Encyclopedia Astronautica
1959.03.13 - Saturn System Study


The Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) submitted the "Saturn System Study" which had been requested by the Advanced Research Projects Agency ARPA on December 18, 1958. From the 1375 possible configurations screened, and the 14 most promising given detailed study, the Atlas and Titan families were selected as the most attractive for upper staging. Either the 120-inch or the 160inch diameter was acceptable. The study included the statement: "An immediate decision by ARPA as to choice of upper stages on the first generation vehicle is mandatory if flight hardware is to be available to meet the proposed Saturn schedule."

On March 17, AOMC presented the study to NASA, DOD, and ARPA reiterating the urgent need for an early decision on upper staging. Roy W. Johnson, ARPA Director, formed a Saturn ad hoc committee of NASA and DOD personnel to recommend upper stages and payload missions.

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