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The (cancelled) second production run of Saturn Vs

Michel Van

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question
from the Saturn V was build 15 rockets (SA-501 to SA-515)
and launch 13, the rest went in museum.

and there a rumors of 2 almost build but scrap SA-516 and SA-517

From Wikipedia
The (cancelled) second production run of Saturn Vs would very likely have used the F-1A engine in its first stage, providing a substantial performance boost. Other likely changes would have been the removal of the fins (which turned out to provide little benefit when compared to their weight); a stretched S-IC first stage to support the more powerful F-1As; and uprated J-2s for the upper stages
there no Source (typical Wiki...)

so is this true
were a SA-516 and SA-517 ?
and if Second production run of Saturn V was build would include No Fins and J-2S Engine ?
 

Jos Heyman

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Thirteen flights were made with the Saturn 5 between 9 November 1967 and 14 May 1973. Twelve of these were part of the Apollo lunar programme and the last one was associated with the Skylab programme. Launch vehicles SA-514 and SA-515, which were destined for Apollo-19 and Apollo-20, were never flown whilst work on launch vehicles SA-516 and SA-517 was suspended in August 1968. Work on SA-518 to SA-525 was never started.
 

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What was really finished and is displayed now:

1. Kennedy space center - Florida
- first stage - Saturn-ASTS (All Systems Test Stage)
- second stage - SA-514 (Apollo 18)
- third stage - SA-514 (Apollo 18)

2. Marshall space center - Alabama
- Saturn 5 - static tests prototype

3. Johnson space center - Texas
- first stage - SA-514 (Apollo 18)
- second stage - SA-515 (backup for Skylab)
- third stage - SA-513 (the rest two SA-513 stages launched the Skylab)

4. Michoud Assembly Facility - Louisiana
- first stage - SA-515 (Skylab backup)*

*third stage of SA-515 was converted to backup Skylab laboratory, now displayed in National Air and Space Museum in Washington.
 

Michel Van

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thanks for info

Jos Heyman said:
whilst work on launch vehicles SA-516 and SA-517 was suspended in August 1968.
Work on SA-518 to SA-525 was never started.
you got a Source for the SA-518 to SA-525

only 7 Saturn V ?
seems for Payload: Lunar AAP, SKYLAB B and 6-men Space Station
whoever AAP lunar need 2 Saturn V launch. makes 4-6 Lunar AAP Launch and 1-2 SKYLAB.
 

Skybolt

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The big Saturn expert here is Scott: Scott, any suggestions ?
 

agricola64

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some ideas how advanved saturns might have looked like..

http://www.astronautix.com/data/satvint.pdf
 

Michel Van

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agricola64 said:
some ideas how advanced saturns might have looked like..
Thanks, but i have that PDF (of 4 GB NASA PDF ;D )
they were Proposals, not actual Second production run of Saturn V

there was a fantastic books from Scott
"Saturn: Development, Details, Derivatives and Descendants"
Currently not available

I don't have it, ARRRGGGGGGGGG :'(
 

CFE

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My impression (based on the sources I've read) is that J-2S engines on the second & third stages would have been the most likely upgrade for the second block of Saturn V's. The primary advantage of J-2S is a simpler combustion cycle and reduced production costs that accompany the lower parts count (something NASA neglected by going back to the gas generator cycle for J-2X.)

I don't know if the F-1A ever made it to the test stage, but I don't see much use for it in the baseline Saturn V (unless the liftoff mass increased, in which case the added thrust would come in handy.) A tankage stretch would only be useful if NASA decided it needed to launch heavier payloads towards the moon (perhaps if the LM cargo lander and LESA shelters same to fruition.)
 

agricola64

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I don't know if the F-1A ever made it to the test stage, but I don't see much use for it in the baseline Saturn V (unless the liftoff mass increased, in which case the added thrust would come in handy.) A tankage stretch would only be useful if NASA decided it needed to launch heavier payloads towards the moon (perhaps if the LM cargo lander and LESA shelters same to fruition.)
Using the F-1A on the first stage would have given better engine-out capability (continung the mission even with one failed engine) by increasing the times this would have been possible almost form the launch pad up .. having more thrust in the begining would also have allowed a quickler climb to altitude, thus imporiving engine efficieny (increased Isp by lower air pressure) - although it mighht have been neccessary toshut down en engine a bit earlier to keep acceleration within alowable limits
 

Skybolt

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Made some preliminary research. It seems that there was nothing as a "cancellation" of the second production run, simply because never a second batch of Saturn Vs beyond the first was ordered. There were a lot of proposals, linked normally to planetary missions, both manned and unmanned, and follow-on manned advanced lunar missions (e.g. the MOBEX proposals, see the James Portree's Altair VI blog for this), for additional Saturn Vs. One from 1967 (cited in "Apollo, the lost and forgotten missions" by David J. Shayler (highly recommended) pg. 326-327) called for three to four vehicles built per year in the 1971-75 period. Those Saturns could have been of the Uprated version, that again changed in definitions and performances from a proposal to another. In 1967 an Uprated Saturn V would have had a stretched configuration 470 feet tall. No info on engines and fins.
 

Michel Van

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i found this PDF on line
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19740079519_1974079519.pdf
STUDY OF J-2S ENGINE IMPACT ON SATURN V LAUNCH OPERATIONS.
224 page. 7.1 MB


J-2S Configurations
I. S-II with no restart capability
2. S-II with one restart capability
3. S-IVB with one restart capability
4. S-IVB with two restarts capability

for Saturn V with J-2S in S-IIS and S-IVB has 3 Mission profile :

Lunar Orbit Rendezvous (LOR) Mission (Apollo or AAP)
-three stage, with an S-IVB with one restart.

Synchronous Mission
-three stage, with an S-IVB with two restarts

Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Mission
-two Stage, with an S-IIS with one restart.

Change S-II to S-IIS stage, 5 x J-2S and Two McDonnell Douglas Company S-IVB APS modules will be added

after bernd leitenberger calculation, a Saturn V with J-2S launch 151 t in LEO and 55 t to moon.
also he state the first J-2S engine flight, had to be in SA-518.
http://www.bernd-leitenberger.de/saturn5.shtml
German test only.

http://www.astronautix.com/engines/j2s.htm

Skybolt said:
One from 1967 (cited in "Apollo, the lost and forgotten missions" by David J. Shayler (highly recommended) pg. 326-327) called for three to four vehicles built per year in the 1971-75 period. Those Saturns could have been of the Uprated version, that again changed in definitions and performances from a proposal to another. In 1967 an Uprated Saturn V would have had a stretched configuration 470 feet tall. No info on engines and fins.
i have "Apollo, the lost and forgotten missions" by David J. Shayler
also "Gemini, Steps to the Moon", "Soyuz, A Universal Spacecraft", The Rocket Men, Vostok & Voskhod..." by him
you don't have those Books ? shame on you !
 

robunos

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there was a fantastic books from Scott
"Saturn: Development, Details, Derivatives and Descendants"
Currently not available

I don't have it, ARRRGGGGGGGGG :'(

[/quote]

i've seen references to this book on the astronautix website, would be nice if it were to appear on up-ship.com, there's at least one, possibly two sales here, ;D

cheers,
Robin.
 

Skybolt

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The book from Scott actually is a book project (pun half intended... :D) . Scott used to sell some detached chapters of a big work-in-progress book on the Saturn family on his site a long time ago, one regarded recoverable versions, another early configurations, and the last augmented ones. A lot of configurations studied in a number of studies, both contractors's and NASA's, are described, but no-one was ever chosen as a production booster. A few years ago Scott pulled those technical essays from sale since he decided that the amount of material he had in time amassed warranted entirely new version of them. I invite Scott to intervene if I explained it wrongly.
 

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agricola64 said:
I don't know if the F-1A ever made it to the test stage, but I don't see much use for it in the baseline Saturn V (unless the liftoff mass increased, in which case the added thrust would come in handy.) A tankage stretch would only be useful if NASA decided it needed to launch heavier payloads towards the moon (perhaps if the LM cargo lander and LESA shelters same to fruition.)
Using the F-1A on the first stage would have given better engine-out capability (continung the mission even with one failed engine) by increasing the times this would have been possible almost form the launch pad up .. having more thrust in the begining would also have allowed a quickler climb to altitude, thus imporiving engine efficieny (increased Isp by lower air pressure) - although it mighht have been neccessary toshut down en engine a bit earlier to keep acceleration within alowable limits
I would think that having engine-out comes with a heavy mass penalty. After one engine would be shut down (probably just prior to Max-Q,) the vehicle would have to carry the dead mass of a non-functioning engine. Dropping the engine entirely (Atlas-style) would make sense, but it would add complexity and cost money to implement. Throttling down all five F-1A's prior to max-Q might make sense, except that the F-1 wasn't very throttleable, IIRC.

At the same time, the pogo problems of Apollo 6 & 13 would give some justification to engine-out capabilities. However, it points to the need for pogo-suppression in a postulated second batch of Saturn V's. That type of safety enhancement would be far more important than J-2S or F-1A.
 

agricola64

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Using the F-1A on the first stage would have given better engine-out capability (continung the mission even with one failed engine) by increasing the times this would have been possible almost form the launch pad up .. having more thrust in the begining would also have allowed a quickler climb to altitude, thus imporiving engine efficieny (increased Isp by lower air pressure) - although it mighht have been neccessary to shut down en engine a bit earlier to keep acceleration within alowable limits
I would think that having engine-out comes with a heavy mass penalty. After one engine would be shut down (probably just prior to Max-Q,) the vehicle would have to carry the dead mass of a non-functioning engine. Dropping the engine entirely (Atlas-style) would make sense, but it would add complexity and cost money to implement. Throttling down all five F-1A's prior to max-Q might make sense, except that the F-1 wasn't very throttleable, IIRC.

At the same time, the pogo problems of Apollo 6 & 13 would give some justification to engine-out capabilities. However, it points to the need for pogo-suppression in a postulated second batch of Saturn V's. That type of safety enhancement would be far more important than J-2S or F-1A.
yes .. loosing an engine will hurt .. but even a limited mission would usually still be better then loosing the
launcher shortly after takeoff ..

and if you use F-1A instead of F-1 in the same basic S-V you have lower engine weight (so you could put a few hundred kilos into anti-pogo systems at the same total weight) , MUCH higher thrust (almost 1/5) and better Isp ... so i think it would be worthwhile idea ..

ultimately it can only be decided after a long and very detailed technical analysis
 

Archibald

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I have a questuion about NASA 1969 budget and Saturn V.

In the late 60's NASA budget gradually fell from 4.2 billion to 3.7 billion.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Budget
(hmm that's wikipedia...)

Thanks to PMN1 I've discovered this, three options for NASA budget at 3.5, 2.5 and 1.5 billion.
http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4221/ch4.htm

Even at 3.5 billion , Paine has to close Saturn V production line in January 1970.

My question : what budget NASA would have needed to keep Saturn V alive after 1970 ? Is 4 billion enough, or do we need 4.5 ?
Do they need to go back to the 1966' peak ?

I'm curious...
 

Michel Van

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Budget
(hmm that's wikipedia...)
the numbers are quit right. ones for Wiki ::)

My question : what budget NASA would have needed to keep Saturn V alive after 1970 ? Is 4 billion enough, or do we need 4.5 ?
Do they need to go back to the 1966' peak ?
the Problem
to find the real production price of a Saturn V Rocket...
From 1964 until 1973, a total of US$6.5 billion was appropriated for the Saturn V, with the maximum being in 1966 with US$1.2 billion.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_V#Cost
http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4029/Apollo_18-16_Apollo_Program_Budget_Appropriations.htm
after Astronautix
Launch Price $: 431.000 million. in: 1967 price dollars. in today Dollars $ 2.155 billion.
(US$6.5 billion / 15 units = 431.000 million. so include also Development Cost)

after Stages to Saturn by Roger E. Bilstein
Saturn V Total Production cost $113.1 Million pro unit. (on Page 406)
if this in 1967 price dollars. (i dont know) made in today Dollar 565,5 Million.

so why has Paine to close Saturn V production line in January 1970 ?
with 7 Saturn V made only $791,7 Million

Paine had to run NASA
next to Apollo Program were other Program how need Money
see long list.

Year 1970 runnig Mission
Apollo 13

Nike Apache ISRO 30.01 Ionosphere mission
Nike-Cajun Aeronomy mission
Nike Tomahawk Plasma mission
HL-10 Flights (5)
X-24 Flights (11)
M2-F3 Flight (1)
SERT 2
DMSP
Javelin Plasma mission 3 Flights
NINBUS 4
Blue Scout Junior SPED II re-entry vehicle test flight

prepared programs
Manned
Apollo 14 to 18 (Mission 15, 19, 20 chanceld)
Skylab Mission
ASTP

Unmanned probe
Mariner 8 & 9 Orbiter and Mariner 10
Pioneer 10 & 11

Development
Shuttle Phase B Contracts
Space Station / Space Base Studies
Definition studies for a second Orbital Workshop aka Skylab B
Voyager (Mars Lander) later Chanceld and replace by Viking

this only Space flight
there also Aircraft Development and Test.
 

Archibald

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Merci very much!

with 7 Saturn V made only $791,7 Million
Ok, that's would made 800 millions to keep production alive.

But launching all these rockets would then be much costly, around 3 billion (431*7, or am I totally wrong ?)
Of course these launch costs are spread over years (2 Saturn a year).

Thanks again...
 

Michel Van

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I found here this numbers
German webpage http://www.bernd-leitenberger.de/saturn5.shtml

for a 3 stage Saturn V $216 Million (build Transport and Launch cost ) $1080 Million in 2006 Dollar.
for a 2 stage Saturn V $180 Million (build Transport and Launch cost ) $900 Million in 2006 Dollar.

216-113.1 makes $102,9 Million pure Launch Cost ! (Vab assembly, move to Launch pad 34a, Checkt, fueled, launch)
in today dollar $514,5 Million, hey is that not cheaper as for a Shuttle launch with $1.3 billion ? ;)

those are Cost for Standart Saturn V not uprate Version.

had NASA taken Arianespace tactic (and not STS Dead) and Produce Saturn V in big numbers
20 to 30 Rockets, it had drop total cost.
 

Archibald

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Saturn V Total Production cost $113.1 Million pro unit. (on Page 406)
if this in 1967 price dollars. (i dont know) made in today Dollar 565,5 Million.
According to NASA itself Endeavour cost 1.7 billion ?
 

Michel Van

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According to NASA itself Endeavour cost 1.7 billion ?
another World mystery to solve
how much cost a Shuttle Launch ?

in 1977 the planned Launch Cost was $24 Million (in 1977 dollars)

NASA say official $433 Million for I.S.S. Launch cost.
Internal paper say $1.3 billion (after NASA Watch)
here show the fluctuation in Launch cost over the years of $485 Million to 784 Million.
http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/space_policy/000346space_shuttle_costs.html

fact is that
STS total cost is $150 billion (in 2005)/ 115 launches = $1.30 billion
Saturn V total cost is $32.5 billion / 15 units = $2.16 billion (in 2005)
from that point of view STS is cheaper :-[

Launch Cost
Shuttle $433-784 Million (in 2005)
Saturn V $565,5 Million (in 2005)

question
2 stage Saturn V instat STS
115 build and launch with $900 milion make $103.5 billion
from this point is Saturn V $47 billion cheaper ;D
 

Archibald

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But how achieving 115 launches of a two-stage Saturn V ?

Hehehe... answer is called Big Gemini.
There was a 47 tons variant (!) to be launch by Saturn INT-20... (a "castrated", two stage Saturn V without S-II which accelerated so much that they have to shut or simply delete two of the five F-1 on first stage! )
Big Gemini ops woulf have started around 1972 (not 1981 as the Shuttle did).
There was another two-stage variant, the INT-21 of Skylab fame.
but you don't launch dozens of Skylab, even if they are modular as Mir was...
So in order to save standard Saturn V you probably have to find a use in low earth orbit to its two-stage variants...
 

Michel Van

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i check my databank
and found PDF Saturnint http://www.astronautix.com/data/satvint.pdf
4 MB big

all Dollar value of 1966
R&D of $174 Million adapt Saturn V into Saturn INT Version
the Saturn INT-20 build and Launch cost are $60.3 Million
the Saturn INT-21 build and Launch cost are $74.6 Million

all Dollar Value 2005
STS official $433 Million for I.S.S. Launch cost.
Int-20 $301,5 Million
Int-21 $373 Million

Wat are Saturn INT-23 · INT-24 · INT-25 ?
 

agricola64

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Michel Van said:
i check my databank
and found PDF Saturnint http://www.astronautix.com/data/satvint.pdf
4 MB big

all Dollar value of 1966
R&D of $174 Million adapt Saturn V into Saturn INT Version
i also read that document and i understood this money to be mostly for infrastructure expansion at KSC to handle a larger launch schedule .. if you kepp the lauch schedule smaller, you probalbly wont need most of that money ..
 

Archibald

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Would a big, 5000 tons-thrust, LOX/kerosene pressure-fed booster help diminishing Saturn V costs ? It seems rather robust so you can probably recover it at sea... (yes I know very well Truax Sea Dragon. I also know that there had been pressure-fed Saturn IB studies around 1968 ;))
 

Michel Van

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jep
the LOX/PR-1 pressure-fed booster end up as Shuttle fist stage study
only consider to expensive as very cheap Solid Rocket Booster ( later SSRB )

the LOX/PR-1 pressure-fed booster was also for Saturn I and Booster for Saturn V

there were also Solid Saturn proposals
like Saturn INT-05A (260 inch solid motor with S-IVB upper stage)
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/satnt05a.htm

more interesting is to use 260 inch solid motor with Saturn V
Saturn V/4-260
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/satv4260.htm

interesting combination for Saturn family
a First stage for Saturn I as stamp on Booster for Saturn V
http://www.astronautix.com/lvfam/saturnv.htm
http://www.astronautix.com/lvfam/saturni.htm
 

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Bump!

Let's say we add two or four UA-120 inch boosters (from Titan III) to Saturn V.

Do we need heavy modifications of the launch pads ?
What influence would it have on the payloads (nasty vibrations maybe?)

Is it different to graft boosters on a stock Saturn V (three stages) and an INT-21 (two stages, more acceleration) ?

Lots of questions...
 

Michel Van

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yes there were study for those UA-120 inch boosters
for Saturn IB and Saturn V

for Saturn V
Saturn MLV-V-4(S)-A with 4 x Titan UA1205 solid rocket
Saturn V-ELV with 4 x Titan UA1207 solid rocket
Saturn MLV-V-4(S)-B with 4 x Titan UA1207

for Saturn IB first stage replace by solid rockets
Saturn INT-16 with 5 x Titan UA1205 as First stage.

the Solid booster are put on Saturn V only on Launch Pads
put more holes in Launch platform

flight gona with nasty vibrations and hell of acceleration
because of trust, that why those Saturn V study fligth unmanned cargo
 

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One of the decisions taken by President Johnson was to put severe limitations
on the NASA 1969 budget. After a program review in the early August days of
1968 the NASA Administrator Mr.James E.Webb, facing a budget limit of $ 3.8
billion for FY 1969, was forced to make painful decisions, one was a
particularly difficult one, namely to discontinue production of SATURN I
launch vehicles No.215 and No.216, and SATURN 5 launch vehicles 516 and
517. Tanks and engines of those vehicles were completed at that time, but
clustering had not begun. They had no specific mission assignments at the
time of decision, but were tentatively scheduled for roles in the APOLLO
application program, then in the planning stage
Source: http://www.ilr.tu-berlin.de/koelle/ILR-Mitteilungen/Archive/ILR351.pdf (page 35)

Hope that helps.
 

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Looking at Skylab compared to ISS individual module volumes convinces me that chucking the Saturn V for the shuttle/ISS was a huge blunder. I can envision three or four Skylab modules all connected to a central hub. Then rotating to create artificial gravity. That to me would have been a true space station. The Saturn V was a monumental accomplishment. Heavy lift was the key to large roomy space station development and deep space missions. NASA has never recovered from that ill fated decision.
 

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Michel Van

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found new Info about Second production run SA-518 to SA-526

D5-15772-2
SYSTEMS DESCRIPTION J-2S IMPROVEMENT STUDY
the Boeing Company . Aerospace group southeast division / IBM /
April 30,1969
1453 pages (PDF 55 MB)
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19690072871_1969072871.pdf

after this document
from build SA-518 the Saturn V had to equip with J-2S engines in S-II & S-IVB stage
Wat improve not only the payload but give more opportunities thanks the restart capability.
also do the simpler lighter J-2S Engine with higher performance.
it simplified the Saturn Stage too in Electric and Hydraulic system,
Wat reduce the build and launch cost


Three stage use
Apollo mission the LTI payload is now 109000 lbs (49.441,5 kg) 9% more as SA-511
Synchronous Orbit Missions Payload is 75800 lbs (34.382,3 kg) 15% more as SA-511

two stage use
low orbit 100 NM, payload 215070 lbs (97.554 kg ) 7 % more as SA-511
 

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There was a recent discussion on NSF about the various iterations of the J-2. They proposed a J-2S, J-2T and J-2X back then.
 

Michel Van

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blackstar said:
There was a recent discussion on NSF about the various iterations of the J-2. They proposed a J-2S, J-2T and J-2X back then.
oh yes, also back in 1960 they study J-2 alternative for Heavy lift Saturn V like MLS
with J-2S, J-2T and HG-3 Engines,
while J-2T had Toroidal aerospike plug nozzle with high R&D cost
also HG-3 a High-performance high-pressure chamber study, long before SSME
so for Boeing the cheapest way in R&D was J-2S

On Production & Launch cost on Saturn V
Saturn V Total Production cost was $113.1 Million pro unit.
Boeing made study about long term cost development on Saturn V Production
after this Document : Saturn Mission Payload Versatility http://www.up-ship.com/drawndoc/drawndocsale.htm
a 30 standard unit production run over 10 years (3 units a year)
drop the Production cost $113.1 Million for SA-516 in 1968 to $92.5 Million on SA-546 in 1978
 

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I can envision three or four Skylab modules all connected to a central hub.
Drop artificial gravity, replace the central hub by a "Skylab-ized" S-II and there you are - the space station of my own little alternative history - where the shuttle gets canned late 1971 by Weinberger's OMB.

SA-546 in 1978
I like it. I really like it !

http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4407/vol4/cover.pdf

Long Term Storage and Launch of a Saturn V Vehicle in the Mid-1980’s
 

Michel Van

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THX for the PDF link Archibald

on Skylab NASA briefly looked at launching five consecutively Skylab station during 1970s
Wat give SA-518 to SA-522 a payload (with backup Rockets)
after this source:
http://nassp.sourceforge.net/wiki/Future_Expansion#Interim_Orbital_Workshops

i try to find out, how the J-2S reduce the cost on Saturn V production
also about F-1A engine, but NTRS search engine give no clue :mad:
 

mz

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airrocket said:
Looking at Skylab compared to ISS individual module volumes convinces me that chucking the Saturn V for the shuttle/ISS was a huge blunder. I can envision three or four Skylab modules all connected to a central hub. Then rotating to create artificial gravity. That to me would have been a true space station. The Saturn V was a monumental accomplishment. Heavy lift was the key to large roomy space station development and deep space missions. NASA has never recovered from that ill fated decision.

The problem was not having too small launchers, the problem was that Apollo was a huge transient funding spike, yet everyone(*) assumed everything should have gone on with little changes after it. Apollo and Saturn were unsustainable. That was clear from the start. The space shuttle was only very barely sustainable (and wasn't reliable) and ISS was built slowly.


If development was done at a more modest scale, it would be much much faster.


* I guess dreaming is more enticing than looking at the bleaker ground facts, but that's what has been hampering progress in space for four decades.
 

Graham1973

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Michel Van said:
THX for the PDF link Archibald

on Skylab NASA briefly looked at launching five consecutively Skylab station during 1970s
Wat give SA-518 to SA-522 a payload (with backup Rockets)
after this source:
http://nassp.sourceforge.net/wiki/Future_Expansion#Interim_Orbital_Workshops

i try to find out, how the J-2S reduce the cost on Saturn V production
also about F-1A engine, but NTRS search engine give no clue :mad:
If you're referring to the Interim Orbital Workshop proposal the plan there was to terminate Apollo with the Apollo 15 flight and use the Saturn V's from the canceled missions (Apollo 16-19) as the workshop LV's.

The launch vehicle for the CSMs would have been any of the following, Saturn 1b, Saturn 1b INT-5 or Titan III(M).

Study Of An Evolutionary Interim Earth Orbit Program

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19730015118_1973015118.pdf
 

blackstar

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mz said:
Apollo and Saturn were unsustainable. That was clear from the start.
Clear to whom?

I have not looked at this subject closely for a long time, but I've long had a suspicion that there was a stutter-jump in the policy discussion in the late 1960s and they jumped over some obvious things and went straight to the shuttle solution. I don't think anybody in 1967-1969 took a careful look at maintaining the Apollo infrastructure long term and reducing the overall cost. Instead, they looked at options such as Saturn V plus shuttle, and then shuttle-only. And I think that this was partly because NASA has an engineering bias. In other words, they wanted to build something new, not simply keep producing Saturns at a low-rate production.

I've seen various people claim that Apollo-Saturn was "too expensive to continue," but I've never seen this claim backed up by actual economic analysis. I think there was a gut decision that it was too expensive, followed by a "I know! Let's build something NEW that will be cheaper!"

I think that NASA then got into a path-dependent situation where they started down the path toward retiring Saturn and building Shuttle and never again questioned if it was a good idea.

Or... put it more succinctly, if NASA had not built the shuttle and instead decided to spend shuttle development costs on continuing Saturn-Apollo and upgrading it, could they have done it?
 
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