Author Topic: Saturn 1 Manned Apollo Launches  (Read 3097 times)

Offline BigRIJoe

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Saturn 1 Manned Apollo Launches
« on: 05/31/2015 07:58 PM »
In October of 1963, NASA cancelled the launch of 4 manned Apollo spacecraft that were scheduled to be launched by the Saturn 1, not the Uprated Saturn 1. Given the payload capability of the Saturn 1, are there any specifics on what the nature of these missions would have been. I read that they were originally scheduled to fly concurrent with the Gemini launches. http://www.astronautix.com/flights/apoosa11.htm
« Last Edit: 06/06/2015 09:39 PM by BigRIJoe »

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: Saturn ! Manned Apollo Launches
« Reply #1 on: 05/31/2015 08:29 PM »
I believe one or two of these were to be sub-orbital manned tests of the Apollo spacecraft.  I'd have to think that you'd have to do some serious under-provisioning of an Apollo CSM for the Saturn I to lift it into orbit.

I can think of two options for a manned Saturn I / Apollo CSM launch.  First would be to fly a partial service module, missing the large SPS fuel tanks (perhaps replacing them with small tanks for limited tests of the SPS).  Second would be to fly the full CSM with full-up SPS fuel tanks, and use the SPS as an orbital insertion stage.

In any event, those plans were scrapped when George Mueller mandated the all-up philosophy.  Heck, several manned Little Joe II-launched CM tests were cut at about the same time.

However, with all of these manned flight tests originally planned in the Apollo development program, you can understand why Deke Slayton was told he needed to beef up the astronaut office to 50 to 60 pilots.  If they had flown all of the manned development flights, they would have needed 10 or more additional crews than actually flew in mainline Apollo.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline JazzFan

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Re: Saturn ! Manned Apollo Launches
« Reply #2 on: 05/31/2015 10:06 PM »
In any event, those plans were scrapped when George Mueller mandated the all-up philosophy.  Heck, several manned Little Joe II-launched CM tests were cut at about the same time.

Is there any data on a manned Little Joe II?  It was a solid system meant to validate hardware and not to manned.  Saturn I and IB did that function even with it's wonky clustered but effective design.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Saturn ! Manned Apollo Launches
« Reply #3 on: 05/31/2015 10:56 PM »
In October of 1963, NASA cancelled the launch of 4 manned Apollo spacecraft that were scheduled to be launched by the Saturn 1, not the Uprated Saturn 1. Given the payload capability of the Saturn 1, are there any specifics on what the nature of these missions would have been. I read that they were originally scheduled to fly concurrent with the Gemini launches. http://www.astronautix.com/flights/apoosa11.htm
Here's what I wrote on my web site about this topic a few years ago.

"As of mid-1963, Douglas was contracted to build 12 flight S-IV stages. MSFC was building the last of its eight S-1 flight stages. Chrysler had won a contract to build two R&D and six operational S-1 stages at Michoud, along with 12 Saturn 1B first stages (S-1B-201 to 212). The R&D Saturn 1 stages, S-1-8 and S-1-10, were nearly complete.

Operational Saturn 1 flights would have tested flight-rated Apollo Command/Service Modules in low earth orbit. Four of these missions were to have been manned, beginning in 1965. 

Six operational Saturn 1 vehicles, identified as SA-111 through SA-116, were on order until budget cutbacks and schedule pressure forced NASA to cancel the plan in October 1963, one month before Chrysler-Michoud was to begin final assembly of both the S-1-111 and S-1B-201 stages. 

NASA transferred the four manned Apollo missions to the Saturn 1B program, which was now accelerated to follow an "all-up" testing philosophy wherein all launches, including the very first, would use all flight stages and would carry flight-rated Apollo command and service modules. 

One reason mentioned for canceling Saturn 1 was that it would not be able to launch Apollo command/service modules (CSM) and Lunar Modules (LM) together, violating the new "all-up" philosophy. As it turned out, Saturn 1B was never used to launch CSM and LM at the same time. 

Tanks had already been fabricated, but not assembled, for S-1-111. Presumably, these were diverted to the now-accelerated Saturn 1B program. Douglas saw its order for 12 S-IV flight stages halved. Some components that had already been manufactured for S-IV-111 and S-IV-112 had to be scrapped.  The company's S-IVB contract quickly filled the void, however. 

Prior to the 1963 cancellation, NASA planning called for parallel production of Saturn 1 and Saturn 1B vehicles until at least mid-1965. Some missions might have used S-1B first stages and S-IV second stages. LC34 was being modified to host the operational Saturn 1 missions during 1963. After the cancellation, LC34 was reassigned entirely to Saturn 1B. More modifications, required to support the S-IVB stage, were conducted during 1964 and 1965."

 - Ed Kyle   

Offline Archibald

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Re: Saturn ! Manned Apollo Launches
« Reply #4 on: 06/01/2015 03:19 PM »
Manned Little Joe II flight tests ? that's new to me. But was the point of such tests ??!! They would have been the shortest manned spaceflight ever, even shorter than X-15 or Space Ship One...  :o
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Offline Proponent

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Re: Saturn 1 Manned Apollo Launches
« Reply #5 on: 06/01/2015 03:30 PM »
I believe one or two of these were to be sub-orbital manned tests of the Apollo spacecraft.  I'd have to think that you'd have to do some serious under-provisioning of an Apollo CSM for the Saturn I to lift it into orbit.

I'm pretty skeptical that manned suborbital flights were ever planned.  The earliest list of Apollo mission assignments I'm aware of (see p. 8 of the second attachment to this post) shows all manned Apollo/Saturn I missions going to a 100-n.mi. circular orbit.  But you're very right about the CSM needing to be seriously under-provisioned to reach orbit.  The Bellcomm memo (attached) that made the case for dropping manned Saturn I flights indicates that a total of 170 lb of propellant would have been available for in-orbit maneuvering (see p. 27 of the PDF).

Quote
I can think of two options for a manned Saturn I / Apollo CSM launch.  First would be to fly a partial service module, missing the large SPS fuel tanks (perhaps replacing them with small tanks for limited tests of the SPS).  Second would be to fly the full CSM with full-up SPS fuel tanks, and use the SPS as an orbital insertion stage.

That second option was indeed considered -- see page 98 of the attachment to this post, which is a really fascinating (to my geeky mind, anyway) look at how to deal with weight gains and performance shortfalls of the Apollo-Saturn vehicles.

Quote
Heck, several manned Little Joe II-launched CM tests were cut at about the same time.

Are you perhaps thinking of Mercury rather than Apollo here?  I've never heard of manned Little Joe II flights, and they don't appear in the list of mission assignments mentioned above.

EDIT:  "(second attachment)" -> "(attached)"; '!' ->'1' in header, per corresponding change in thread title.
« Last Edit: 06/12/2015 10:01 AM by Proponent »

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Saturn ! Manned Apollo Launches
« Reply #6 on: 06/01/2015 07:48 PM »
Here's a link to another document that discusses the SA-111 to 114 missions.  Plans were very much in flux during this period.  Big decisions were made in a hurry, but they were made decisively and, history shows, correctly.

http://www.collectspace.com/review/1962-10-16-ApolloMissionDesignationsSIBLEMascstage.pdf

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Jim

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Re: Saturn ! Manned Apollo Launches
« Reply #7 on: 06/01/2015 11:54 PM »

One reason mentioned for canceling Saturn 1 was that it would not be able to launch Apollo command/service modules (CSM) and Lunar Modules (LM) together, violating the new "all-up" philosophy. As it turned out, Saturn 1B was never used to launch CSM and LM at the same time. 


Here's a link to another document that discusses the SA-111 to 114 missions.  Plans were very much in flux during this period.  Big decisions were made in a hurry, but they were made decisively and, history shows, correctly.
http://www.collectspace.com/review/1962-10-16-ApolloMissionDesignationsSIBLEMascstage.pdf


The document states that the Saturn 1B missions with both spacecraft would only have the ascent stage of the "LEM".  Never saw that documented anywhere before.
« Last Edit: 06/01/2015 11:55 PM by Jim »

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