Author Topic: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.  (Read 12587 times)

Offline Moe Grills

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50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« on: 10/26/2011 08:40 PM »
   The reason I recall this date is that I have an old encyclopedia set
of which one book has a cover showing the launch of the first Saturn 1,
with a dummy second stage, ascending from it's elevated pad on October,27, 1961.

   You may disagree, but I think that launch actually caused the American space program to leapfrog ahead of the Soviets in their "Space Race" from that day on.; just months after JFK sponsored Project Apollo.

I know that the first Saturn 1 generated only 1.3 million Ibs of thrust;
possessed only one functioning stage; was incapable then of putting anything into orbit until 1964; and nobody at NASA was quite sure what to do with it (Von Braun had ideas; others in NASA had other ideas);
and the Soviets in 1965 did launch a Proton that was more powerful.

  Yet what might have been.
(hypothetically) Even as early as 1964, NASA could have mounted a Centaur on top of a fully functional two-stage Saturn 1 and could have sent EITHER 14 short tons of hardware into LEO (mockup of a   spacelab?), 8,000 Ibs to the Moon; or accelerated 800-1000Ibs of off-the-shelf hardware (including a SNAP radioactive thermoelectric generator) towards Jupiter during a launch window around August, 1964.

   

Offline dbaker

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #1 on: 10/27/2011 02:07 PM »
    You may disagree, but I think that launch actually caused the American space program to leapfrog ahead of the Soviets in their "Space Race" from that day on.; just months after JFK sponsored Project Apollo.   

Don't disagree at all. I think a lot of us were finally convinced we were pulling level, if not ahead, when that baby lit off. Also this day, the Space Task Group met and wrote the detailed OP for two-man Mercury Mk II flights. Of course that became Gemini. The first manned flight was to have been an 18-orbit mission in May 1963 but that was back-placed to the last Mercury flight when Gemini drifted to the right. Back then Agena B was to have been the target vehicle for rendezvous and docking and the 12 flights were to have been completed by March 1965. In reality that was the date of the first manned Gemini mission but amazing that the completion of flight activity came only 18 months after the projected date six years before! More than just rocket thrust ignited 50 years ago this day - I raise a glass!

Offline edkyle99

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #2 on: 10/27/2011 02:38 PM »
SA-1 lifted off at 10:06 AM EST on October 27, 1961 from LC 34.  It was the heaviest object launched at the time.  The flight was absolutely a watershed event for NASA, but even before it flew Saturn C-1 was obsolete. 

During the months prior to the SA-1 launch, Von Braun's team, responding to JFK's May announcement, had abandoned Saturn C-2, the growth version of Saturn C-1, and had already begun thinking about shelving its Saturn C-3 designs, which had already moved away from the C-1 cluster stage itself.  Saturn C-1's S-IV stage would not fly for more than two years, but MSFC was already working on plans to abandon it in favor of bigger stage.  In following months, NASA would abandon plans to fly manned Apollo missions on Saturn I (C-1), leaving a truncated flight test program with no real payloads.

Today SA-1 and the Saturn C-1 program itself would be called a massive waste of money, but in 1961 it was worth every penny. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 10/27/2011 02:55 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #3 on: 10/27/2011 02:54 PM »
I like the flexible “outside the box” thinking at the time that gave us Saturn I. It was like, what can we do with what we have now? Whip-out the slide rules, it’s good to go… Great move…
Happy BirthdaySaturn I! :)

Robert
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Offline Jim

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #4 on: 10/27/2011 03:35 PM »

Today SA-1 and the Saturn C-1 program itself would be called a massive waste of money, but in 1961 it was worth every penny. 

 - Ed Kyle

Because we know rocket science now. 
The first 12 flights of Corona would also qualify as waste today.
« Last Edit: 10/27/2011 03:36 PM by Jim »

Offline edkyle99

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #5 on: 10/27/2011 04:21 PM »
I like the flexible “outside the box” thinking at the time that gave us Saturn I. It was like, what can we do with what we have now? Whip-out the slide rules, it’s good to go… Great move…
Happy BirthdaySaturn I! :)

Robert


There are different descriptions about who actually did the "outside the box" thinking!

In April 1957, Von Braun ordered H.H. Koelle to perform a space launcher design study.  Up until this time, the Army team had worked only on missiles.  Koelle first studied vehicles derived from the in-development Jupiter missile to orbit small payloads.  Then he looked at big boosters.  "Super Jupiter" was the result.  It would have used a cluster of four 370,000 pound thrust North American Aviation(NAA)/Rocketdyne E-1 engines. 

"Super Jupiter" was only a study, but it came off the shelf after the Soviets orbited Sputnik in October.  Von Braun submitted it as part of ABMA's December, 1957 "Proposal for a National Integrated Missile and Space Vehicle Development Program" to the Department of Defense.  (I've never seen a copy of this proposal, BTW).

JPL's Pickering suggested use of the "Juno" name for ABMA's space rockets after the January 31, 1958 Explorer I success.  Thus, "Super Jupiter" became "Juno V" (Junos III and IV were proposed Jupiter derivatives that never flew). 

In February 1958, the Eisenhower administration created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) to foster the development of space technology. ARPA actually funded development of Juno III/IV, but soon shifted its attention toward the bigger rocket. 

Here's where it gets interesting and "outside the box"-y.  ARPA's David Young, Richard Canright, and Richard Cesaro were interested in big rockets.  Canright, on loan from Douglas Aircraft, was an "instant and strong advocate" for the cluster engine idea, according to ARPA history, but other histories tell a different story.  What is known is that Canright, who had begun at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was known as a knowledgeable and experienced propulsion expert - this during a time when very few such experts existed.

Canright (remember, he was the Douglas guy - he was the assistant chief engineer of missile systems there) punched ABMA in the gut by deciding to develop Thor-based orbital launchers rather than Juno III/IV.  His decision led to cancellation of Juno III/IV and its repercussions have reverberated for decades - right up to tomorrow's planned final launch of a Thor-derived rocket from Vandenberg AFB.

This decision led to a famous mid-1958 meeting attended by Canright, Secretary of the Army Wilbur Brucker, Maj. Gen. J.B. Medaris of ABMA, ARPA chief scientist Herbert York, David Young, and others. Bruker started things off by accusing ARPA of "selling out" to the Air Force (and Douglas), using "colorful language" in the process.  Brucker made it clear that he expected ARPA to support ABMA. 

After the meeting, Medaris told York and Canright that ABMA operations required $90 million a year.  He suggested that ARPA should fund half that amount!  Canright was "incensed" (can you imagine what this day was like for him!?), but York saw the writing on the wall.  If ARPA was not going to fund Juno III/IV, it was probably going to have to fund Juno V. 

In July, 1958, York sent Young and Canright to visit ABMA.  While there, they (probably Canright) "suggested" using eight existing Thor/Jupiter engines, a change that saved $60 million and two years in development time.  Von Braun was not in favor of this change, but ARPA controlled the purse strings.

Medaris and von Braun told Canright that it was impractical to try to make an eight-engined rocket!  Canright (probably still "incensed") insisted, saying that ARPA could find another contractor if ABMA didn't want the job!  Von Braun continued to advocate for E-1 engines for months afterward, to no avail. 

On August 15, 1958, ARPA Order 14-59 was signed, kicking off the Juno V effort.  The initial order was only for a full-scale, captive test of the first stage.  Additional orders would soon expand the program.  Saturn had been born.

So H.H. Koelle and Wernher von Braun conceptualized the big booster, but it was Richard Canright who made it into the "cluster" that we came to know.  It was his insistence on use of existing engines that resulted in the early SA-1 launch date - but which also probably led to the early obsolescence of Saturn I.

Canright, as I understand it, worked a few years later for NASA HQ's "Office of Launch Vehicles and Propulsion", where he had a say in the direction of early Saturn and Nova planning.  He also played a key role in "saving" Saturn when DoD tried to zero its budget in 1959.  I would like to find more info on this important fellow, if anyone has any links.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 10/27/2011 04:55 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline dbaker

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #6 on: 10/27/2011 04:53 PM »
There are different descriptions about who actually did the "outside the box" thinking!
 - Ed Kyle

Don't forget von Braun was a late convert to clustering, opposed to the idea until told he would be replaced if he couldn't agree to get on with it. He may have been the darling of the Disney world but at this stage von Braun had little clout and was not doing the running.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #7 on: 10/27/2011 05:48 PM »
SA-1 lifted off at 10:06 AM EST on October 27, 1961 from LC 34.  It was the heaviest object launched at the time.  The flight was absolutely a watershed event for NASA, but even before it flew Saturn C-1 was obsolete. 

During the months prior to the SA-1 launch, Von Braun's team, responding to JFK's May announcement, had abandoned Saturn C-2, the growth version of Saturn C-1, and had already begun thinking about shelving its Saturn C-3 designs, which had already moved away from the C-1 cluster stage itself.  Saturn C-1's S-IV stage would not fly for more than two years, but MSFC was already working on plans to abandon it in favor of bigger stage.  In following months, NASA would abandon plans to fly manned Apollo missions on Saturn I (C-1), leaving a truncated flight test program with no real payloads.

Today SA-1 and the Saturn C-1 program itself would be called a massive waste of money, but in 1961 it was worth every penny. 

 - Ed Kyle

Even though it got nicknamed Cluster's last stand the decision to build it was a wise one as it allowed early testing of the Apollo spacecraft.

The use what you have mentality reminds me of the concepts of man rating the EELVs for Orion.
« Last Edit: 10/27/2011 06:18 PM by Patchouli »

Offline edkyle99

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #8 on: 10/27/2011 06:11 PM »
Don't forget von Braun was a late convert to clustering, opposed to the idea until told he would be replaced if he couldn't agree to get on with it. He may have been the darling of the Disney world but at this stage von Braun had little clout and was not doing the running.

True that his detailed technical choices did not always make the final cut, but I can't agree with your "little clout" description.  In 1958, von Braun had just won a vast ocean of credibility with the Explorer I launch.  It was he, ultimately, who won the funding for the continued ABMA space projects, including what would be by-far the most costly of the U.S. launch vehicles - Saturn.  It was he who convinced LBJ, and thus JFK, that the Moon was the logical goal for bettering the Soviets.  It would be his Center that built much of what we call NASA today (MSFC, Stennis, Kennedy Space Center - which began as a launch "laboratory" for Marshall, etc.)  It was he that ultimately "made" NASA's lunar mode decision, when he accepted LOR. 

Much clout he had.

 - Ed Kyle   
« Last Edit: 10/27/2011 06:18 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #9 on: 10/27/2011 06:52 PM »
Don't forget von Braun was a late convert to clustering, opposed to the idea until told he would be replaced if he couldn't agree to get on with it. He may have been the darling of the Disney world but at this stage von Braun had little clout and was not doing the running.

True that his detailed technical choices did not always make the final cut, but I can't agree with your "little clout" description.  In 1958, von Braun had just won a vast ocean of credibility with the Explorer I launch.  It was he, ultimately, who won the funding for the continued ABMA space projects, including what would be by-far the most costly of the U.S. launch vehicles - Saturn.  It was he who convinced LBJ, and thus JFK, that the Moon was the logical goal for bettering the Soviets.  It would be his Center that built much of what we call NASA today (MSFC, Stennis, Kennedy Space Center - which began as a launch "laboratory" for Marshall, etc.)  It was he that ultimately "made" NASA's lunar mode decision, when he accepted LOR. 

Much clout he had.

 - Ed Kyle   
Great historical stories Ed! Keep them coming.
Thanks for sharing them… :)

Robert
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #10 on: 10/27/2011 06:53 PM »
Even though it got nicknamed Cluster's last stand the decision to build it was a wise one as it allowed early testing of the Apollo spacecraft.
Here's a terrific NASA video that shows some fascinating background on Saturn I development.  What is especially interesting are the descriptions of early plans for its use that never panned out.  There's a Saturn with wings, and even a propellant depot with a sunshade!


 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 10/27/2011 06:55 PM by edkyle99 »

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #11 on: 10/27/2011 08:09 PM »
Because we know rocket science now. 
The first 12 flights of Corona would also qualify as waste today.

Was there ever a good reason for Saturn 1? Couldn't they have used Titan instead?
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #12 on: 10/27/2011 08:22 PM »
Because we know rocket science now. 
The first 12 flights of Corona would also qualify as waste today.

Was there ever a good reason for Saturn 1? Couldn't they have used Titan instead?

Titan then (1958) was a smallish (by comparison) two-stage LOX/kerosene ICBM under development.  Saturn was conceived to carry much heavier payloads than Titan could carry. 

 - Ed Kyle 
« Last Edit: 10/27/2011 08:23 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #13 on: 10/27/2011 10:19 PM »
Even though it got nicknamed Cluster's last stand the decision to build it was a wise one as it allowed early testing of the Apollo spacecraft.
Here's a terrific NASA video that shows some fascinating background on Saturn I development.  What is especially interesting are the descriptions of early plans for its use that never panned out.  There's a Saturn with wings, and even a propellant depot with a sunshade!


 - Ed Kyle
Interesting to see a very “Dragonesque-looking” Apollo spacecraft in the video…  ::)
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Offline Prober

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #14 on: 10/27/2011 11:12 PM »
Even though it got nicknamed Cluster's last stand the decision to build it was a wise one as it allowed early testing of the Apollo spacecraft.
Here's a terrific NASA video that shows some fascinating background on Saturn I development.  What is especially interesting are the descriptions of early plans for its use that never panned out.  There's a Saturn with wings, and even a propellant depot with a sunshade!

 - Ed Kyle

Great video Ed,  Would the Delta IV be considered a "Cluster" or is there a different term for that design?

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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #15 on: 10/27/2011 11:29 PM »
Interesting to see a very “Dragonesque-looking” Apollo spacecraft in the video…  ::)

There was a time when we called the gum drop shape a Soyuz shape...

So was that shape for an LEO only Apollo, or was it seriously proposed for Lunar Apollo? We do know the Gum Drop shape worked with Zond.
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #16 on: 10/28/2011 12:16 AM »
Interesting to see a very “Dragonesque-looking” Apollo spacecraft in the video…  ::)

There was a time when we called the gum drop shape a Soyuz shape...

So was that shape for an LEO only Apollo, or was it seriously proposed for Lunar Apollo? We do know the Gum Drop shape worked with Zond.
It looks a lot like General Dynamics  Apollo lunar mission proposal…
http://www.alternatewars.com/SpaceRace/SP-4205/Ch01.htm
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Offline dbaker

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #17 on: 10/28/2011 08:42 AM »
Don't forget von Braun was a late convert to clustering, opposed to the idea until told he would be replaced if he couldn't agree to get on with it. He may have been the darling of the Disney world but at this stage von Braun had little clout and was not doing the running.

True that his detailed technical choices did not always make the final cut, but I can't agree with your "little clout" description. 
Much clout he had.

 - Ed Kyle   

Perhaps my choice of 'clout' was a bad one - but I stand by my assertion that the Army was not totally convinced by von Braun's approach (neither was the Air Force when it began to influence NASA thinking on test philosophy) but there is a danger in making sweeping generalizations.

In the period up to February 1958 when the very real relief at finally getting a US satellite in orbit washed back over von Braun, the Army brass dictated thinking and pushed clustering against von Braun's inclination - and his influence grew exponentially from that time, by which date the event we discuss had passed. Previously, von Braun had been given very strict instructions in heated discussion that clustering was going to happen despite his objections (expressed purely through caution over pushing too far too fast).

I remember back in 1962 the talk was very much about the boldness of having proposed multiple engines to harmonize as the big bold step. Things happened so very quickly at that time and von Braun picked up very great influence - but after the decision to cluster.

Saturn I was a landmark in so many ways - the first and last to fly an Apollo - and the mission and systems management techniques that fed across to Saturn V were a vital part of handling multiple contractors and getting them loaded on, without which Apollo would have needed another two years at least to achieve the ultimate goal. The story of Chrysler's learning curve is a case in  point.

Thanks Ed Kyle for boosting the discussion. High respect for you but maybe on this one we differ slightly. Did anyone else watch Mark Gray's DVD documentary on the Saturn I/IB program yesterday?

Offline Proponent

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #18 on: 10/28/2011 09:27 AM »
Was there ever a good reason for Saturn 1? Couldn't they have used Titan instead?

Titan then (1958) was a smallish (by comparison) two-stage LOX/kerosene ICBM under development.  Saturn was conceived to carry much heavier payloads than Titan could carry.

Once the Air Force became interested in Titan III-C, there was a show-down.  This is discussed in chapter 3 of the attached Titan III history that Blackstar posted some time ago.

Though I don't believe it's in the attached documents, I recall a quote from Herbert York when he was at ARPA (or possibly the Air Force) that Saturn's cluster was so complex it wasn't clear it would ever work, let alone be reliable.  Aside from turning out to have been completely incorrect, this is ironic given that it was ARPA that had forced the 8-engine cluster on von Braun.

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #19 on: 10/28/2011 12:23 PM »
Very interesting, thanks!

Skimming the first document, it looks as if solids were selected for Titan III because they were an easy way to get a lot of thrust. Was an all-liquid three core configuration like the EELV Heavies ever considered?

Conversely, was an F-1 powered, non-clustered Saturn derivative or Saturn/Titan hybrid ever considered as a replacement for Titan III/IV?
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #20 on: 10/28/2011 12:37 PM »
You're going to love this...
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #21 on: 10/28/2011 12:43 PM »
You're going to love this...

Not if your a Saturn I fan, and someone posts it in a Saturn I thread ;)
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #22 on: 10/28/2011 12:50 PM »
You're going to love this...

Not if your a Saturn I fan, and someone posts it in a Saturn I thread ;)
Hey Kevin,
Haha, we know which won. So all’s good!  :)

Robert
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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #23 on: 10/28/2011 01:01 PM »
You're going to love this...

Wow that thing looks like the SLS!

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #24 on: 10/28/2011 01:21 PM »
You're going to love this...

Wow that thing looks like the SLS!
Now, now... Don't make trouble... ::)
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Offline Jim

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #25 on: 10/28/2011 01:42 PM »

Conversely, was an F-1 powered, non-clustered Saturn derivative or Saturn/Titan hybrid ever considered as a replacement for Titan III/IV?

Saturn was dead for more than 10 years when Titan IV was started.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #26 on: 10/28/2011 02:42 PM »
Haha, we know which won. So all’s good!  :)

The Saturn I flew ... The four engine, two SRM Titan did not!
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #27 on: 10/28/2011 03:05 PM »
Haha, we know which won. So all’s good!  :)

The Saturn I flew ... The four engine, two SRM Titan did not!
That's exactly what I meant... I'm just being kind to the "might have beens"... :)

Robert
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Offline Proponent

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #28 on: 10/28/2011 05:30 PM »
Skimming the first document, it looks as if solids were selected for Titan III because they were an easy way to get a lot of thrust. Was an all-liquid three core configuration like the EELV Heavies ever considered?

Not that I know of.  I'm pretty sure that such a vehicle would have had a considerably lower LEO payload capability than the actual Titan IIIC.  Three Titan IIs in parallel (including the second stages) would have had three times the Titan II's capability or 8000 lb(?), so a vehicle with three Titan II first stages and just one Titan II upper stage would have had boosted less than that, i.e., less than 24,000 lb.  The Titan IIIC, on the other hand, was capable of close to 30,000 lb.

i would guess that the fact that solid-propellant ICBMs (even though not segmented) were in mass production during the Titan III era made large solid-propellant boosters more attractive than they are now.
« Last Edit: 10/28/2011 05:40 PM by Proponent »

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #29 on: 10/28/2011 11:00 PM »
I'm disapointed, no one brought up the H-1 and todays launch.
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Offline grdja

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #30 on: 10/30/2011 03:36 PM »
Ah talk about depots and refueling. In '61.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #31 on: 10/31/2011 02:10 AM »
Some SA-1 launch images. 

Cluster-powered rifle bullet.  :)

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 10/31/2011 07:49 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Art LeBrun

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #32 on: 10/31/2011 03:22 AM »
Saturn 1 seemed to be a giant at the time with lots of potential but it only supported Apollo and the 3 Pegasus satellites. With the S-4B stage it went on to further Apollo support and then 5 manned flights to finish the career.
« Last Edit: 10/31/2011 04:09 AM by Art LeBrun »
1958 launch vehicle highlights: Vanguard TV-4 and Atlas 12B

Offline Prober

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #33 on: 11/01/2011 10:04 PM »
A beauty.......
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Offline JWag

Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #34 on: 11/02/2011 03:36 PM »
I've had a question for a while and not been able to find a complete answer:

Did the S-IV stage have "blowout" panels between it and the top of the first stage?  Some photos seem to show them, and the S1 on display in Huntsville has the outlines.   I've seen pictures of the S-IV horizontal with the panels missing, too.  But I'd like an expert to connect the dots.

If it had blowout panels, I assume the S-IV actually ignited while still attached to the first stage.  That's not common on American rockets outside of the Titans, is it?

With the clusters of smaller elements, 8 engines, and fire-in-the-hole upper stage ignition, the Saturn I is actually quite "old-school" Russian in its approach. :)
« Last Edit: 11/02/2011 03:38 PM by MondoMor »

Offline RanulfC

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #35 on: 11/02/2011 03:43 PM »
I'm disapointed, no one brought up the H-1 and todays launch.

Does this help?
http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=5948

"There was particular interest in how the rocket engines would fare after an ocean splashdown. Rocket engines are fairly fragile… easily bent and corroded. The H-1 engines on the Saturn I were also not designed to be reusable; they were designed to be inexpensive. They were derived from the Rocketdyne S-3D that powered the Jupiter and Thor IRBM… greatly simplified (around 10% the parts count, IIRC), they also had greater thrust. But they were not designed to be used more than once.

Still, this was the early 1960′s… when the 60′s were still just the late 1950′s, before a Commie blew JFK’s brains out and set the 1960′s on the road to being the “60′s.” So, what is any self-respecting 1950′s engineer supposed to do with a  rocket engine designed to be used once and then thrown away? Why, test fire it, dump it into a tank full of corrosion, have the janitor swamp it out, and fire it again. So they did just that. And what did they find?

The H-1 engine was perfectly capable of being re-used, and at extremely low cost."

"Granted, the H-1 was not designed to be as efficient as the SSME. It did not operate at the extremely high pressure that the SSME does. A fully resuable launch vehicle based on the H-1 would be a crude affair… probably a two-stage vehicle, as getting SSTO performance would be a challenge. But still… who cares? If you can make your rocket for dirt cheap, and operate it for dirt cheap… then your pitiful payload fraction still looks damned wonderful, as your cost per pound is far less."
(Credit Scott Lowther)

A BETTER picture was found and posted here:
http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=6012

Neat stuff!

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline Jim

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #36 on: 11/02/2011 03:57 PM »
I've had a question for a while and not been able to find a complete answer:

Did the S-IV stage have "blowout" panels between it and the top of the first stage?  Some photos seem to show them, and the S1 on display in Huntsville has the outlines.   I've seen pictures of the S-IV horizontal with the panels missing, too.  But I'd like an expert to connect the dots.

If it had blowout panels, I assume the S-IV actually ignited while still attached to the first stage.  That's not common on American rockets outside of the Titans, is it?

With the clusters of smaller elements, 8 engines, and fire-in-the-hole upper stage ignition, the Saturn I is actually quite "old-school" Russian in its approach. :)

No blow panels since it was not fire-in-the-hole

Offline Proponent

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #37 on: 11/02/2011 04:04 PM »
Did the S-IV stage have "blowout" panels between it and the top of the first stage?  Some photos seem to show them, and the S1 on display in Huntsville has the outlines.   I've seen pictures of the S-IV horizontal with the panels missing, too.  But I'd like an expert to connect the dots.

Here's a comment on the matter from an old thread:

Note  also that one of the interstage blowout panels can be seen opening at  about 01:04.  This helped vent the interstage during the LOX chilldown  sequence.  Note that hydrogen chilldown started long before LOX  chilldown.  Hydrogen chilldown was vented through a
pipe mounted on the outside of the interstage.

Offline JWag

Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #38 on: 11/02/2011 04:39 PM »
A ha!  Thanks for that.  Looks like I'll have to watch Mighty Saturns again. :)

Offline Prober

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #39 on: 11/02/2011 07:10 PM »
Thx for the links Randy

Some good stuff on that Blog.

http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=5527

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Offline catdlr

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #40 on: 05/01/2018 01:57 AM »
bump for historic video.

Saturn Super Rocket

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
Published on Apr 30, 2018

This video describes the early development of the Saturn I launch vehicle at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. The Saturn I vehicle was the first in the line of Saturn vehicles which also included the Saturn IB and Saturn V. The Saturn I first stage was comprised of a cluster of eight H-1 engines capable of producing 1.5 million pounds of thrust.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvX75iy-Z8g?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

Offline catdlr

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #41 on: 05/07/2018 11:17 PM »
Saturn I First Stage Test Firing - Undated with No Sound (archival film)


NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
Published on May 7, 2018

This video is of the firing of the Saturn I first stage at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. The Saturn I first stage, or S-IB, consisted of eight tanks, each 70 inches in diameter, clustered around a central tank, 105 inches in diameter. Four of the external tanks were fuel tanks for the RP-1 (kerosene) fuel. The other four, spaced alternately with the fuel tanks, were liquid oxygen tanks, as was the large center tank. All fuel tanks and liquid oxygen tanks drained at the same rates respectively. The thrust for the stage came from eight H-1 engines, each producing a thrust of 165,000 pounds, for a total thrust of over 1,300,000 pounds. The engines were arranged in a double pattern. Four engines, located inboard, were fixed in a square pattern around the stage axis and canted outward slightly, while the remaining four engines were located outboard in a larger square pattern offset 40 degrees from the inner pattern.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcmjTTx7W20?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

Offline Proponent

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Re: 50 years ago today: Saturn 1.
« Reply #42 on: 05/08/2018 12:30 AM »
The Saturn I first stage, or S-IB....

Nitpick: The Saturn I's first stage was the S-I.

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