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Thread: Saturn V production

  1. #1
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    Saturn V production

    I have found some indirect references suggesting that, back in the heyday, the Saturn V production line could have built six of those puppies per year. If anyone could point me in a direction to confirm this, I would be grateful.

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    Browsing through NTRS, finding some stuff that some people might like. Feels like a waste to leave these buried in a search engine.

    Saturn illustrated chronology. saturn's first eight years, april 1957 - april 1965
    Saturn illustrated chronology, april 1957 to june 1964

    This has some numbers on production:
    saturn launch vehicles- status and plans Author: Von Braun, W.
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    With any luck, we will at least see F-1 strap-ons for the Block II SLS.

  4. #4
    That's one of the most incomprehensible posts I remember reading for a long time. An F-1 strap-on? I picture a racing car being tied to something.
    As above, so below

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    Why? A Space Shuttle SRB is a strap-on, and has almost twice the thrust.

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    And; from what I see from searching, a liquid booster from Thiakol was one of the options for the shuttle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    Browsing through NTRS, finding some stuff that some people might like. Feels like a waste to leave these buried in a search engine.

    Saturn illustrated chronology. saturn's first eight years, april 1957 - april 1965
    Saturn illustrated chronology, april 1957 to june 1964

    This has some numbers on production:
    saturn launch vehicles- status and plans Author: Von Braun, W.
    Once again I have to thank you slang for a most informative post. What a treasure trove! Made my day.

  8. #8
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    I'm not a conspiracy nut, but I do wonder why so much of the Von Braun paper was blacked out...

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    The Cold War, non-prolif' etc.
    More on the return of the F-1 (I hope)
    http://www.dynetics.com/news/293
    http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/ind...&topic=28693.0

  10. #10
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    One of the most important items I find in here (and there is much fascinating stuff) is the contracts let by NASA appear from the start to have envisioned a discrete number of units (21-24). I have found no mention so far of ongoing production capacity, and the last Saturn was completed in August 1968, almost a year before the first moon landing. The Apollo Applications Program looks more like paper than anything else, and the input end of the program was winding down almost before he first flights began.

    Thanks to everyone here for finding all sorts of interesting and useful material. If I could just find that pork chop plotting program it would be about perfect.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustAFriend View Post
    I'm not a conspiracy nut, but I do wonder why so much of the Von Braun paper was blacked out...


    Ehh, which Von Braun paper are you talking about? Not even a single word in the one linked by Slang is blacked out.

  12. #12
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    The information everyone helped me with is greatly appreciated. My coauthor and I just sold the story using all this to Analog, it will be in the December issue.

    Now working on a prequel, and another query. The current NASA headquarters in Washington DC is south of the Capitol on E street. It was built in 1992. Can anyone tell me if that is the same site for headquarters in 1975? The zip code on letters from that period seems to indicate it was, but finding an actual street address has been much more difficult.

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    With any luck, we will at least see F-1 strap-ons for the Block II SLS.
    Why?

    The F-1, though an incredible engine for its time, is pretty hopelessly inefficient by modern kerolox engine standards. There's really no reason to resurrect it. Study it, absolutely, but if you're looking for a flight proven kerolox engine to use for really high thrust, the RD-171 would be a much better choice. Slightly higher thrust, and something like 20% better specific impulse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glappkaeft View Post

    Ehh, which Von Braun paper are you talking about? Not even a single word in the one linked by Slang is blacked out.
    In some browsers there are compatibility issues with pdf's, and if it all goes wrong the document looks like it's covered in blackout lines! Eg Google's Chrome browser just did it to me on that same document. I right-clicked and saved it, then opened it (with, in my case, Foxit) and it looks fine.

    So he wasn't being 'difficult' - Justafriend, try right-click-saving the file, then opening it outside your browser. There is no blacking out in the 'real thing'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjl View Post
    Why?

    The F-1, though an incredible engine for its time, is pretty hopelessly inefficient by modern kerolox engine standards. There's really no reason to resurrect it. Study it, absolutely, but if you're looking for a flight proven kerolox engine to use for really high thrust, the RD-171 would be a much better choice. Slightly higher thrust, and something like 20% better specific impulse.
    P&W Rocketdyne was a merger that place both big liquid fueled engine makers under the same tent. They now have both F-1 and the RD-171 derived RD-180 to look at, so I imagine future hydrocarbon engines will have better cross-pollination of ideas.

    Glushko had troubles with advanced nozzles and he always went with multiple nozzles (outside of RD-270.) I think there were those who wanted F-1s to be upgrade to match RD-171.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike alexander View Post
    The information everyone helped me with is greatly
    appreciated. My coauthor and I just sold the story
    using all this to Analog, it will be in the December
    issue.
    I didn't see any clear indication in the thread that
    you confirmed that the Saturn V program was indeed
    planned for a much higher production rate. The VAB
    had four high bays so that four Saturn Fives could
    be processed simultaneously. A third launch pad
    was planned and came fairly close to being built.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike alexander View Post
    The current NASA headquarters in Washington DC is
    south of the Capitol on E street. It was built in 1992.
    Can anyone tell me if that is the same site for
    headquarters in 1975? The zip code on letters from
    that period seems to indicate it was, but finding an
    actual street address has been much more difficult.
    Ha. I see what you mean. The NASA publications I
    have from that era don't show a street address, just
    the zip code (20546).

    In 1985, a year or two after the National Air and
    Space Museum opened on the Mall, I walked from
    the museum over to NASA headquarters and went
    to the press office and browsed through the picture
    collection. At that time NASA HQ occupied the two
    identical-looking buildings which, IIRC, had been
    built for the Department of Education. It later
    moved into the building built for the Department
    of Transportation.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike alexander View Post
    Thanks.
    Well, I thought I'd be able to help. Unh-uh.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  17. #17
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    It's often the simplest, most obvious questions that are the hardest to answer historically, since everyone at the time knew and didn't make anything of it.

    Much like booster production. I've found statement of contracts for booster stages (each stage contracted separately), say the S-1C, calling for so many units by some date. That can give an idea of production capacity, but still leaves the question of units/month or units/year in terms of maximum line capacity unanswered. NASA/Boeing historical references indicate total fabrication time for an S-1C was about 14 months. Sitill have not found definitive reference to capacity at Michoud.

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