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Questions tagged [saturn-v]

Questions pertaining to the launch vehicle developed by Wernher von Braun's team under Arthur Rudolph's supervision at Marshall Space Flight Center for carrying astronauts to the Moon. Saturn V (or C-5 configuration) had three stages with clustered engines F-1 and J-2 and an instrument unit.

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Use of different fuels for stages of Saturn V

Why were different fuels used for different stages of Saturn V? I read that the first stage used kerosene (RP-1) and LOX combination, but liquid hydrogen and LOX for the second and third stages. With ...
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What modifications constituted the ‘reorificing’ of F-1 engines on later Saturn V flights?

The topic of uprating the Saturn V’s first stage engines appears to have been widely discussed, and yet there is little agreement as to how it was done. Early Rocketdyne F-1 engines quote lower ...
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How long is the Apollo Lunar Module extraction window?

In Apollo lunar missions, the Command/Service Module extracts the Lunar Module after S-IVB's translunar injection burn. Since all three spacecraft were on a transfer orbit, they would be in the ...
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What function did the ribbed portions of the Saturn V exterior serve?

I would like to know what function did the ribbed portions on Saturn V exterior serve, such as the the intertank section and forward skirt on Stage 1. Thank you!
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Why did the ullage motors for the S-IVB TLI burn shut down prior to S-IVB ignition?

I found "Technical Information Summary AS-501: Apollo Saturn V Flight Vehicle" when looking for info about the Saturn V staging sequence. It contains a nice diagram on pages 14-16 showing the various ...
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What may be the condition of the first stages of Saturn V splashed into ocean after separation?

Two F-1 engines were recovered from a depth of 14,000 feet (4,300 m), about 400 miles (640 km) east of Cape Canaveral after 40 years in the ocean. There is much damage caused by splash down but very ...
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When a Saturn V reaches max Q, what fraction of the lengthwise structural load is due to drag rather than acceleration?

Ignoring all other structural loads besides the lengthwise compression of the rocket. This is useful to know when theorizing about whether high altitude launches (e.g. from airplanes) could ...
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Vented interstage for the final stage of Saturn V

As we can see in the figure below, the interstage between the escape module and the command module is vented. Why did they go for vented interstage? Wouldn't it increases the serodynamic loadings and ...
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Apollo-SLA & LM air pressures at launch

At the time of launch what was the air pressure in the Apollo LM, and the spacecraft-LEM adapter section (SLA)? Was the air vented from the SLA as the vehicle entered orbit?
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How were the propellant pipes on the Saturn V LUT routed to the service arms?

I'm trying to design a model of the Saturn V Launch Umbilical Tower. I can find pictures showing how the propellant piping runs along the service arms, and from pictures showing the pipes running up ...
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What does “angle of attack 100%” mean in Apollo abort rules?

In Apollo Mission Rules and Saturn V Flight Manuals, I have seen the following abort rules: I understand what most of this means -- if the launch vehicle begins turning at more than 4 degrees per ...
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Did the Saturn V interstage ring burn up in the atmosphere?

In Saturn V launch footage, the interstage ring falls away shortly after stage I separation, briefly catching fire from the stage II exhaust. Does this ring continue to drop uncontrolled and impact ...
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Did the N-1 have future plans, like the Apollo Applications Program?

The Saturn-V booster was only really used for two types of missions. Lunar Skylab (ASTP used a Saturn-1B booster) That is, heavy lift to lunar orbit, and heavy lift with a space craft. There ...
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Were all the switches on the Command Module and LM control panels used during a mission?

Given there are so many switches on the control panels, and they each served a specific purpose, was every single switch used during a mission to the moon (with the exception of the abort switch ...
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Did the Saturn V rocket have any purely aesthetic features that didn't serve an actual function?

The rocket itself is magnificent, yes, but with so many ins and outs to it, curious if the entire design was solely purpose built, or if there were features specifically for aesthetic purposes.
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Identify this 1960's launch site and mission?

These are screen shots from a video of the Assignment Earth episode of Star Trek (TOS). It was filmed in January 1968. I would assume that the image shown on the screen is NASA file footage, and that ...
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Apollo 6, reason for prematurely engine shutdown of two engines of second stage of Saturn V?

I found different versions in the english and german Wikipedia articles about the Apollo 6 flight. "Das zweite Triebwerk wurde vom Steuerungssystem fälschlicherweise deaktiviert, weil die ...
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Saturn launch precautions for clearing tower?

In watching some Saturn rocket launches from the perspective of the camera being on the launch tower, it seems as if there was relatively little distance between the launching rocket and the tower. I ...
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Was 39A built with a rocket much larger than the Saturn V in mind?

The interesting question What are the most difficult challenges SpaceX will face getting astronauts to Mars by about 2025? links to Elon Musk's position paper Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species ...
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Saturn V ascent guidance (simulation)

A while ago, I did a Saturn V ascent simulation in Matlab. The catering for drag, gravity and thrust vectors and mass depletion worked well, but I struggled to implement ascent guidance. I duplicated ...
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Is there a demand for large liquid engines (> 5 MN)?

In other words, why was the F1 rocket engine programme stopped? Is there a sense that solid motors can take care of high thrust cases in a better way? Or is it an unfortunate fallout of the end of the ...
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Was CNC milling used in the 1960's for making the Apollo/Saturn rocket engines?

As far as I know, CNC machining was being used in the aerospace industry in the 1960s. Were such machines use for the F1 engines?
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Project High Water and the lightning-like radio disturbances it caused

The two Project High Water launches caused the release of 95 tons of water in the ionosphere. For both of these experiments, the resulting ice clouds expanded to several miles in diameter and ...
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Why was this Saturn rocket elevated for launch?

This is an image of a Saturn on the launch pad on July 20th 1973 It appears to be resting on an elevated platform that raises it significantly off the ground. Why was this done? It seems like a lot ...
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To what extent did Apollo payload mass drive Saturn capability?

Uwe wrote in an answer that The possible payload of Saturn V was carefully planed for the whole mission, but the difference of the payloads of the missions Apollo 11 and 17 was less than 3000 kg. ...
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Were the Saturn V construction plans destroyed?

Over the years, I often heard that we would not be able to build a Saturn V again since its construction plans actually have been destroyed. Then again, I heard that there are copies on microfiche or ...
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How had the Saturn V lifting capacity changed throughout the Apollo program?

How had the Saturn V lifting capacity changed throughout the Apollo program? The Apollo 11 mission seems to have been very lightly loaded, enjoying only a short time on the surface, single EVA, and no ...
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S-I, S-II, S-IV; what happened to III?

Stages of the Apollo stack (at least the configuration that landed humans on the Moon) are identified as S-IC, S-II, and S-IVB for the first, second, and third stages. There's no S-III. Why the gap in ...
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Is it possible to estimate the nozzle characteristics of the Rocketdyne HG3 engine?

Boeing and the Marshall Space Flight Centre brought to pass many studies of improved Saturn V launch vehicles. The rockets proposed under the MLV and ELV projects would feature longer stages for more ...
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Was a large-nozzle variant of the J-2 ever considered?

The J-2 engine used on the upper stages of the Saturn launchers has a specific impulse in vacuum of 421 seconds. This is substantially lower than that of the smaller RL10, 440-460 seconds depending on ...
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How is the Rocketdyne J-2S area ratio larger than that of the J-2?

The standard J-2 engine measures 3.38 metres in total length, with a nozzle exit diameter of 2.03 metres, to support its 27.5:1 expansion ratio. However, these dimensions are apparently identical for ...
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How does the efficiency of the Rocketdyne F-1A compare to the F-1?

The Rocketdyne F-1 was to be updated with a new turbopump and gas generator assembly, without other major component redesign. This was to result in a thrust increase from around 1,522,000 pounds force ...
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What was the maximum thrust of the Rocketdyne F-1 engine?

Reading through several old reports, I have come across studies conducted by MSFC on improved Saturn V designs with greater payload capacity, and with uprated engines. As a result of increasing launch ...
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Why weren't Saturn V and the Soviet N-1 Moon rockets made larger in order to simplify Lunar missions?

During the Apollo missions the Lunar lander was separated, turned around and docked during flight. And the command module was left in Lunar orbit during the surface mission. The Soviets planned to ...
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When was the second production run of the Saturn V cancelled?

The Saturn V had an initial production run of 15 vehicles (plus 3 test articles). Twelve were used for Apollo 4, 6, and 8-17, one was used for Skylab, the components of the other two are on display in ...
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Combination of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen

For the Apollo missions in the 1960s, NASA used a combination of kerosene and liquid oxygen to get the rockets out of Earth's atmosphere. Why did they do that? If you look at the statistics, the ...
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What would be the configuration and performance for Saturn V with all stages RP-1/LOX?

Saturn V had RP-1/LOX 1st stage with 5 F-1 rocket engines. The 2nd and 3rd stage used LH2/LOX J-2 rocket engines, 5 and 1 respectively. At that time NASA had an advantage to launch heavy payloads ...
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Can a crewed capsule land safely if its launch escape tower does not separate?

Apollo, Soyuz and Orion have used, are using or will use launch escape towers. If it is not needed, it must separate during flight. What if it does not separate? I suppose that the spacecraft would ...
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What is a rocket engine “burp”, and why does it happen?

I've seen the term "burp" used, for example, in a description of the Saturn V F-1 engine start sequence (or what is perhaps the source document - see pdf p 62, source page 4-9). What does it mean? ...
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In the Saturn V launch sequence, what defined COMMIT, and what happened between COMMIT and LIFTOFF?

With the Saturn V, there were two critical moments during launch that I am curious about: The vehicle COMMITs to liftoff The vehicle LIFTS OFF LIFTOFF is fairly obvious: the booster has risen some ...
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How would the Saturn V have differed if the first stage was using liquid methane and LOX?

We have seen here the excellent answer to the question: How would the Saturn V have differed if the first stage was also LH2/LOX? What if liquid methane would be used instead of kerosene? Would the ...
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How would the Saturn V have differed if the first stage was also LH2/LOX?

Since both Kerosene (RP-1) and liquid hydrogen (LH2) continue to be important liquid fuels used with liquid oxygen (LOX), something can be learned by comparing how they are used. This is covered well ...
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What would have been the absolute maximum LEO payload of a two-stage Saturn V?

I read about the Skylab 1 mission in which SA-513 was used to lob the Skylab OWS into orbit. One source (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=12519.20) gave some payload masses: Total ...
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Would the Saturn V have been able to send more mass to TLI if it had a lower earth parking orbit?

After reading into the topic a little, I've come across a number of increases to the Saturn V's LEO and TLI performance over the course of the Apollo program. Early moon missions sent between 133t and ...
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How much mass could the Saturn V rockets have landed on the Moon if nothing was coming back?

What dry mass could have soft-landed on the Moon if a Saturn V had been reconfigured to launch a robotic mission going entirely to the surface? Obviously, that wasn't possible at the time, but for a ...
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Did the Apollo F-1 engines gain weight during flight?

I was browsing through Wikipedia when I came across this infographic on the Rocketdyne F-1. It gives the engine dry weight as 18,500 pounds, and the engine burnout weight as 20,180 pounds, meaning the ...
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What is the mist on Saturn V during launch? [duplicate]

There seems to be a consistent mist effect around the Saturn V when launched. It looks like rapidly evaporating water. What is the material? What is the purpose? Did it come from the rocket itself, or ...
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Launch altitude and fuel cost [duplicate]

In this question, higher altitude launches are discussed, but no one seems to address fuel consumption. Let's take the Saturn V for example. A Saturn V rocket on the launch pad weighed approximately ...
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Where does the turbine exhaust go on the Saturn V F1 engine?

Diagrams and descriptions of the F1 engine as used on the Saturn V booster identify a turbine exhaust manifold which leads down from the fuel turbopump and wraps around the main nozzle. As it winds ...
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Saturn V Exhaust Plume

When the Saturn V launch vehicles reached high altitudes and speeds, the exhaust plume looks drastically different compared to how it did at launch (it is much larger, and has a cone about halfway ...