Author Topic: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style  (Read 9451 times)

Offline Lobo

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #40 on: 03/07/2018 10:45 PM »
On the other hand, I think a Saturn IB was more expensive than a Titan IIIC...

A lot of that cost was tied up in the S-IVB and in system-wide low production volumes--after all, they only built a total of about two dozen of them under conditions that were more focused on getting something in the size class flying than optimizing for production cost. There were extensive studies that pointed out ways to significantly reduce the production cost for both stages (though particularly the S-IVB) to reach costs which would have been much more competitive with Titan in volume production.

Yes to both.  But of note, one of the reasons the Titan IIIC was relatively inexpensive (from what I understand of it's history from Jim and others) as that it's core shared a lot of commonality with the Titan II ICBM's that had a huge operating budget during the height of the Cold War.  But as the 70's wore on, two things were changing.  The Titan ICBM's were being phased out for the solid Minuteman ICBMS, which had much better long term storage and standby characteristics than the liquid fueled Titans.  They didn't need to be fueled prior to launch in event of WW3.
And the USAF's LV needs were outgrowing the Titan IIIC.  Which is why they were switching horses to STS (with lots of input on it to meet their requirements).  And then later when they hurried the Titan IV after Challenger, it was pretty expensive as it needed new SRB's, a new purpose built stretched core,  and nothing to have any commonality with any more as the Titan ICBM's were no longer in production then.

Titan IIIC was inexpensive for reasons that were going away, and they needed to upgrade it anyway, making those costs savings go away even more so.

And then, Had the Saturn 1B gone into full sustained production, like E if Pi said, there would have been cost reductions from it's more 1-off original production run.  Plus it would have been quote attractive for the USAF to consider using it as the Titan IIIC replacement, instead of sticking with an evolving Titan.  It was already operational, would have fit there growing needs well, and they could have cost shared with NASA.  That increased production should have brought the prices down further, one would expect.

Offline Lobo

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #41 on: 03/08/2018 12:11 AM »
I really don't understand this obsession with Saturn IB as an alternative to STS. This idea crops up over and over again on this site (more frequently lately as more people accept that STS was a mistake and failure).

I think you answered your own question there.   ;)

I think it's debatable that is was a "failure".  It flew 135 times.  It had two accident, but did a heck of a lot in it's 30 years of service. 
A "mistake" I think is perhaps more applicable, and as you've said, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

Although, a lot of what drove the end of everything Saturn and Apollo, and drove STS was political.  And thus wasn't necessarily the best technological or economical path at that time.  Budget cuts doomed the Saturn V and continuing lunar program at that time, but within the budgets that they did have at the time, Saturn 1B could have been continued, and saved a heck of a lot of money vs. STS.  In both development and operation.  And it could have really probably achieved a lot of the NASA goals for STS.  They could have developed a smaller, more simple crew shuttle, and got that reusable futuristic looking space plane that could take 7 or 8 people to LEO.  But much more cheaply and safely.   There were some reusability options to develop over time for the Saturn 1B booster, as has been discussed here.  So I think people just wonder what could have been had we not scapped all of that shortly after all of that money had been sunk into the Saturn program and KSC (set up for launching Saturns, not STS)etc. 

The bad points of the first stage already mentioned (high dry weight, high cost) are inherent  in Saturn I's origin as a quick-fix temporary solution to three temporary problems:

I can't speak about others, but myself if Saturn 1B had been continued, I think it virtually inevitable that the clustered 1st stage would have been replace with a 6.6m mono core booster...for those reasons you mentioned.  Perhaps with an additional engine and upgraded engines.  A mono core tank would be both more volume and mass efficient.  So it could hold enough additional kerolox to feed additional engines and more powerful upgraded engines.  Boosting Saturn 1B's performance a fair bit.

Politically, S-IB was a non-starter because it was built by the Chrysler Corporation, which in those days was very healthy and not threatened with bankruptcy like the traditional aerospace firms. Those same aerospace firms were also determined to drive Chrysler out of the space business.

Which is why there'd be a lot of logic and reason to have Douglas build the new mono core booster.  They'd already built the 6.6m mono core S-IV, so a 6.6m mono core booster could probably have been made with the same tooling at the same production facility and using some degree of commonality.  Makes sense to have both stages made by the same company at the same place.




Online mike robel

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #42 on: 03/08/2018 01:15 AM »
Well, in a couple of different threads we have been down the alternate universe for Titan III and Saturn.

Regardless of which could have been selected, the merit is they both had a sizeable growth possibility and we would have gained benefits from a long production run as the Soviets/Russians have done with the R-7/Soyuz Booster and to a lesser extent with the Proton.  Titan III and Saturn would have been more robust, especially had the electronics and structure for them been modernized over time and Apollo could have been converted to a smaller SM and lighter weight through evolution.

NASA wanted to build a new toy with which they thought reusability could have out performed long term production and the nation pretty much turned its back on HSF except in LEO.  It remains to be seen if government or industry together or independently will have the fortitude to return a HSF program.

I think we have reached full circle in the discussion.

Offline hkultala

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #43 on: 03/08/2018 07:01 AM »
The result was a booster stage that not only looked obsolete by 1969, but actually was obsolete (by comparison with Titan III and Proton).

... but of those 3 rockets, it was the only one using fuels safe enough to put human on top of the rocket.

Offline Archibald

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #44 on: 03/08/2018 09:20 AM »
... and in my TL I had NASA flying Big Gemini atop Titan III (thanks to Nixon OMB) but they build a modular Skylab using all the Saturns left by the cancelled Apollo.

And there was quite a large number of Saturn IB left when you think about it, all the way from SA-209 to SA-214, and perhaps two more, 215 and 216...
there was also a handful of Saturn V.
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Online mike robel

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #45 on: 03/08/2018 04:59 PM »
The result was a booster stage that not only looked obsolete by 1969, but actually was obsolete (by comparison with Titan III and Proton).

... but of those 3 rockets, it was the only one using fuels safe enough to put human on top of the rocket.


Arguably not, since Gemini flew on Titan II with hypergolic fuels.

Offline Archibald

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #46 on: 03/08/2018 05:24 PM »
and no LAS whatsoever, only ejector seats.
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Offline Caleb Cattuzzo

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #47 on: 03/08/2018 06:38 PM »
I'm trying to imagine how much of a pain it would be designing the landing legs for it plus a landing pad that could handle the thing.Would have made the shuttle-saturn program alot more attractive if they could have pulled it off though
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Offline Jim

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #48 on: 03/08/2018 06:58 PM »

1.  The quick fix for these problems was to weld together a bunch of Redstone & Jupiter tanks, bolt on some slightly modified Thor/Jupiter engines, and connect them with a rat's nest of pipes and wires. There was no thought that Saturn I would become a permanent part of the space program, and so no thought was given to efficiency or cost-effectiveness. The result was a booster stage that not only looked obsolete by 1969, but actually was obsolete (by comparison with Titan III and Proton).

2,  Politically, S-IB was a non-starter because it was built by the Chrysler Corporation, which in those days was very healthy and not threatened with bankruptcy like the traditional aerospace firms. Those same aerospace firms were also determined to drive Chrysler out of the space business.

1.  together a bunch of Redstone & Jupiter sized tanks

2.  not really.  Chrysler only did production, it had nothing to do with the design.
« Last Edit: 03/08/2018 06:58 PM by Jim »

Offline Proponent

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #49 on: 03/08/2018 10:38 PM »
I think it virtually inevitable that the clustered 1st stage would have been replace with a 6.6m mono core booster...for those reasons you mentioned.  Perhaps with an additional engine and upgraded engines.  A mono core tank would be both more volume and mass efficient.

Why is it such a persistent belief that the S-IB's multi-tank structure was a major drag on the Saturn IB's performance?  It wasn't.  And that is now doubt why the expensive proposition of completely redesigning the first stage does not appear among the many proposals for increasing the rocket's performance (Saturn IB-A, -B, -C, & -D; Saturn INT-05, -05A, -11. -12, -13. -14 & -15).

Offline Lobo

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #50 on: 03/09/2018 12:23 AM »
I think it virtually inevitable that the clustered 1st stage would have been replace with a 6.6m mono core booster...for those reasons you mentioned.  Perhaps with an additional engine and upgraded engines.  A mono core tank would be both more volume and mass efficient.

Why is it such a persistent belief that the S-IB's multi-tank structure was a major drag on the Saturn IB's performance?  It wasn't.  And that is now doubt why the expensive proposition of completely redesigning the first stage does not appear among the many proposals for increasing the rocket's performance (Saturn IB-A, -B, -C, & -D; Saturn INT-05, -05A, -11. -12, -13. -14 & -15).

Well, it wasn't a huge drag per se, but it was more of a stop gap to get it together quickly using existing tooling used for Jupiter and Redstone tank production.  Via the Saturn 1 stage, it was ready before any of the other Saturn V components.  After they'd all been produced, then there was experience with larger tooling.  But again, since there wasn't plans to produce the stage indefinately, it was ok to have the clustered design.
But why wasn't the S-1D clustered with smaller tanks?  And why have we never really seen a booster (or any stage) use it since?  Well, it's just a sub optimal way to do it from mass, volume, and plumbing standpoints.
Was the Titan IIIC the most optimal design for an LV?  No, but there were lots of Titan ICBM parts and production going on in the 60's, so USAF used what it had available, and saved time and money making an LV out of their ICBM fleet.   Put some big solids on it to get more capacity.   Once that went away, then the Titan LV because a lot more expensive (see Titan IV).
So had the SAturn 1B been chosen instead of STS to be NASA's LV in the post-Apollo era, and Jupiter and Redstone rocket products was getting phased out (or already had been, not sure when that production of new tanks stopped exactly), and Douglas already had 6.6m tooling to build the S-IVB, I just don't see anyway that Saturn 1B wouldn't have gotten a new mono core.

Or they would have had to restart the Jupiter and Redstone tank tooling to keep making the S-1B stage.  Dunno, just seems unlikely they would have continued on with that for their LV of record for the next few decades.  I could see them using any existing stages and tanks stocks, but probably looking at a different booster stage rather than restarting production of those tanks. 

So there were more production reasons for a new booster, than just the mass penalties of the clustered design.

As for the various Saturn 1B INT concepts you mention, some replaced the S-1B with multiple Titan SRB's, or one single very big SRB.  Others keep the S-1B and add Solids.  So they seemingly were considering replacing the S-1B as it was.  They were just thinking Solids rather than liquid.
But you make a point, they didn't seem to be thinking liquid mono core.  At least not when those concepts were looked at.  But later in the 70's when this would have happened?  Who knows?

Online mike robel

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #51 on: 03/09/2018 01:58 AM »
Even though the evolution to a single tank type structure appears to make sense, I believe, in one of the other threads where we have been down this road, it would not really been much of an improvement over the S1B.   It would have drive up costs too, because it would require an all new structure.  An F-1 would not have had an engine out capability, which may or may not have been an important factor.  And then, it would not be capable of a powered landing, so it is right out of consideration for this thread.

I must point out the Titan III engines, except for the transtage, were really not any different than Titan I or II engines.  Those engines could run on LOX/Kerosene, LOX/Methane, LOX/Hydrogen, as well as hypergolics.  Adding length to tankage was never, in the old days, much of a challenge.
« Last Edit: 03/09/2018 01:58 AM by mike robel »

Offline Proponent

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #52 on: 03/09/2018 03:03 PM »
Why is it such a persistent belief that the S-IB's multi-tank structure was a major drag on the Saturn IB's performance?  It wasn't.  And that is now doubt why the expensive proposition of completely redesigning the first stage does not appear among the many proposals for increasing the rocket's performance (Saturn IB-A, -B, -C, & -D; Saturn INT-05, -05A, -11. -12, -13. -14 & -15).

Well, it wasn't a huge drag per se, but it was more of a stop gap to get it together quickly using existing tooling used for Jupiter and Redstone tank production.  Via the Saturn 1 stage, it was ready before any of the other Saturn V components.  After they'd all been produced, then there was experience with larger tooling.  But again, since there wasn't plans to produce the stage indefinately, it was ok to have the clustered design.
But why wasn't the S-1D clustered with smaller tanks?  And why have we never really seen a booster (or any stage) use it since?  Well, it's just a sub optimal way to do it from mass, volume, and plumbing standpoints.

Absolutely -- the clustered-tank design was sub-optimal from a pure performance perspective and was adopted during the post-Sputnik panic largely because of the desire to build something big quickly and cheaply.  But that doesn't mean that eliminating the clustered tanks was a sensible use of money.  It doesn't make sense that you'd develop a whole new stage just to add less than a tonne to the LEO payload, unless you'd already tried everything else and really, really needed the extra payload.
 
Quote
So had the SAturn 1B been chosen instead of STS to be NASA's LV in the post-Apollo era, and Jupiter and Redstone rocket products was getting phased out (or already had been, not sure when that production of new tanks stopped exactly), and Douglas already had 6.6m tooling to build the S-IVB, I just don't see anyway that Saturn 1B wouldn't have gotten a new mono core.

Or they would have had to restart the Jupiter and Redstone tank tooling to keep making the S-1B stage.  Dunno, just seems unlikely they would have continued on with that for their LV of record for the next few decades.  I could see them using any existing stages and tanks stocks, but probably looking at a different booster stage rather than restarting production of those tanks. 

So there were more production reasons for a new booster, than just the mass penalties of the clustered design.

As for the various Saturn 1B INT concepts you mention, some replaced the S-1B with multiple Titan SRB's, or one single very big SRB.  Others keep the S-1B and add Solids.  So they seemingly were considering replacing the S-1B as it was.  They were just thinking Solids rather than liquid.
But you make a point, they didn't seem to be thinking liquid mono core.  At least not when those concepts were looked at.  But later in the 70's when this would have happened?  Who knows?

NASA might conceivably have spent money on a new first stage with significantly better characteristics.  But it would not have made sense to spend money on a new first stage for the Saturn IB that was just like the old one except for the clustered tanks: it would have failed the cost-benefit test.

Online mike robel

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #53 on: 03/09/2018 03:48 PM »
Before we really load up this thread with alternatives to alternatives, please go here and acquaint yourself with our past discussions:

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35996.msg1282611#msg1282611
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26667.0

Insofar as this was about reuse of an S1B like a Falcon 9, we have reached several conclusions and I have added some particular thoughts.

1.  Engines not throttable.
2.  Center Engines don't gimbal.
3.  Computers weren't quite so fast.
4.  Monocore 1st stage would not have provided much benefit.
5. F-1 could not be used.
6.  Titan III, at the time was cheaper, and expendable.
7.  Schemes for use of parachutes and such were not pursued.
8.  Radar might have needed to be added.
9.  What about the fins?
10.  No RCS on SIB
11.  Much heavier than an F9?
12.  The Apollo CSM was short fueled because the Saturn IB did not have enough capability to push it to LEO, not that the full load was required for any LEO mission undertaken.
13.  Would have had to construct a barge or stage early enough to have propellent to reach the landing pad.

Therefore:  Probably an idea ahead of its time and not particularly cost effective.



Offline Lobo

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #54 on: 03/09/2018 04:45 PM »
Even though the evolution to a single tank type structure appears to make sense, I believe, in one of the other threads where we have been down this road, it would not really been much of an improvement over the S1B.   It would have drive up costs too, because it would require an all new structure.  An F-1 would not have had an engine out capability, which may or may not have been an important factor.  And then, it would not be capable of a powered landing, so it is right out of consideration for this thread.

Mike,
Great input as always.  :)
I don't think anyone was discussing use of the F-1 on an upgraded S-1B booster on -this- thread.  Would have been pretty impossible to have any chance of a Falcon 9 like landing.  heh.  Rather going with the evolved H-1 into the RS-27.  Perhaps adding central 9th engine (obviously room for it).   Douglas already had the 6.6m wide tooling to do the stage.  Had Saturn 1B been kept, they'd have gone back into full production of the S-IVB, and it doesn't seem that a 6.6m wide mono core S-1B built also by them would have been much of an issue.  It wouldn't have had to happen immediately.  By my count, there were six unflown S-1b's, (not including the ASTP, which may or may not have happened in a revised history like this).  So there could have been 5 or 6 more Saturn 1B launches before either a new production run of the S-1B by Chrysler would be needed, or Douglas building a mono core replacement would be needed.  Either way, new production would be needed after those 6 S-1B's were flown.

I must point out the Titan III engines, except for the transtage, were really not any different than Titan I or II engines.  Those engines could run on LOX/Kerosene, LOX/Methane, LOX/Hydrogen, as well as hypergolics.  Adding length to tankage was never, in the old days, much of a challenge.

Really?  I did not know that.  Perhaps they'd have been better engines to use than the RS-27's then?  I hadn't even looked at them as an option.
« Last Edit: 03/09/2018 05:10 PM by Lobo »

Offline Archibald

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #55 on: 03/09/2018 04:51 PM »
Well, Titan I ran on kerolox, which was not very practical for an ICBM, so Titan II switched to storables. Both LR-87 and LR-91 were modified without too many difficulties.
Then (according to Astronautix, which is NOT a reliable source) a LH2 LR-87 was a competitor to the J-2, but lost.
As for methane I don't know.
So the LR-87 seem to have been tested on all three major rocket propellant combinations - kerolox, hydrolox, storable.
Can't remember another rocket engine that did that.
« Last Edit: 03/09/2018 04:52 PM by Archibald »
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Offline Lobo

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #56 on: 03/09/2018 05:08 PM »

Absolutely -- the clustered-tank design was sub-optimal from a pure performance perspective and was adopted during the post-Sputnik panic largely because of the desire to build something big quickly and cheaply.  But that doesn't mean that eliminating the clustered tanks was a sensible use of money.  It doesn't make sense that you'd develop a whole new stage just to add less than a tonne to the LEO payload, unless you'd already tried everything else and really, really needed the extra payload.
 
NASA might conceivably have spent money on a new first stage with significantly better characteristics.  But it would not have made sense to spend money on a new first stage for the Saturn IB that was just like the old one except for the clustered tanks: it would have failed the cost-benefit test.


Which is why I was saying have Douglas build the new booster on their same S-IVB production line, using as much commonality as is possible.  Then add a 9th engine to the Center (look at the title of this thread, after all.  A 9th center engine would be necessary for any future potential attempt at propulsive landing), so just add it in right there), and then go with the RS-27 evolution of the H-1.  Likely, like the Merlin, the H-1/RS-27 was a pretty conservative design, and could have been evolved to better thrust and ISP with some development.   And the mono core booster tank sizing would be applicable to feed those nine engine.   (Maybe it'd then be a "Saturn 1C" or something).  9XRS-27's (218klbs ea.) would be ~20% more thrust and 9s better ISP at SL.  And that's with no additional improvements beyond what the RS-27 actually did.

So yes, a 1st stage with significantly better characteristics, for sure.  Otherwise, just going to a mono core and changing nothing makes little sense, as you said.   Although there's still the issue of long term production.  You either need Chrysler to restart production of that somewhat cobbled together stage design, or go with a stage that's really more of a "planned out" stage for the long term production.

J2S on the S-IVB would be fore sure, as that's what it was developed for, and it was pretty much all developed by then.  ~10% more thrust and 15s better isp.  There's probably some other incremental improvements that could have been done to the S-IVB over time to lighten it up some more, particularly the IU as technology advanced.

Those should have given the Saturn 1B LEO capability around that of STS and (a bit better than Titan IV), but for a fraction of the cost of STS.  And then at least the booster would be of a configuration that they could then play with landing and reusability as the technology advanced over time.  Again, getting back to the topic of this thread.


Offline Lobo

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #57 on: 03/09/2018 05:23 PM »
Agreed, re: the first stage.  The biggest bang for the buck would have been to change the second stage, rather then mussing with the S-IB stage.  Shifting to a LOX/RP second stage powered by three Atlas sustainer engines, designed for Atlas sustainer type propellant mass fractions, could have reduced launch costs with minor loss of performance to LEO.  A benefit would have been that the entire machine would have used, essentially, the same engines as NASA's Atlas-Centaur.

But, as we've discussed, the first stage would had to have been substantially redesigned and re-engined  to achieve Falcon 9 like recovery - and recovery would have bit hard into performance.

 - Ed Kyle

Hi Ed,
Well, that's a good point on the upper stage.  And Certainly the way SpaceX went.  But with the topic of the thread about a Falcon 9 like landing of the S-1B, that part of where the mono core came from.  There'd pretty much need to be a 9th Central engine added to have any shot at a future possible propulsive landing.  You can't land on four engines.  Two maybe, if they throttled deep enough and gimbaled.
So it's pretty much a given there's going to have to be some changes for it to even be plausible down the road when tech advanced enough to try.  A 9th central engine, gimbaled central engines...that means a lot of changes to the MTS.  Also means more propellant is needed for the 9th engine, especially if going to the H-1 evolved ending in the RS-27 which had more thrust. 
So all of that just makes a new booster stage pretty unavoidable.  That's why myself, I keep mentioning it.  Plus as you say, recovery would bite into performance a lot, so boosting up the booster power to compensate is almost a must too, if the thing is to loft the Apollo CSM, or a new mini-shuttle, etc for this STS-less Post-Apollo scenario.

As it flew, really no possible way for the S-1B to do a Falcon 9 like landing, even if the technology was there.  Really needs a central single engine that can gimbal.  That's a new MTS and larger tanks at a minimum.  Might as well just go with a better booster stage.

As for the kerolox upper stage, I wouldn't argue against that at all.  It could use the RS-27A for commonality in fact.  Or the Atlas Sustainer's as you mention.  That would be even a more "Falcon 9" ~40 years before there was a Falcon 9.  In fact I mention that over here:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36711.0

But for this thread, since the S-IVB did already exist, and worked and didn't really -need- changes like the booster did (for any possible landing attempt in the future) I was just keeping it to not diverge -too- wildly from the actual Saturn 1B.  Just what, in my opinion, the S-1B needed for any potential recovery.  :)
« Last Edit: 03/09/2018 06:30 PM by Lobo »

Offline Proponent

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #58 on: 03/09/2018 07:13 PM »
... the S-IVB did already exist, and worked and didn't really -need- changes

And there were ideas on making the S-IVB cheaper too (see the 1st attachment to this post).

Offline Proponent

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #59 on: 03/09/2018 07:30 PM »
There was no thought that Saturn I would become a permanent part of the space program...

The Saturn Vehicle Development Plan (1st attachment to this post) envisioned the Saturn I and brethren as the launch vehicles for a wide variety of missions.  And that was in 1959, before Apollo began.  The von Braun team wanted to use Saturn for lunar exploration, both robotic and manned (Project Horizon: see the attachment).  Even after NASA relegated the smaller Saturns to supporting roles in Apollo itself, it envisioned launching many of them as part of the Apollo Applications Program.  When the first AAP plan was released in 1966, it included dozens of launches of Saturns IB and V.

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... no thought was given to efficiency or cost-effectiveness.

Much like SpaceX, Saturn's developers planned to recover the first stage.  Recovery experiments were planned until just a few months before the first Saturn I launch.  They were dropped in the rush to get to the moon, money becoming less important than time.

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