million to fire off, versus the roughly $14,400 million needed for the 36 shuttle missions which delivered components to ISS and had spacewalks occur while docked to the ISS.
« Last Edit: 09/04/2011 02:39 pm by RyanCrierie »

Offline RyanC

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #37 on: 09/04/2011 02:46 pm »
IF the need was there (and it's VERY doubtful it was or could be justified) then developing a new first stage, powered by the same F-1/F-1A's powering the Saturn V evolution, might barely have squeezed through... (though I doubt it).  Such a 260 inch twin F-1 powered first stage could have acted as an LRB for Saturn V (though of course this would have had enormous consequences at KSC).

You rang, my good sir?

Text on that concept in the paper goes

RP-l/LOX (PUMP-FED)/S-IVB VEHICLE

The other Saturn V/S-IC derivative vehicle examined is a 260-inch diameter RP-l/LOX stage combined with an S-IVB as a second stage, see Figure 2.

One hundred N.M. circular orbit payload for this combination is 86,000 pounds.

The first stage has two F-1 engines identical with those used on Saturn V.

Booster subsystems are either existing Saturn V/S-IC elements or are a direct application of the current design and manufacturing techniques.

The primary structural material is 2219-T-87 Aluminum - proven on the S-IC (Figure 7 describes material properties).

The S-IVB stage is the same as that presently used on uprated Saturn I.

Development cost for this vehicle is estimated to be approximately 452 million dollars including two man-rating flights, construction of manufacturing and test facilities, engineering, tooling, etc. and modification of the Saturn IB launch facility to handle this new vehicle. The operational vehicle "launched" cost is estimated as 39 million dollars.

Recovery and reuse of this vehicle would use the S-IC concept (Figure 3). Additional DDT&E would be approximately 17 million dollars and the average "launched" cost would reduce to 31 million dollars.
« Last Edit: 09/04/2011 02:49 pm by RyanCrierie »

Offline Archibald

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #38 on: 09/04/2011 03:24 pm »
Quote
If you adopted the ISS' architecture of dedicated modules for power/life support/research, you could do really awesome things with a hypothetical follow on Skylab E.

Such as launching a S-IVB based/sized module to provide electrical power, life support, and attitude control, etc for Skylab E; and then following it up with a S-II sized module for living quarters and experiments.

It's certainly possible to put a S-II sized module up -- the dry mass of S-II-11 was 80,362 lbs; while S-II-13 was 80,463 lbs.

It won't be as dense as Skylab, so it makes sense to chain it up with a smaller, more dense module which provides hotel power.

According to "Description of S-II Stage Structures" from 20 April 1967; the S-II's LH2 tank was 36,883 cubic feet; which means a S-IVB + S-II station would have a pressurized volume of about 45,000~ cubic feet.

Contrast this to the 32,000~ cubic feet ISS will have when the last major module is docked in 2012.

Assembly costs would be massively lower too, you'd only have to pay for two Saturn INT-21 launches, which would have cost only $861~ million to fire off, versus the roughly $14,400 million needed for the 36 shuttle missions which delivered components to ISS and had spacewalks occur while docked to the ISS.

I like it. What you says makes a lot of sense.
Imagine a scaled up Mir - essentially a propeller-shaped, five modules space station (minus Kvant-1).
A massive S-II module as the * shaft*, with Skylab-sized modules disposed like a four-blade propeller.

« Last Edit: 09/04/2011 05:57 pm by Chris Bergin »
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: What if Apollo/Saturn Had never been Cancelled?
« Reply #39 on: 09/04/2011 03:37 pm »
Cool pic! Exactly what I had in mind with the "X" config :)
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