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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58
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4answers
53k views

Why not build Saturn V's again?

Why is the US developing a new rocket and spacecraft as opposed to building the Saturn V and Apollo stacks again? The SLS / Orion development programs certainly can't cost less than the unit cost of ...
28
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4answers
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Reasons behind the “Transposition, docking and extraction” maneuver

The Transposition, Docking and Extraction (TD&E) maneuver was done during the Apollo Moon missions right after the translunar injection. The Command/Service Module (CSM) separated from the S-IVB, ...
13
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1answer
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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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1answer
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Is this really the Saturn V computer only, or are there other systems here as well?

The BBC News article Apollo in 50 Numbers; The Technology shows an image of the Saturn V's computer along with the caption: The Saturn V's computer was probably the largest computer ever blasted ...
23
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1answer
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Why is fuel ratio different for upper stage of a rocket?

After reviewing this amazing graphic posted in another question: I noticed that the LH/LOX ratio is slightly different in the Second and Third stages. The mass stoichiometry of the reaction: 2 H2 + ...
23
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3answers
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Why did the Saturn V stage fairing appear to burn after separation?

This video shows the stage separation of the 1st stage of Apollo 4 (incorrectly identified as Apollo 11) followed by the jettisoning of the ring-shaped fairing between the two stages. The moment the ...
25
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2answers
14k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
882 views

Saturn V and STS holding to launch pad mechanism

In this question on quora, the first answer mentions that for Space Shuttle launches they changed the holding mechanism to explosive bolts from the clamps used to hold the Saturn V. The video links ...
30
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7answers
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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 ...
18
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1answer
2k views

Was LC39A 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 ...
12
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2answers
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Cine footage from Saturn V launches

How did they recover the film showing the separation of the S II stage from the S 1C and the tumbling interstage faring which attached the two stages? The camera which is attached to the S II has a ...
41
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2answers
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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.
26
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2answers
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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 ...
13
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3answers
3k views

Why weren't SRBs used in the design of the Saturn V?

Were solids considered for the Saturn V? If so, why was the idea discarded? I would guess this is due to a number of reasons: Inability to throttle Technology readiness in the era Launch escape
16
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
11
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3answers
837 views

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 ...
10
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1answer
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Was this a rapid SCHEDULED disassembly? How was it done?

The new Curious Droid video Apollo's Forgotten Computer - The LVDC discussed the Saturn V flight computer that's also discussed in answers to Is this really the Saturn V computer only, or are there ...
8
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1answer
337 views

Saturn V Small Rectangles On S-II Stage

On the Saturn V there was a line of several small black rectangles running vertically on the upper part of the S-II stage. What were they for? edit here is a picture from the McMahan Photo Archive....
2
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0answers
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What are these white cylindrical objects pointed in different directions in this photo of the Saturn V instrument unit?

The BBC News article Apollo in 50 Numbers; The Technology shows an image of the Saturn V's computer along with the caption: The Saturn V's computer was probably the largest computer ever blasted ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Why was the Saturn V considered to be human-rated after Apollo 6?

Apollo 6 (AS-502) was the second flight of the Saturn V (the first having been Apollo 4/AS-501, five months earlier), the last flight of a Block I CSM,1 and the last unmanned Apollo mission (if one ...
12
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2answers
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Quality vs. Quantity for Rocket Engines

I read a while ago about the famous Soviet N-1, called by some the most powerful rocket (in terms of thrust at liftoff) in history. It used an incredible 30 engines in its first stage. The American ...
7
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1answer
702 views

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 ...
7
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2answers
751 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
463 views

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 ...
46
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7answers
9k views

Why did Saturn V not head straight to the moon?

This may seem a naive question, but as I understand it one of the reasons for the enormous energy expended by rockets is the extremely high speed (around 28,000kph) you need to achieve a stable orbit ...
7
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3answers
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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 ...
23
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3answers
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Why does the Saturn V have standalone inter-stage rings?

Why are they not integral to the lower stages, e.g. like the Falcon 9? This applies not only to the ring between the first and second stage and also to the shoulder between the second and third stage.
15
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1answer
670 views

How were the pins for Saturn V controlled release tested?

I came across the following section of the Saturn V Flight Manual (pdf): The intriguing part is that they used 12 pins to actually bolt down the Saturn V to the launch pad and the combined engine ...
13
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2answers
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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 ...
32
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4answers
8k views

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 ...
28
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4answers
3k views

What will be NASA's successor to the Saturn V rocket?

The Saturn V rockets were the "tallest, heaviest, and most powerful rocket ever brought to operational status and still holds the record for heaviest payload launched and heaviest payload capacity to ...
11
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1answer
853 views

What barge route did the Saturn S-II take from California to Florida?

The first stage (S-IC) of the Saturn V rocket was produced at the Michoud Facility in New Orleans. Too large to be transported by railroad or airplane, it was delivered to Kennedy Space Center by ...
9
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1answer
226 views

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 ...
8
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2answers
432 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
425 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
323 views

Did the Saturn V have the status check “go at throttle up”?

I'm familiar with that shuttle status check, "go at throttle up." Did the Saturn V have the same, or similar status check vocalized during the ascent? Did the Saturn V have to throttle down during ...
35
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3answers
7k views

Could the museum Saturn V's be refitted for one more flight?

Even though we will not build new Saturn Vs, there currently exist three Saturn Vs in museums. Could any of these rockets be refitted for flight? If not, what specific component would prevent the ...
27
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1answer
1k views

How did they access the LM to mount the flag package while the Apollo stack was already on the launch pad?

NASA decided rather late to take a flag to the Moon on the Apollo 11 mission. In fact, they were so late that the package containing the flag was only attached to the leg of the LM on July 9th, two ...
17
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2answers
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Engine failure: how to detect?

Saturn V would automatically initiate launch abort if: Launch vehicle rates exceeded a threshold (4 deg pitch/yaw, 20 deg roll) Two or more booster engines dropped below 90 % rated thrust I'm ...
17
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1answer
25k views

Maximum speed reachable by Saturn V

If we launch a Saturn V rocket from space (far away from Earth so that Earth's gravity has no effect on it) then what would be the maximum velocity achievable? How close could it get us to the speed ...
12
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2answers
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Why the huge thrust difference between a Sea level and Vacuum J-2 engine?

Looking at the Wikipedia page for the J-2 (one engine was used on the Saturn V third stage, and 5 engines on the second stage) it gets about 232Klbs thrust in vacuum, but at sea level, only 109KLbs ...
9
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1answer
724 views

was Saturn V engine J-2 throttleable?

Were the J-2 engines of the third stage of Saturn V throttable? I know that the F-1 for first was not, but what about J-2? I could not find any information about it. Any reference or info for this? ...
9
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1answer
5k views

Did Wernher von Braun really have the “Saturn V painted as the V2”?

A comment below the question Did von Braun have “a thing” for fins? Why did Saturn I block 2 get fins because it's a “von Braun” rocket? suggests that Wernher von Braun had the "Saturn V painted as ...
9
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2answers
618 views

Connection between SM an CM

If the bottom part of the command module (CM) of the Saturn-V was the thermal shield, how was the CM connected with the utilities of the Service Module (SM)?
8
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1answer
379 views

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?
8
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1answer
557 views

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 ...
7
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2answers
638 views

What is the fate of SLA fairings jettisoned from lunar mission spacecrafts?

After TLI burn, just before Transposition, Docking and Extraction, the later design crafts jettisoned 4 pieces of the SLA fairing/shroud. These 4 pieces supposedly would follow similar path as the CSM/...
6
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1answer
257 views

Did they mount the Apollo Mobile Service Structure (MSS) to the launch pad using nuts and bolts to be prepared for a storm?

The Mobile Service Structure (MSS) was used for every launch preparation of the Saturn V. It was removed some hours before launch. The MSS is the white tower on the left side. The MSS was moved and ...
6
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1answer
952 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
655 views

Apollo 6, reason for premature 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 ...