Saturn IB

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Saturn IB
Saturn IB launch configurations.jpg
Three launch configurations of the Apollo Saturn IB rocket: no spacecraft (AS-203), Command/Service module (most missions); and AS-204 (Apollo 5), Lunar Module
FunctionManned LEO launch vehicle
ManufacturerChrysler (S-IB)
Douglas (S-IVB)
Country of originUnited States
Size
Height141.6 ft (43.2 m)
without payload [1]
Diameter21.67 ft (6.61 m) [1]
Mass1,300,220 lb (589,770 kg)
without payload [2]
Stages2
Capacity
Payload to LEO46,000 lb (21,000 kg)
Launch history
StatusRetired
Launch sitesLC-37 & LC-34, Cape Canaveral
LC-39B, Kennedy Space Center
Total launches9
Successes9
Failures0
First flightFebruary 26, 1966
Last flightJuly 15, 1975
Notable payloadsUnmanned Apollo CSM

Unmanned Apollo LM
Manned Apollo CSM

First stage - S-IB
Engines8 * H-1
Thrust1,600,000 lbf (7,100 kN)
Burn time150 seconds
FuelRP-1/LOX
Second stage - S-IVB-200
Engines1 Rocketdyne J-2
Thrust200,000 lbf (890 kN)
Burn time480 seconds
FuelLH2/LOX
 
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Saturn IB
Saturn IB launch configurations.jpg
Three launch configurations of the Apollo Saturn IB rocket: no spacecraft (AS-203), Command/Service module (most missions); and AS-204 (Apollo 5), Lunar Module
FunctionManned LEO launch vehicle
ManufacturerChrysler (S-IB)
Douglas (S-IVB)
Country of originUnited States
Size
Height141.6 ft (43.2 m)
without payload [1]
Diameter21.67 ft (6.61 m) [1]
Mass1,300,220 lb (589,770 kg)
without payload [2]
Stages2
Capacity
Payload to LEO46,000 lb (21,000 kg)
Launch history
StatusRetired
Launch sitesLC-37 & LC-34, Cape Canaveral
LC-39B, Kennedy Space Center
Total launches9
Successes9
Failures0
First flightFebruary 26, 1966
Last flightJuly 15, 1975
Notable payloadsUnmanned Apollo CSM

Unmanned Apollo LM
Manned Apollo CSM

First stage - S-IB
Engines8 * H-1
Thrust1,600,000 lbf (7,100 kN)
Burn time150 seconds
FuelRP-1/LOX
Second stage - S-IVB-200
Engines1 Rocketdyne J-2
Thrust200,000 lbf (890 kN)
Burn time480 seconds
FuelLH2/LOX

The Saturn IB (pronounced "one B", also known as the Uprated Saturn I) was an American launch vehicle commissioned by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the Apollo program. It replaced the S-IV second stage of the Saturn I with the much more powerful S-IVB, able to launch a partially fueled Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM) or a fully fueled Lunar Module (LM) into low Earth orbit for early flight tests before the larger Saturn V needed for lunar flight was ready.

By sharing the S-IVB upper stage, the Saturn IB and Saturn V provided a common interface to the Apollo spacecraft. The only major difference was that the S-IVB on the Saturn V burned only part of its propellant to achieve Earth orbit, so it could be restarted for translunar injection. The S-IVB on the Saturn IB needed all of its propellant to achieve Earth orbit.

The Saturn IB launched two unmanned CSM suborbital flights, one unmanned LM orbital flight, and the first manned CSM orbital mission (first planned as Apollo 1, later flown as Apollo 7). It also launched one orbital mission, AS-203, without a payload so the S-IVB would have residual liquid hydrogen fuel. This mission supported the design of the restartable version of the S-IVB used in the Saturn V, by observing the behavior of the liquid hydrogen in weightlessness.

In 1973, the year after the Apollo lunar program ended, three Apollo CSM/Saturn IBs ferried crews to the Skylab space station. In 1975, one last Apollo/Saturn IB launched the Apollo portion of the joint US-USSR Apollo Soyuz Test Project. A backup Apollo CSM/Saturn IB was assembled and made ready for a Skylab rescue mission but never flown.

Specifications[edit]

NASA defines launch vehicle as the rocket stages and guidance system that launches a spacecraft. A space vehicle is a complete launch stack: the launch vehicle, spacecraft and any shrouds or adapters.

Launch vehicle[edit]

Parameter[1]S-IB 1st StageS-IVB-200 2nd StageInstrument Unit
Height80.17 ft (24.44 m)58.42 ft (17.81 m)3.00 ft (0.91 m)
Diameter21.42 ft (6.53 m)21.67 ft (6.61 m)21.67 ft (6.61 m)
Structural mass92,500 lb (42,000 kg)23,400 lb (10,600 kg)4,400 lb (2,000 kg)
PropellantRP-1/LOXLH2/LOXN/A
Propellant mass880,500 lb (399,400 kg)228,500 lb (103,600 kg)N/A
EnginesEight - H-1One - J-2N/A
Thrust1,600,000 lbf (7,100 kN) sea level200,000 lbf (890 kN) vacuumN/A
Burn duration150 s480 sN/A
Specific impulse272 s (2.66 kN·s/kg) sea level420 s (4.12 kN·s/kg) vacuumN/A
ContractorChryslerDouglasIBM

Payload configurations[edit]

ParameterCommand/Service ModuleApollo 5AS-203
Launch Escape System mass9,200 lb (4,200 kg)N/AN/A
Apollo Command/Service Module mass36,400 lb (16,500 kg) to
46,000 lb (21,000 kg)
N/AN/A
Apollo Lunar Module massN/A31,650 lb (14,360 kg)N/A
Spacecraft LM Adapter mass4,050 lb (1,840 kg)4,050 lb (1,840 kg)N/A
Nose cone heightN/A8.3 ft (2.5 m)27.7 ft (8.4 m)
Payload height81.8 ft (24.9 m)36.3 ft (11.1 m)27.7 ft (8.4 m)
Total space vehicle height223.4 ft (68.1 m)177.9 ft (54.2 m)169.4 ft (51.6 m)

S-IB stage[edit]

Main article: S-IB
Diagram of the S-IB first stage of the Saturn IB rocket

The S-IB stage was built by the Chrysler corporation at the Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans.[3] It was powered by eight H-1 rocket engines burning RP-1 fuel with liquid oxygen (LOX). Eight Redstone tanks (four holding fuel and four holding LOX) were clustered around a Jupiter rocket LOX tank. The four outboard engines were mounted on gimbals, allowing them to be steered to control the rocket. Eight fins surrounding the base thrust structure provided aerodynamic stability and control.

S-IVB-200 stage[edit]

Main article: S-IVB (rocket stage)
Diagram of the S-IVB second stage of the Saturn IB

The S-IVB was built by the Douglas Aircraft Company at Huntington Beach, California. The S-IVB-200 model was similar to the S-IVB-500 third stage used on the Saturn V, with the exception of the interstage adapter, smaller auxiliary propulsion control modules, and lack of on-orbit engine restart capability. It was powered by a single J-2 engine. The fuel and oxidizer tanks shared a common bulkhead, which saved about ten tons of weight and reduced vehicle length over ten feet.

Instrument Unit[edit]

The Instrument Unit which controlled the Saturn IB and Saturn V

IBM built the Instrument Unit at the Space Systems Center in Huntsville, AL. Located at the top of the S-IVB stage, it consisted of a Launch Vehicle Digital Computer (LVDC), an inertial platform, accelerometers, a tracking, telemetry and command system and associated environmental controls. It controlled the entire rocket from just before liftoff until battery depletion. Like other rocket guidance systems, it maintained its state vector (position and velocity estimates) by integrating accelerometer measurements, sent firing and steering commands to the main engines and auxiliary thrusters, and fired the appropriate ordnance and solid rocket motors during staging and payload separation events.

As with other rockets, a completely independent and redundant range safety system could be invoked by ground radio command to terminate thrust and to destroy the vehicle should it malfunction and threaten people or property on the ground. In the Saturn IB and V, the range safety system was permanently disabled by ground command after safely reaching orbit.

Launch sequence events[edit]

Launch eventTime (s)Altitude (km)Range (km)
Ignition Command-3.02..
First Motion-0.19..
Liftoff0.00..
Initiate Pitch Maneuver10.0..
Initiate Roll Maneuver10.0..
End Roll Maneuver38.0..
Mach One62.187.63.
Max Q75.512.16.
Freeze Tilt134.40..
Inboard Engine Cutoff140.65..
Outboard Engine Cutoff144.32..
Ullage Rockets Ignition145.37..
S-IB / S-IVB Separation145.59..
S-IVB Ignition146.97..
Ullage Rocket Burnout148.33..
Ullage Rocket Jettison156.58..
Jettison LES163.28..
Start Pitch Over613.95..
S-IVB Cutoff616.76..
Orbit Insertion626.76..
Start S/C Sep Sequence663.11..
Spacecraft Separation728.31..

Saturn IB vehicles and launches[edit]

Saturn IB on its "milkstool"

The original Saturn IBs for Apollo were launched from LC-34 and LC-37, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The Saturn IB was used between 1973 and 1975 for three manned Skylab flights, and one Apollo-Soyuz Test Project flight. This final production run did not have alternating black and white S-IB stage tanks, or vertical stripes on the S-IVB aft tank skirt, which were present on the earlier vehicles. Since LC-34 and 37 were inactive by then, these launches utilized Kennedy Space Center's LC-39B.[4] To accommodate the height differential between the Saturn IB and the much larger Saturn V, a "milkstool" apparatus was attached to the Mobile Launcher Platform No. 1.[4] The "milkstool" enabled the Apollo Command Module's hatch to reach the Launch Umbillical Tower's crew access arm and accommodate all the ground support connections related to fuelling and support.[4]

All Saturn IB launches from AS-201 through ASTP


Serial
Number
MissionSpacecraft
Mass (kg)
Launch
Date
Notes
SA-201AS-20120,820February 26, 1966Unmanned suborbital test of Block I CSM
(Command/Service Module)
SA-203AS-203NoneJuly 5, 1966Unmanned test of unburned LH2 behavior in orbit
to support S-IVB-500 restart design
SA-202AS-20225,810August 25, 1966Unmanned suborbital test of Block I CSM
SA-204Apollo 120,412Was to be first manned orbital test of Block I CSM.
Cabin fire killed astronauts and damaged CM during
dress rehearsal for planned February 21, 1967 launch
Apollo 514,360January 22, 1968Unmanned orbital test of Lunar Module,
used Apollo 1 launch vehicle
SA-205Apollo 716,520October 11, 1968Manned orbital test of Block II CSM
SA-206Skylab 219,979May 25, 1973Block II CSM ferried first crew to Skylab orbital workshop
SA-207Skylab 320,121July 28, 1973Block II CSM ferried second crew to Skylab orbital workshop
SA-208AS-208Standby Skylab 3 rescue CSM-119; not needed
Skylab 420,847November 16, 1973Block II CSM ferried third crew to Skylab orbital workshop
SA-209AS-209Standby Skylab 4 and later Apollo-Soyuz rescue CSM-119.
Not needed, currently on display in the KSC rocket garden
Skylab 5Planned CSM mission to lift Skylab workshop's orbit
to endure until Space Shuttle ready to fly; cancelled.
SA-210ASTP16,780July 15, 1975Apollo CSM with special docking adapter module,
rendezvoused with Soyuz 19. Last Saturn IB flight.
SA-211Unused
SA-212Unused. First stage scrapped.[3]
S-IVB stage converted to Skylab space station.
SA-213Only first stage built. Unused and scrapped.[3]
SA-214Only first stage built. Unused and scrapped.[3]

For earlier launches of vehicles in the Saturn I series, see the list in the Saturn I article.

Saturn IB rockets on display[edit]

SA-209 on display at KSC

Currently there are three locations where Saturn IB vehicles (or parts thereof) are on display:

Cost[edit]

In 1972, the cost of a Saturn IB including launch was US$55,000,000 ($310,000,000 in 2014).[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Postlaunch report for mission AS-201 (Apollo spacecraft 009) -, NASA, May 1966, retrieved March 18, 2011 
  2. ^ Wade, Mark. "Saturn IB". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved March 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Saturn IB History". Retrieved 2009-11-01. 
  4. ^ a b c Reynolds, David West (2006). Kennedy Space Center: Gateway to Space. Richmond Hill, Ontario: Firefly Books Ltd. pp. 154–157. ISBN 978-1-55407-039-8. 
  5. ^ Dooling, Dave (May 6, 1979). "Space and Rocket Plans Summer Celebration". The Huntsville Times. 
  6. ^ Hughes, Bayne (April 6, 2014). "Iconic rocket due for repair". Decatur Daily. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 
  7. ^ "SP-4221 The Space Shuttle Decision- Chapter 6: ECONOMICS AND THE SHUTTLE". NASA. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 

External links[edit]