Category Apollo Saturn V News Reference


The ground control pressure system provides a direct ground pressure supply for some of the first stage pneumatically actuated valves. The valves are involved with propellant fill and drain and emer­gency engine shutdown system operations. Direct ground control assures a backup system in case of emergency and conserves the onboard nitrogen supply.


The onboard purge pressure system consists of three high-pressure nitrogen storage bottles iden­tical to the onboard control pressure storage bottle, an umbilical coupling and tubing for filling the bot­tles, and a manifold assembly and tubing for re­ceiving and delivering the gas to the engine and calorimeter purge systems. These purge systems expel propellant leakage and are necessary from the time of loading throughout flight.

Environmental Control System

The environmental control system protects stage equipment from temperature extremes in both the forward skirt and thrust structure areas and pro­vides a nitrogen purge during prefiring and firing




Temperature-controlled air is provided by a ground air conditioning unit from approximately 14 hours before launch to approximately 6 hours before launch. At this time, gaseous nitrogen from an auxiliary nitrogen supply unit is introduced into the system and used to purge and condition the for­ward skirt and thrust structure areas until umbilical disconnect at launch.

A distribution manifold vents air and gaseous ni­trogen through orifices into the thrust structure to maintain proper temperature. Air and nitrogen are supplied from the ground.

The system also distributes air and gaseous nitro­gen to instrumentation canisters mounted in the forward skirt. Temperatures in the canisters are held to meet requirements of electrical equipment. From the canisters, the conditioning gas is vented into the forward skirt compartment.

Visual Instrumentation

Visual instrumentation, presently planned to be installed on two flight stages, is designed to monitor critical stage functions prior to and during static test and flight conditions.


The pneumatic control system provides GHe (gas­eous helium) pressure to operate all third stage pneumatically operated valves with the exception of those provided as components of the J-2 engine. GHe is supplied from an ambient helium sphere and pressurized from a ground source before propel­lant fill operations at 3,100 ± 100 psia at 70° Fahren­heit for valve operation. The sphere is located on the thrust structure and is pre-conditioned to above 70° Fahrenheit from the environmental control system before liftoff.

The pneumatic control system provides regulated pressure at 475 ± 25 psig for operation of the LH, and LOX vent-relief valves during propellant load­ing, LH2 directional control valve, LOX and LH, fill and drain valves during loading, and the GH2 engine start system vent-relief valve. It also pro­vides operating pressures for the LH, and LOX turbopump turbine purge module, LOX chilldown pump purge module control, LOX and LH, pre­valves, LOX and LH, chilldown shutoff valves, and the LH, continuous propulsive vent control module.

The pneumatic control subsystem is protected from overpressure by a normally open solenoid valve controlled by a downstream pressure-sensing switch. At pressures greater than 535 + 15, -10 psia, the pressure switch actuates and closes the valve. At pressures below 450 + 15, -10 psia, the pressure switch drops out and the solenoid opens, thus acting as a backup regulator.


The capacity to transport the massive mobile launcher with a fully erected Saturn V in launch ready condition is a key to the mobile concept of Launch Complex 39. This is accomplished by a huge transporter which moves the mobile launcher and vehicle from the VAB to the launch site, approx­imately 3.5 miles away. The transporter moves at a maximum speed of 1 mile per hour, loaded, or 2 miles per hour, unloaded. The vehicle —131 feet long and 114 feet wide—moves on four double­tracked units, each 10 feet high and 40 feet long. Each unit is driven by an electric motor.

Tractive power is provided by 16 direct current motors served by two diesel-driven direct current generators. The generators are rated at 1,000 kilo­watts each and are driven by 2,750 horsepower diesel engines. Speed of the vehicle is controlled by – varying the generator fields. Power for the fields is provided by two 750-kilowatt power units which also provide power for pumps, lights, instrumenta­tion, and communications.

Подпись:Подпись: K-107-66PC-87 Facility Vehicle at Ramp of Launch Pad


External access to the Saturn V space vehicle at the launch site is provided by the mobile service structure. The steel-truss structure rises more than 400 feet above ground level and more than 350 feet above the deck of the mobile launcher. It has five platforms which close around the vehicle. Two platforms are powered to move up and down. The remaining three are relocatable, but not self­powered. A mechanical equipment room, opera-

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tions support room, communications and television equipment room, and various other equipment com­partments are located in the base.

The service structure is moved to and from the pad by the transporter. Once in position, either at the launch pad or in a parking area, the structure is anchored to support pedestals. The service struc­ture remains in position at the pad until about T-7 hours when it is removed to its parking area 7,000 feet from the pad.

Apollo Saturn V News Reference

This volume has been prepared by the five Saturn V major contractors: The Boeing Company; Douglas Aircraft Company: Space Division of North Amer­ican Aviation, Inc.; Rocketdyne Division of North American Aviation, Inc.; and International Business Machines Corporation in cooperation with the Na­tional Aeronautics and Space Administration.

It is designed to serve as an aid to newsmen in pres­ent and future coverage of the Saturn V in its role in the Apollo program and as a general purpose large launch vehicle. Every effort has been made to present a comprehensive overall view of the vehicle and its capabilities, supported by detailed

The Boeing Company P. 0. Box 29100 New Orleans, La. 70129 Attention: William W. Clarke

Douglas Aircraft Company Missile & Space Systems Division Space Systems Center 5301 Bolsa Avenue Huntington Beach, Calif. 92647 Attention: Larry Vitskv

International Business Machines Corporation

Federal Systems Division

150 Sparkman Drive

Huntsville, Ala. 35807

Attention: James F. Harroun

information on the individual stages and all major systems and subsystems.

Weights and measurements cited throughout the book apply to the AS-501 vehicle, the first flight version of the Apollo/Saturn V.

All photographs and illustrations in the book are available for general publication. The first letter in each photo number is a code identifying the or­ganization holding that negative: В for Boeing; R for Rocketdyne Division of North American; D for Douglas; IBM for IBM; S for Space Division of North American; H for NASA, Huntsville, Ala.; and К for NASA, Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

s are:

Rocketdyne Division

North American Aviation, Inc.

6633 Canoga Avenue Canoga Park, Calif. 91304 Attention: R. K. Moore

National Aeronautics and Space Administration George C. Marshall Space Flight Center Public Affairs Office Huntsville, Ala. 35812 Attention: Joe Jones

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Public Affairs Office Kennedy Space Center, Fla. 32931 Attention: Jack King

Space Division

North American Aviation, Inc. Seal Beach, Calif. 90241 Attention: Richard E. Barton









33 ft.

364 ft.*

6,100,000 lb.


33 ft.

138 ft.

(total liftoff) 300,000 lb. (dry)


33 ft.

81 ft. 7 in.

95,000 lb. (diy)‘


21 ft. 8 in.

58 ft. 7 in.

34,000 lb. (dry)’


21 ft. 8 in.

3 ft.

4,500 lb.


80 ft.

95,000 lb.





FIRST STAGE —Five bipropellant F-l engines developing 7,500,000 lb. thrust

RP-1 Fuel-203,000 gal. (1,359,000 lb.), LOX-331,000 gal. (3,133,000 lb.)

SECOND STAGE Five bipropellant J-2 engines developing more than 1,000,000 lb. thrust LH2—260,000 gal. (153,000 lb.), LOX-83,000 gal. (789,000 lb.)

THIRD STAGE —One bipropellant J-2 engine developing up to 225,000 lb. thrust LH2—63,000 gal. (37,000 lb.), LOX—20,000 gal. (191,000 lb.)


FIRST STAGE —Operates about 2.5 minutes to reach an altitude of about 200,000 feet (38 miles) at burnout

SECOND STAGE Operates about 6 minutes from an altitude of about 200,000 feet to an altitude of 606,000 feet (114.5 miles)

THIRD STAGE —Operates about 2.75 minutes to an altitude of about 608,000

feet (115 miles) before second firing and 5.2 minutes to translunar injection

PAYLOAD —250,000 lb. into a 115 statute-mile orbit

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Thrust-OK Pressure Switches

Three pressure switches, mounted on a single mani­fold located on the thrust chamber fuel manifold, sense fuel injection pressure. These thrust-OK pres­sure switches are used in the vehicle to indicate that all five engines are operating satisfactorily. И pressure in the fuel injection cavity decreases, the switches deactuate, breaking the contact and interrupting the thrust-OK output signal.


The pressurization system heats GOX and helium for vehicle tank pressurization. The pressurization system consists of a heat exchanger, a heat ex­changer check valve, a LOX flowmeter, and various heat exchanger lines. The LOX source for the heat exchanger is tapped from the thrust chamber oxi­dizer dome, and the helium is supplied from the vehicle. LOX flows from the thrust chamber oxi­dizer dome through the heat exchanger check valve, LOX flowmeter, and the LOX line to the heat ex­changer.

Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger heats GOX and helium with hot turbine exhaust gases, which pass through the heat exchanger over the coils. The heat exchanger consists of four oxidizer coils and two helium coils installed within the turbine exhaust duct. The heat exchanger is installed between the turbopump manifold outlet and the thrust chamber exhaust manifold inlet. The shell of the heat, exchanger contains a bellows assembly to compensate for thermal expansion during engine operation.

Heat Exchanger Check Valve

The heat exchanger check valve prevents GOX or

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vehicle prepressurizing gases from flowing into the oxidizer dome. It consists of a line assembly


and a swing check valve assembly. It is installed between the thrust chamber oxidizer dome and the heat exchanger LOX inlet line.

LOX Flowmeter

The LOX flowmeter is a turbine-type, volumetric, liquid-flow transducer incorporating two pickup coils. Rotation of the LOX flowmeter turbine gen­erates an alternating voltage at the output ter­minals of the pickup coils.

Heat Exchanger Lines

LOX and helium are routed to and from the heat exchanger through flexible lines. The GOX and helium lines terminate at the vehicle connect inter­face. The LOX line connects the heat exchanger to the heat exchanger check valve.


The main fuel valve is a butterfly-type valve, spring – loaded to the closed position, pneumatically oper­ated to the open position, and pneumatically assisted to the closed position. It is mounted between the fuel high-pressure duct from the fuel turbopump and the fuel inlet manifold of the thrust chamber assembly. The main fuel valve controls the flow of fuel to the thrust chamber. Pressure from the igni­tion stage control valve on the pneumatic control package opens the valve during engine start. As the gate starts to open, it allows fuel to flow to the fuel inlet manifold.


The main oxidizer valve (MOV) is a butterfly-type valve, spring-loaded to the closed position, pneu­matically operated to the open position, and pneu­matically assisted to the closed position. It is mounted between the oxidizer high-pressure duct from the oxidizer turbopump and the oxidizer inlet on the thrust chamber assembly.

Pneumatic pressure from the normally closed port of the mainstage control solenoid valve is routed to both the first and second stage opening actuators of the main oxidizer valve. Application of opening pressure in this manner, together with controlled venting of the main oxidizer valve closing pressure through a thermal-compensating orifice, provides a controlled ramp opening of the main oxidizer valve through all temperature ranges. A sequence valve, located within the MOV assembly, supplies pneu­matic pressure to the opening control part of the gas generator control valve and through an orifice to the closing part of the oxidizer turbine bypass valve.


The propellant utilization (PU) valve is an electri­cally operated, two-phase, motor-driven, oxidizer



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pressure-actuated to the closed position. Both pro­pellant bleed valves are mounted to the bootstrap lines adjacent to their respective turbopump dis­charge flanges.

The valves allow propellant to circulate in the pro­pellant feed system lines to achieve proper operat­ing temperature prior to engine start. The bleed valves are engine controlled. At engine start, a he­lium control solenoid valve in the pneumatic con­trol package is energized allowing pneumatic pres­sure to close the bleed valves, which remain closed during engine operation.


The first stage fuel system supplies RP-1 fuel to the F-l engines. The system consists of a fuel tank, fuel feed lines, pressurization system, fill and drain components, fuel conditioning system, and asso­ciated hardware to meet the propulsion system requirements.


The fuel tank, previously described, holds 203,000 gallons of kerosene and is capable of providing 1,350 gallons of fuel per second to the engines through 10 fuel-suction lines.


The fuel tank is filled through a 6-inch duct at the bottom of the tank. Fill rate is 200 gallons per min­ute until the tank is 10 per cent full. After reaching the 10 per cent mark, filling is increased to 2,000 gallons per minute until the tank is full. Normal nonemergency drain takes place through the same duct. A ball-type valve in the fill and drain line provides fuel shutoff.


Fuel Fill and Drain

The fuel fill and drain system consists of a fill and drain line, a fill and drain valve, a fuel loading level probe, and nine temperature sensors. During fuel fill, the temperature sensors provide continuous fuel temperature information used to compute fuel density. When the fuel level in the fuel tank rises to about 102 per cent of flight requirements, the fuel loading probe indicates an overload.

After adjusting fuel to meet requirements, the fill and drain valve is closed.

The fuel tank can be drained under pressure by closing the fuel tank vent and relief valve, supply­ing a pressurizing gas to the tank through the fuel tank prepressurization system, and opening the fuel fill and drain valve.

Second Stage Forward Skirt

exactness, and station locating is benefited by the even gravitational force exerted during each as­sembly operation. Constant checks and verification

of station planes and stage alignment are main­tained during each joining procedure by special scopes, levels, and traditional plumb bobs.

Another reason for vertical assembly involves the welding of cylinders and bulkhead. If the stage were welded while in a horizontal position, temperatnre diversion over the circumference could result in harmful expansion near the top of the stage.

To facilitate movement of the huge components and of the stage itself, a motorized transfer table rolls from outside to inside the building. Essentially, the assembly sequence begins with the welding of the lower two cylinders. Then the common bulkhead is welded to that assembly. Next the uppermost cyl­inder is welded to the LHa forward bulkhead. The aft LOX bulkhead and the aft facing sheet of the common bulkhead are welded together to form the liquid oxygen tank, and the thrust structure and aft skirt are then assembled to it. The remaining cylinders are then welded to the stage, and the for­ward skirt is then mated to the stage stack. The interstage is fit-checked to the thrust structure before interstage systems are installed. Throughout the assembly and welding operations, hydrostatic, X-ray, dye penetrant, and other tests and quality control devices are performed to ensure that speci­fications are met. The liquid hydrogen portion of the second stage as well as the liquid oxygen tank are given a thorough cleaning after assembly. After each bulkhead is welded to its components, it is hy­drostatically tested. After completion of stack weld operations, the entire stage is pneumostatically tested. After completion of these tests, the liquid





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Reposiiisring–Second stage is turned horizontally for checkout operation.



Stage Complete…. Flight stage moves on transfer table from

assembly building to checkout building.



Engine Installation—J-2 engines are mounted in stage.

After assembly, the stage Is moved to a vertical checkout building for final checks on all stage sys­tems.



Assembly, test, and launch facilities for the Saturn V consist of a combination of facilities which existed before the onset of the program as well as many specifically created for its execution.

Included in these facilities are installations set up by the National Aeronautics and Space Administra­tion to meet the greatly increased size and com­plexity of the Saturn program.

The Marshall Space Flight Center includes installa­tions at Huntsville, Ala., where vehicle develop­ment is the prime responsibility; Michaud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, La., where the first stage is fabricated and assembled; and Mississippi Test Facility. Bay St. Louis, Miss., which is responsible for test operations. Launch facilities are located at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Because of the giant size of Saturn launch vehicles and the difficulties in transporting them, fabrica­tion and test facilities were located within easy water shipment to the launch site.

At all of these NASA installations are located em­ployes of the companies which are the prime con­tractors for building the various stages and com­ponents of the Saturn V. Other facilities, including the home bases of the major contractors and sub­contractors, are located across the nation.


The Boeing Company manufactures the Saturn V first stage at the 900-acre NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The facility has about 2,000,000 square feet of manufacturing floor space and about 730,000 square feet of office space. About 60 per cent of the manufacturing area is occupied by Boeing.



Michoud – The Michoud Assembly Facility is the fabrication site of the first stage booster. Dominating the skyline is the Vertical Assembly Building.

The plant is arranged for logical and efficient flow of materials from the loading dock through to final assembly. Paralleling the material flow are the rework and modification area and the test and laboratory areas. There are 50,000 square feet of tooling area in the plant.



Stage Test—Before leaving Michoud, the completed booster undergoes a simulated firing during which all systems function in the Stage Test Building.


Barge Slip—First stages are loaded onto barges at Michoud and travel by waterways from New Orleans to Huntsville, Mississippi Test Facility, and Kennedy Space Center.

The environmentally controlled portion of the minor

assembly area contains facilities for heat treat­ment, chemical cleaning, conversion coating, and welding of pre-formed metal sections received at the loading dock. Final assembly of the propellant tanks and the joining of the major components into the complete stage occur in the Vertical Assembly Building (VABI.

The VAB is a single-story structure rising the equivalent of 18 stories. A 180-ton overhead crane is used to stack the five large cylindrical segments of the first stage into a vertical assembly position. A $50 million program included the construction of three buildings—the VAB, the Stage Test Building,


Подпись: S-27


Checkout of the stage’s electrical and mechanical systems is performed in the four giant test cells of the Stage Test Building. Each of the test cells-is 83 by 191 feet with 51 feet of clear height. Each has

separate test and checkout equipment.

Stages leave and enter Miehoud by waterways

connecting to the Mississippi River or the Gulf of Mexico.



Unique Vessels—Four of six special barges used to carry Saturn rocket stages are shown moored side-by-side at the Miehoud Assembly Facility. From left are the Little Lake, the Promise, the Poseidon, and the Palaemon.


The second stage of the Saturn V is manufactured and tested in facilities located from one end of the nation to the other.

The main fabrication and testing facilities are lo­cated in Seal Beach, Calif., about 15 miles south of Downey, which is the headquarters of SD opera­tions. SD subcontracts important elements of work to other North American facilities in Los Angeles and Tulsa and McAlester, Okla. The complex of buildings at Seal Beach, all built especially for the second stage, will be complemented by mid-1967 with three North American Aviation-owned build­ings which will house all the second stage admin­istrative, engineering, and support personnel who currently are located at Downey.

The Seal Beach facility includes a bulkhead fabri­cation building, 125-foot-high vertical assembly building, 116-foot-tall vertical checkout building, pneumatic test and packaging building, and a num­ber of other structures.

The bulkhead fabrication building is a large, highly specialized structure designed solely for the con­struction and assembly of the second stage’s three bulkheads. Among other tooling it contains an auto­clave about 40 feet in diameter with a 40-foot dome for curing the large stage bulkheads.

Over-all View—North American Sea! Beach facilities include in-process storage building (left); bulkhead fabrication building (center); vertical assembly building (far right); pneumatic test and packaging building (right center); and structural test tower (right front).



Night firing of Test Second Stage at Santa Susana



Space Truck Readied—The five engines of the Saturn V second stage dwarf technicians preparing the “battleship" vehicle for hot firing at North American’s Santa Susana static test lab.





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like conditions by being placed inside a 39-foot diameter vacuum chamber for extended periods of time. The chamber is capable of simulating the vacuum at an altitude of 500 miles above the earth. Structural tests on major vehicle structures such as the propellant tank, skirt sections, and interstage are conducted in the Structural Test Laboratory at the Space Systems Center.

Two vertical checkout towers at the Space Systems Center provide for the final factory tests on finished third stages, prior to shipment from the plant for test firing. The vertical checkout laboratory is equipped with two complete sets of automatic check­out equipment.

Actual ground test firings of the stages are accom­plished at the Douglas Sacramento Test Center, where each stage is delivered following the comple­tion of assembly and checkout at the Huntington Beach plant.

Primary Saturn facilities at Sacramento include a pair of 150-foot-high steel and concrete test stands where the stages are put through the final vehicle acceptance test—a full-duration, full-power static firing, simulating actual launch operations.



Static Test Firing of Third Stage at Sacramento

The Super Guppy, the world’s largest airplane, is the primary means of transporting the third stage from the Douglas Huntington Beach plant to the Sacramento Test Center, and from Sacramento to KSC. Developed by Aero Spacelines, Inc., for trans­port of large space hardware, the plane has an inside diameter of 25 feet and a total length of 141 feet. Tail height is 46 feet—almost five stories above the ground. Cubic displacement of the fuse­lage is 49,790 cubic feet, approximately five times
that of most present jet transports. The airplane is powered by four turbo-prop engines, producing a total of 28,000 horsepower.


Super Guppy



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The first stage film cameras provide photographic coverage of the LOX tank interior during launch, flight, and separation. The stage carries four film cameras. The two LOX-viewing cameras will pro­vide color motion pictures to show the following: behavior of the liquid oxygen, possible wave or slosh motions, and cascading or waterfall effects of the liquid from the internal tank structure. The capsules, which contain the cameras, are ejected automatically about 25 seconds after separation and are recovered after descent into the water. First stage flight versions of the camera consist of the LOX tank-viewing configuration plus two direct-viewing stage separation capsules. The in­stallation is in the forward skirt area. The tank­viewing optical lenses and the two strobe flash light assemblies are mounted in the LOX tank manhole covers. Connecting the remotely located camera capsules and the flash head are the optical assemblies, consisting of coupling lens attached to the ejection tube, a 9-foot length of fiber optics, and the objec­tive lens mounted in the flash-head assembly. The equipment required to complete the system, such as batteries, power supplies, timer, and synchroniz­ing circuitry, is contained in the environmentally controlled equipment racks or boxes mounted around the interior of the forward skirt structure. The combined timer and synchronizing unit serves

Подпись: The television system on the first stage will transmit four views of engine operation and other engine area functions in the interval from fueling to first


two functions. The digital pulse timer supplies real time correlation pulses which are printed on one edge of the film. The timer also supplies event marker pulses to the opposite edge of the film to record selected significant events such as liftoff, engine shutdown, and stage separation. The syn­chronizing unit times the intermittent illumination provided by the strobe lamps to coincide with the open portion of the rotating shutter as it passes the motion picture film gate. The capsule assembly consists of the heavy nose section and quartz win­dow, which protect the capsule during re-entry heating and impact on the water. The body of the capsule, including the camera, is sealed and water­tight. A paraloon and drag skirt aid its descent and flotation. A radio beacon and flashing light are mounted on the capsule to aid in recovery.

stage separation. The system utilizes two split fiber optics viewing systems and two cameras. Ex­tremes in radiant heat, acoustics, and vibration prohibit the installation of the cameras in the en­gine area; therefore, fiber optics bundles are used to transmit the images to the cameras located in the thrust structure. Quartz windows are used to pro­tect the lens. Both nitrogen purging and a wiping action are used to prevent soot buildup on the pro­tective window.

Image enhancement improves the fiber-optical sys­tems by reducing the effects of voids between fibers and broken fibers. An optically flat disc with paral­lel surfaces rotates behind each objective lens.

The drive motor rotates in synchronism with the master drive motor. A DC to AC inverter energizes the synchronous drive motors. A camera control unit houses amplifiers, fly back, sweep, and other circuits required for the video system. Each vidicon output (30 frames/second) is amplified and sampled every other frame (15 frames/second) by the video register. A 2.5 watt FM transmitter feeds the 7- element yagi antenna array covered by a radome.