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 ...
49
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1answer
4k views

Why is there a Saturn V in the background of this Gemini-Titan launch?

In this photo, a Gemini-Titan is lifting off in the foreground, while a Saturn V is visible in the background. The last Gemini flight was in late 1966, but the first flight of a Saturn V wasn't ...
46
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7answers
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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 ...
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.
35
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3answers
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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 ...
34
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2answers
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Saturn V's external blueprints

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask but I don't know where to ask. I want to get a high quality orthographic blueprints of NASA's Saturn V rocket with dimensions and everything (I need it ...
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 ...
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 ...
29
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1answer
2k views

Why was ramjet fuel used as hydraulic fluid during Saturn V checkout?

Fuel is also used within the engine as a lubricant and as a hydraulic working fluid, though before launch, RJ-1 ramjet fuel is supplied from the ground, it being more suited for this purpose. ...
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, ...
28
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4answers
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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 ...
27
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1answer
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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 ...
26
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2answers
4k views

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 ...
25
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2answers
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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 ...
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.
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 ...
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 + ...
21
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1answer
7k views

How did they solve Saturn V pogo oscillation problems?

From what I understand, pogo oscillation was already a known problem for Saturn V rocket's first stage (and likely other stages, not sure) long before, say, Apollo 11, especially on its central out of ...
19
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2answers
2k views

How does the Saturn V Dynamic Test Stand work?

This photo instantly provokes a ton of questions in me: It shows the Dynamic Test Stand at Marshall SFC with the Enterprise, which was a Space Shuttle test vehicle, suspended for vibration testing. ...
18
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4answers
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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 ...
18
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3answers
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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 ...
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 ...
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
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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 ...
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 ...
15
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2answers
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Was all the fuel expended in each stage of a Saturn V launch?

Particularly the first and second stages into earth orbit - were the stages run dry before separation? On first thoughts, It would seem to be safer to do so, but I realised the engines required liquid ...
15
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1answer
691 views

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 ...
15
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1answer
686 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 ...
14
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2answers
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Improvements in Saturn V, LM and CSM after Apollo 10

Apollo 10 is considered to be full dress rehearsal for Apollo 11. Did the trial flight of Apollo 10 identify any improvements that were needed in the Saturn V, CSM and LM, to be done before Apollo 11 ...
14
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1answer
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Why did each F-1 engine have dual fuel feedlines?

Each F-1 engine had two fuel feedlines connecting it to the fuel tank as shown in these contemporary photographs and drawings. The corresponding LOX system only had one feedline. The engine had a ...
14
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1answer
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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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
13
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3answers
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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
13
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2answers
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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 ...
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 ...
12
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2answers
810 views

How do they determine dynamic pressure has hit a max?

Max-Q is a key event during launch, and dynamic pressure is closely monitored so they know when a max is hit. But how exactly do they know when Q hits a max? If you track the rate at which Q is ...
12
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1answer
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Double redundancy for the Saturn V LVDC computer memory, how were disagreements resolved?

In the Smarter Every Day video How did NASA Steer the Saturn V?- Smarter Every Day 223 Destin is talking with Luke Talley about the memory modules used in the Saturn V LVDC computer. This computer ...
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 ...
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 ...
12
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1answer
310 views

Human-rating the Saturn V using modern standards

Would a complete Apollo-Saturn stack (like e.g. AS-506) be human-rated according to the latest human-rating process (NPR 8705.2C) of NASA? If not, what are the biggest show-stoppers? This question ...
11
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3answers
846 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 ...
11
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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 ...
11
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1answer
888 views

Is there a realtime, uncut video of Saturn V ignition through tower clear?

"Hi, I'm Organic Marble and I'm bad at searching Youtube." Inspired by this question What event determined the transfer of control from Kennedy Space Center to Houston?, I'd like to watch a 1:1 (...
11
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1answer
860 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 ...
11
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1answer
722 views

Vibration and noise during launch of the Saturn V and Spaceshuttle in comparison?

I just saw a TV docu about the Apollo mission. Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders said the vibrations and noise during launch were much heavier than expected. I later heard a speech by the Shuttle ...
10
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2answers
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Is it correct that the Saturn V RP1 tank was pressurized by high pressure helium and the LOX tanks were pressurised by oxygen?

I understand from many sites that in the first stage of the Saturn V, the RP1 tank was pressurized by high pressure Helium tanks, but the LOX tanks were pressurized using gaseous oxygen. Is this ...
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 ...
10
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1answer
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Does a photo with two Saturn V's on launch pad 39A and 39B exist?

There is a beautiful photo of two Space Shuttles on launch pads 39A and 39B. Apollo 10 was the only Saturn V launch from pad 39B. Were either Apollo 9 or Apollo 11 close enough in time to have two ...
10
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1answer
883 views

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. ...