Encyclopedia Astronautica
Saturn I



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Saturn 1 Geneology
Credit: © Mark Wade
Von Braun launch vehicle known as 'Cluster's Last Stand' - 8 Redstone tanks around a Jupiter tank core,powered by eight Jupiter engines. Originally intended as the launch vehicle for Apollo manned circumlunar flights. However it was developed so early, no payloads were available for it.

The Saturn launch vehicle was the penultimate expression of the Peenemuende Rocket Team's designs for manned exploration of the moon and Mars. The designs were continuously developed and improved, starting from the World War II A11 and A12 satellite and manned shuttle launcher, through the designs made public in the Collier's Magazine series of the early 1950's, until the shock of the first Sputnik launch brought sudden real interest from the U.S. government. On December 30 1957 Von Braun produced a 'Proposal for a National Integrated Missile and Space Vehicle Development Plan'. This had the first mention of a 1,500,000 lbf booster (Juno V, later Saturn I). By July of the following year Huntsville had in hand the contract from ARPA to proceed with design of the Juno V.

Following transfer of the Peenemuende Rocket Team from the US Army to NASA, a year after the first plan was mooted, Von Braun briefed NASA on plans for booster development at Huntsville with objective of manned lunar landing. It was initally proposed that 15 Juno V (Saturn I) boosters assemble a 200,000 kg payload in earth orbit for direct landing on moon. NASA produced two months later, on February 15, 1959, its plan for development in the next decade of Vega (later cancelled after NASA discovered the USAF was secretly developing the similar Hustler (Agena) upper stage), Centaur, Saturn, and Nova launch vehicles (Juno V renamed Saturn I at this point). Throughout the initial planning, Presidential decision, and landing mode debate for the Apollo lunar landing goal, a variety of Saturn and Nova configurations were considered. Of these, only the C-1 and C-5 were taken through to further development.

The political maneuvering that resulted in the Saturn I configuration is described by ABMA commander Medaris in his autobiography:

We had gone through the whole process of selecting upper stages and had made our recommendations to ARPA. We had indicated very clearly that we were willing to accept either the Atlas or Titan as the basis for building the second stage. The real difference was that in one case we would be using the Atlas engines and associated equipment, built by North American, while in the other case, we would be using the Titan power plant built by Aerojet. Largely because of the multitude of different projects that had been saddled on the Atlas, we favor the Titan. Convair builds the Atlas, and we had great confidence in Convair's engineering, but this was over shadowed in our mind by the practical difficulties of getting enough Atlas hardware. However, we assured ARPA that we would take either one.

The time scale was important. In order to get an operational vehicle in the air as soon as possible, and be able to match and possibly exceed Russia's capabilities, we recommended that the first flying vehicle to be made up of Saturn as the first stage and a second stage built with a Titan power plant. We also recommended using the tooling available at Martin for the airframe. We felt that by the time we got through the second-stage tests, the powerful new Centaur oxygen-hydrogen engine would be in good enough shape to become the third stage. We then calculated that a, year afterwards, or perhaps a little later, could begin to come up with a second-generation satellite vehicle that would cluster the Centaur engine for second stage.

Our people made extensive presentations to ARPA and NASA during the late spring of 1959, always taking the position that we could work with either combination that was agreed to by both. We were anxious to have them agree, because it seemed obvious to us that the nation could not afford more than one very large booster project. We believed that the resulting vehicle would be enormously useful both to the Defense Department for advanced defense requirements, and NASA for its scientific and civilian exploration of space.

We finally got a decision. - - We were told that we could begin designing the complete vehicle along the lines that we had recommended, namely, with the Titan as the basis for the second stage. So far there was no sign of trouble. Remembering the difficulties that we had had in connection with our requirements for North American engines for Jupiter, with the North American people largely under control of the Air Force, we knew that if we were to get on with the job properly we had to make our contract direct with Martin for the second stage work, and with the Convair-Pratt & Whitney group for the adaptation of Centaur to the third stage. We asked the Air Force for clearance to negotiate these matters with the companies concerned The Air Force (BMD) refused, and insisted that we let them handle all areas with the contractor. They used the old argument that they as a group could handle the responsibility much better, and that if they didn't handle it, there were bound to be priority problems connected with the military programs for Titan and others. We knew that the Air Force had no technical capacity of their own to put into this project, and that if we gave them the whole job, they would be forced to use the Ramo-Wooldridge organization, now known as the Space Technology Laboratories, as their contract agent to exercise technical supervision and co-ordination. While we knew and respected a few good men in STL, we felt we had ample cause to lack confidence in the organisation as such. As a matter of fact, when the House Committee on Government Operations looked askance at STL with respect to their position as a profit-making organization, some of the best men had left the organization. We threw this one out on the table and said that we would not, under any circumstances, tolerate the interference of STL in this project. We knew that we had all the technical capability that was needed to supervise the overall system, and could not stand the delays and arguments that would most assuredly result were that organization to be thrown in also. Both sides presented their arguments to ARPA…Mr. Roy Johnson ruled that we could go ahead and contract directly Martin and others as required. It is understandable that the Air Force took this decision with poor grace. It represented a major setback to the system of absolute control over their own contractors, no matter for whom those contractors happened to be doing work. It also left them pretty much on the side- lines with respect to major participation in or control over any portion of the Saturn as a space vehicle.

With the amount of money still available to us from fiscal year 1960 and with our authorization from ARPA, we proceeded immediately to negotiate engineering contracts with Martin. We thought that since Mr. Johnson had complete control over this program, we had gotten over the last important hurdle and could get on about our business. Little did we realize the hornet's nest that had been stirred up, and less did we realize that winning that battle was finally to mean that we would lose the war, and would lose von Braun's entire organization.

We had only a few weeks of peace and quiet. From events that occurred later, I think I can make a fair estimate of what happened during this short period. Having been overruled by Johnson, the Air Force took a new approach. They decided that in view of the importance and power that was given the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering by the 1958 changes in the defense organization, Dr. York represented their best avenue of approach through which to get back in the war.

For reasons of economy we had recommended, and it had been approved, that in building the second stage, we would use the same diameter as the Titan first stage -- 120 inches. The major costs of tooling for the fabrication of missile tanks and main structure is related to the diameter. Changes in length cost little or nothing in tooling. How the tanks are divided internally, or the structure reinforced inside, or the kind of structural detail that is used at the end in order to attach the structure to a big booster below, or to a different size stage above, have very little effect on tooling problems. However, a change in diameter sets up a major question of tools, costs, and time.

Suddenly, out of the blue came a directive to suspend work on the second stage, and a request for a whole new series of cost and time estimates, including consideration of increasing the second stage diameter to 160 inches. It appeared that Dr. York had entered the scene, and had pointed up the future requirements of Dynasoar as being incompatible with the 120-inch diameter. He had posed the question of whether it was possible for the Saturn to be so designed as to permit it to be the booster for that Air Force project.

We were shocked and stunned. This was no new problem, and we could find no reason why it should not have been considered, if necessary, during the time that the Department of Defense and NASA were debating the whole question of what kind of upper stages we should use. Nevertheless, we very speedily went about the job of estimating the project on the basis of accepting the 160-inch diameter. At the same time it was requested that we submit quotations for a complete operational program to boost the Dynasoar for a given number of flights. As usual, we were given two or three numbers, rather than one fixed quantity, and asked to estimate on each of them.

By this time, my nose was beginning to sniff a strange odor of "fish." I put my bird dogs to work to try to find out what was going on and with whom we had to compete. We discovered that the Air Force had proposed a wholly different and entirely new vehicle as the booster for Dynasoar, using a cluster of Titan engines and upgrading their performance to get the necessary first-stage thrust for take-off. This creature was variously christened the Super Titan, or the Titan C. No work had been done on this vehicle other than a hasty engineering outline. Yet the claim was made that the vehicle in a two-stage or three-stage configuration could be flown more quickly than the Saturn, on which we had already been working hard for many months. Dates and estimates were attached to that proposal which at best ignored many factors of costs, and at worst were strictly propaganda.

In the event, neither the Saturn A-1 or the Titan C went ahead. After several twists and turns, the Saturn I with the 160-inch upper stage was developed, the second production lot even being configured for Dynasoar. However Dynasoar was finally slated to fly on the Titan 3C, a third alternative in the USAF SLV-4 competition of 1961. Dynasoar in turn was cancelled, and the Saturn I was superseded by the Saturn IB for manned earth-orbit Apollo flights. Only the Titan 3C and its descendants would soldier on into the 21st Century, as the heavy-lift mainstay of American expendable boosters.

Developments of the Saturn IB launch vehicle were detailed in some depth in the late 1960's. There was a large payload gap between the Saturn IB's 19,000 kg low-earth orbit capacity and the two-stage Saturn V 100,000 kg capability. How to fill it was the result of an exhaustive series of Marshall and contractor trade studies.

The configurations shown were the most promising. The best solution was to add two or four UA1205 five segment solid rocket motors already developed for the Titan launch vehicle. This would boost payload to 40,000 kg. Use of seven segment motors developed for Titan 3M would bring the payload up to 48,000 kg but would require stretching the S-1B first stage by 20 feet. A more modest ten foot stretch, with Minuteman first stage motors for thrust augmentation, would bring a modest payload improvement to 23,000 kg.

In the end, no further orders for Saturns were placed. Of the 12 Saturn IB's built, only nine were flown, the remaining three becoming NASA museum pieces. If Saturn production had continued, it is likely the Saturn IB would have been discontinued anyway, and Saturn II variants would have been used for any intermediate payload requirements.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Spacecraft
  • Apollo CSM American manned lunar orbiter. 22 launches, 1964.05.28 (Saturn 6) to 1975.07.15 (Apollo (ASTP)). The Apollo Command Service Module was the spacecraft developed by NASA in the 1960's as a standard spacecraft for earth and lunar orbit missions. More...
  • Apollo LM American manned lunar lander. 10 launches, 1968.01.22 (Apollo 5) to 1972.12.07 (Apollo 17). More...
  • Jupiter nose cone American re-entry vehicle technology satellite. One launch, 1964.01.29, Saturn 5. Launch vehicle test. More...
  • Pegasus American earth micrometeoroid satellite. 3 launches, 1965.02.16 (Pegasus 1) to 1965.07.30 (Pegasus 3). Pegasus satellites consisted of vast detector panels deployed from Saturn IV stages on Saturn I test flights. More...
  • Apollo ASTP Docking Module American manned space station module. One launch, 1975.07.15, Docking Module 2. The ASTP docking module was basically an airlock with docking facilities on each end to allow crew transfer between the Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Super-Jupiter American orbital launch vehicle. The very first design that would lead to Saturn. A 1.5 million pound thrust booster using four E-1 engines - initial consideration of using a single USAF F-1 engine abandoned because of development time. Existing missile tankage was clustered above the engines. More...
  • Juno V-A American orbital launch vehicle. By 1958 the Super-Jupiter was called Juno V and the 4 E-1 engines were abandoned in favor of clustering 8 Jupiter IRBM engines below existing Redstone/Jupiter tankage. The A version had a Titan I ICBM as the upper stages. Masses, payload estimated. More...
  • Juno V-B American orbital launch vehicle. A proposed version of the Juno V for lunar and planetary missions used a Titan I ICBM first stage and a Centaur high-energy third stage atop the basic Juno V cluster. Masses, payload estimated. More...
  • Saturn A-1 American orbital launch vehicle. Projected first version of Saturn I, to be used if necessary before S-IV liquid hydrogen second stage became available. Titan 1 first stage used as second stage, Centaur third stage. Masses, payload estimated. More...
  • Saturn B-1 American orbital launch vehicle. Most powerful version of Saturn I considered. New low energy second stage with four H-1 engines, S-IV third stage, Centaur fourth stage. Masses, payload estimated. More...
  • Saturn A-2 American orbital launch vehicle. More powerful version of Saturn I with low energy second stage consisting of cluster of four IRBM motors and tankage, Centaur third stage. Masses, payload estimated. More...
  • Saturn I RIFT American nuclear orbital launch vehicle. In the first half of the 1960's it was planned to make suborbital tests of nuclear propulsion for upper stages using a Saturn IB first stage to boost a Rover-reactor powered second stage on a suborbital trajectory. The second stage would impact the Atlantic Ocean down range from Cape Canaveral. More...
  • Saturn C-1 American orbital launch vehicle. Original flight version with dummy upper stages, including dummy Saturn S-V/Centaur (never flown). More...
  • Saturn I American orbital launch vehicle. Von Braun launch vehicle known as 'Cluster's Last Stand' - 8 Redstone tanks around a Jupiter tank core,powered by eight Jupiter engines. Originally intended as the launch vehicle for Apollo manned circumlunar flights. However it was developed so early, no payloads were available for it. More...
  • Saturn I Blk2 American orbital launch vehicle. Second Block of Saturn I, with substantially redesigned first stage and large fins to accomodate Dynasoar payload. More...
  • Saturn INT-05 American orbital launch vehicle. NASA Study, 1965: Half length 260 inch solid motor with S-IVB upper stage. More...
  • Saturn IB-A American orbital launch vehicle. Douglas Studies, 1965: S-IB with 225 k lbf H-1's; S-IVB stretched with 350,000 lbs propellants; Centaur third stage. More...
  • Saturn INT-05A American orbital launch vehicle. UA Study, 1965: Full length 260 inch solid motor with S-IVB upper stage. More...
  • Saturn IB-B American orbital launch vehicle. Douglas Studies, 1965: S-IB with 225 k lbf H-1's; S-IVB stretched with 350,000 lbs propellants and HG-3 high performance engine. More...
  • Saturn IB-C American orbital launch vehicle. Douglas Studies, 1965: 4 Minuteman strap-ons; standard S-IB, S-IVB stages. More...
  • Saturn IB-CE American orbital launch vehicle. Douglas Studies, 1965: Standard Saturn IB with Centaur upper stage. More...
  • Saturn IB-D American orbital launch vehicle. Douglas Studies, 1965: Standard Saturn IB with Titan UA1205 5-segment strap-on motors. More...
  • Saturn IB American orbital launch vehicle. Improved Saturn I, with uprated first stage and Saturn IVB second stage (common with Saturn V) replacing Saturn IV. Used for earth orbit flight tests of Apollo CSM and LM. More...
  • Uprated Saturn I American orbital launch vehicle. Initial version of Saturn IB with old-design Saturn IB first stage. More...
  • Saturn INT-11 American orbital launch vehicle. Chrysler Studies, 1966: S-IB with 4 Titan UA1205 with standard S-IB stage, S-IVB stage, or 4 Titan UA1207 strap-ons with 20-foot stretche S-IB stage, S-IVB stage. S-IB ignition at altitude. More...
  • Saturn INT-12 American orbital launch vehicle. Chrysler Studies, 1966: S-IB with only 4 H-1 motors, with 4 Titan UA1205 with standard length S-IB stage, S-IVB stage, or 4 Titan UA1207 strap-ons with 20-foot stretche S-IB stage, S-IVB stage. S-IB ignition at sea level at same time as strap-ons. More...
  • Saturn INT-13 American orbital launch vehicle. Chrysler Studies, 1966: S-IB with 2 Titan UA1205 with standard length S-IB stage, S-IVB stage, or 2 Titan UA1207 strap-ons with 20-foot stretche S-IB stage, S-IVB stage. S-IB ignition at sea level at same time as strap-ons. More...
  • Saturn INT-14 American orbital launch vehicle. Chrysler Studies, 1966: S-IB with 4 Minuteman motors as strap-ons, with no, 10, or 20-foot stretch S-IB stages, S-IVB stage. S-IB ignition at sea level at same time as strap-ons. More...
  • Saturn INT-15 American orbital launch vehicle. Chrysler Studies, 1966: S-IB with 8 Minuteman motors as strap-ons, with no, 10, or 20-foot stretch S-IB stages, S-IVB stage. S-IB ignition at sea level at same time as strap-ons. More...
  • Saturn INT-16 American orbital launch vehicle. UA Studies, 1966: S-IVB upper stage with from 2 to 5 Titan UA1205, 1206, or 1207 motors as first stage, clustered around from 1 to 3 of the same motors as a second stage. S-IVB upper stage. More...
  • Saturn LCB-Storable-250 American orbital launch vehicle. Boeing Low-Cost Saturn Derivative Study, 1967 (trade study of 260 inch first stages for S-IVB, all delivering 86,000 lb pyld to LEO): Low Cost Booster, Single Pressure-fed N2O4/UDMH Propellant engine, Ni-250 Steel Hull. More...
  • Saturn LCB-Alumizine-140 American orbital launch vehicle. Boeing Low-Cost Saturn Derivative Study, 1967 (trade study of 260 inch first stages for S-IVB, all delivering 86,000 lb pyld to LEO): Low Cost Booster, Single Pressure-fed N2O4/Alumizine Propellant engine, HY-140 Steel Hull. More...
  • Saturn LCB-Alumizine-250 American orbital launch vehicle. Boeing Low-Cost Saturn Derivative Study, 1967 (trade study of 260 inch first stages for S-IVB, all delivering 86,000 lb pyld to LEO): Low Cost Booster, Single Pressure-fed N2O4/Alumizine Propellant engine, Ni-250 Steel Hull. More...
  • Saturn LCB-Storable-140 American orbital launch vehicle. Boeing Low-Cost Saturn Derivative Study, 1967 (trade study of 260 inch first stages for S-IVB, all delivering 86,000 lb pyld to LEO): Low Cost Booster, Single Pressure-fed N2O4/UDMH Propellant engine, HY-140 Steel Hull. More...
  • Saturn LCB-Lox/RP-1 American orbital launch vehicle. Boeing Low-Cost Saturn Derivative Study, 1967 (trade study of 260 inch first stages for S-IVB, all delivering 86,000 lb pyld to LEO): Low Cost Booster, Single Pressure-fed Lox/RFP-1 engine. More...
  • Saturn S-IC-TLB American orbital launch vehicle. Boeing Low-Cost Saturn Derivative Study, 1967 (trade study of 260 inch first stages for S-IVB, all delivering 86,000 lb pyld to LEO): S-IC Technology Liquid Booster: 260 inch liquid booster with 2 x F-1 engines, recoverable/reusable More...
  • Saturn LCB-SR American orbital launch vehicle. Boeing Low-Cost Saturn Derivative Study, 1967 (trade study of 260 inch first stages for S-IVB, all delivering 86,000 lb pyld to LEO): Low Cost Booster, 260 inch solid motor, full length. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...

Saturn I Chronology


1954 October 18 - . LV Family: Saturn C-3; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Nuclear rocket engine proposed. - . Nation: USA. Program: NERVA. At the suggestion of Theodore von Kármán and following a request of Gen. H. B. Thatcher, an Ad Hoc Committee of the Scientific Advisory Board met in the Pentagon to consider the application of nuclear energy to missile propulsion. In its report, the Committee "noted that there was an almost complete hiatus in the study of the nuclear rocket from 1947 following a report by North American Aviation, until a 1953 report by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Because the technical problems appear so severe, and because another 6 years of no progress in this area would seem to be unfortunate," the Committee felt that a continuing study both analytical and experimental, at a modest level of effort, should be carried on.

1955 June 1 - . LV Family: Saturn C-3; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • NERVA project begins. - . Nation: USA. Program: NERVA. NACA Lewis Laboratory presented ARDC with results of air-breathing nuclear propulsion systems for manned applications, leading to AEC-AF Pluto project, and also initiated comparison of nuclear rocket with chemical systems for ICBM, a concept of use to Rover program.

1955 November 2 - . LV Family: Saturn C-3; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • NERVA go-ahead. - . Nation: USA. Program: NERVA. The Atomic Energy Commission approved, on the basis of a statement of interest by the Department of Defense, the proposed plans of the Los Alamos Scientific and the Radiation Laboratories of the University of California, for the study and development of nuclear power for rocket propulsion.

1957 March 18 - . LV Family: Saturn C-3; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • NERVA research cut back. - . Nation: USA. Program: NERVA. As a result of guidance from the Secretary of Defense as to desired level of effort, the Atomic Energy Commission reduced its program on nuclear rocket propulsion to a single laboratory effort, phasing out work at the University of California Radiation Laboratory and concentrating AEC development efforts at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

1957 April - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Studies of a large clustered-engine booster - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. The U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., began studies of a large clustered-engine booster to generate 1.5 million pounds of thrust, as one of a related group of space vehicles. During 1957-1958, approximately 50,000 man-hours were expended in this effort.

1957 June 1 - . LV Family: Saturn C-3; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • NERVA advanced concepts studied. - . Nation: USA. Program: NERVA. Summary: Research on tungsten nuclear rocket propulsion systems initiated by NACA Lewis Laboratory, and other feasible systems for practical nuclear rocket systems, such as 1958 concept of coaxial jet gaseous reactor, followed..

1957 December 10 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • National Integrated Missile and Space Vehicle Development Program - . Nation: USA. Program: Horizon. The Army Ballistic Missile Agency completed and forwarded to higher authority the first edition of A National Integrated Missile and Space Vehicle Development Program, which had been in preparation since April 1957. Included was a "short-cut development program" for large payload capabilities, covering the clustered-engine booster of 1.5 million pounds of thrust to be operational in 1963. The total development cost of $850 million during the years 1958-1963 covered 30 research and development flights, some carrying manned and unmanned space payloads. One of six conclusions given in the document was that "Development of the large (1520 K-pounds thrust) booster is considered the key to space exploration and warfare." Later vehicles with greater thrust were also described.

1957 December 30 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn I first proposed. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Summary: Von Braun produces 'Proposal for a National Integrated Missile and Space Vehicle Development Plan'. First mention of 1,500,000 lbf booster (Saturn I).

1958 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Juno V-A.
  • Juno V heavy space launch design - . Nation: USA. Summary: The Von Braun team's Super-Jupiter evolved into the Juno V. The 4 E-1 engines were abandoned in favor of clustering 8 Jupiter IRBM engines below existing Redstone/Jupiter tankage..

1958 July 29 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn I initial contract. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Summary: ARPA gives Von Braun team contract to develop Saturn I (called 'cluster's last stand' due to design concept)..

1958 August 15 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn I project initiated by ARPA. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. The Advanced Research Projects Agency ARPA provided the Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) with authority and initial funding to develop the Juno V (later named Saturn launch vehicle. ARPA Order 14 described the project: "Initiate a development program to provide a large space vehicle booster of approximately 1.5 million pounds of thrust based on a cluster of available rocket engines. The immediate goal of this program is to demonstrate a full-scale captive dynamic firing by the end of calendar year 1959." Within AOMC, the Juno V project was assigned to the Army Ballistic Missile Agency at Redstone Arsenal Huntsville, Ala.

1958 September 1 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Redstone Arsenal begins Saturn I design studies. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Summary: Saturn design studies authorized to proceed at Redstone Arsenal for development of 1.5-million-pound-thrust cluster first stage..

1958 September 11 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Letter contract for the development of the Saturn H-1 rocket engine - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: A letter contract was signed by NASA with NAA's Rocketdyne Division for the development of the H-1 rocket engine, designed for use in a clustered-engine booster..

1958 September 23 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Juno V project objective changed to multistage carrier vehicle - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun; Johnson, Roy; Medaris. Program: Horizon. Following a Memorandum of Agreement between Maj. Gen. John B. Medaris of Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) and Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) Director Roy W. Johnson on this date and a meeting on November 4, ARPA and AOMC representatives agreed to extend the Juno V project. The objective of ARPA Order 14 was changed from booster feasibility demonstration to "the development of a reliable high performance booster to serve as the first stage of a multistage carrier vehicle capable of performing advanced missions."

1958 October 11 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Contract for development of the H-1 engine - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: Pioneer I, intended as a lunar probe, was launched by a Thor-Able rocket from the Atlantic Missile Range, with the Air Force acting as executive agent to NASA. The 39-pound instrumented payload did not reach escape velocity..

1958 December 15 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • ABMA Briefing to NASA - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Summary: Von Braun briefs NASA on plans for booster development at Huntsville with objective of manned lunar landing. Initally proposed using 15 Juno V (Saturn I) boosters to assemble 200,000 kg payload in earth orbit for direct landing on moon..

1958 December 17 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn H-1 engine first full-power firing - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: The H-1 engine successfully completed its first full-power firing at NAA's Rocketdyne facility in Canoga Park, Calif..

1958 December 17 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Military and NASA consider future launch vehicles - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Representatives of Advanced Research Projects Agency, the military services, and NASA met to consider the development of future launch vehicle systems. Agreement was reached on the principle of developing a small number of versatile launch vehicle systems of different thrust capabilities, the reliability of which could be expected to be improved through use by both the military services and NASA.

1959 January 6 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • NASA Large Booster Review Committee - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. The Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC), the Air Force, and missile contractors presented to the ARPA-NASA Large Booster Review Committee their views on the quickest and surest way for the United States to attain large booster capability. The Committee decided that the Juno V approach advocated by AOMC was best and NASA started plans to utilize the Juno V booster.

1959 January 27 - . LV Family: Atlas; Nova; Saturn I.
  • NASA National Space Vehicle Program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. After consultation and discussion with DOD, NASA formulated a national space vehicle program. The central idea of the program was that a single launch vehicle should be developed for use in each series of future space missions. The launch vehicle would thus achieve a high degree of reliability, while the guidance and payload could be varied according to purpose of the mission. Four general-purpose launch vehicles were described: Vega, Centaur, Saturn, and Nova. The Nova booster stage would be powered by a cluster of four F-1 engines, the second stage by a single F-1, and the third stage would be the size of an intercontinental ballistic missile but would use liquid hydrogen as a fuel. This launch vehicle would be the first in a series that could transport a man to the lunar surface and return him safely to earth in a direct ascent mission. Four additional stages would be required in such a mission.

1959 February 2 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Booster name changed from Juno V to Saturn - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun; Johnson, Roy. Program: Apollo. Summary: The Army proposed that the name of the large clustered-engine booster be changed from Juno V to Saturn, since Saturn was the next planet after Jupiter. Roy W. Johnson, Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency, approved the name on February 3..

1959 February 4 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Early agreement required on Saturn upper stages - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun; Johnson, Roy; Medaris. Program: Apollo. Maj. Gen. John B. Medaris of the Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) and Roy W. Johnson of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) discussed the urgency of early agreement between ARPA and NASA on the configuration of the Saturn upper stages. Several discussions between ARPA and NASA had been held on this subject. Johnson expected to reach agreement with NASA the following week. He agreed that AOMC would participate in the overall upper stage planning to ensure compatibility of the booster and upper stages.

1959 February 15 - . LV Family: Atlas; Nova; Saturn I.
  • NASA Booster Development Plan for 60's - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Summary: NASA issues plan for development in next decade of Vega (later cancelled as too similar to Agena), Centaur, Saturn, and Nova launch vehicles. Juno V renamed Saturn I..

1959 April 15 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn A-1.
  • Use of Titan for Saturn upper stages - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. In response to a request by the DOD-NASA) Saturn Ad Hoc Committee, the Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) sent a supplement to the "Saturn System Study" to the Advanced Research Projects Agency ARPA describing the use of Titan for Saturn upper stages. Additional Details: here....

1959 May 1 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Unmanned Lunar Soft Landing Vehicle - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Surveyor. Summary: The Army Ordnance Missile Command submitted to NASA a report entitled "Preliminary Study of an Unmanned Lunar Soft Landing Vehicle," recommending the use of the Saturn booster..

1959 May 3 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • First H-1 engine for the Saturn delivered - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. The first Rocketdyne H-1 engine for the Saturn arrived at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA ). The H-1 engine was installed in the ABMA test stand on May 7, first test-fired on May 21, and fired for 80 seconds on May 29. The first long-duration firing - 151.03 seconds - was on June 2.

1959 May 26 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • First H-1 engine for Saturn I fired. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: ABMA static fired a single H-1 Saturn engine at Redstone Arsenal, Ala..

1959 June 3 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Construction begins of the first Saturn launch complex - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Summary: Construction of the first Saturn launch area, Complex 34, began at Cape Canaveral, FIa..

1959 June 5 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn I launch complex construction starts. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo.

1959 June 18 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • NASA funded study of a lunar exploration program based on Saturn - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. NASA authorized $150,000 for Army Ordnance Missile Command studies of a lunar exploration program based on Saturn-boosted systems. To be included were circumlunar vehicles, unmanned and manned; close lunar orbiters; hard lunar impacts; and soft lunar landings with stationary or roving payloads.

1959 July 1 - . LV Family: Saturn C-3; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Kiwi-A first experimental nuclear rocket tested. - . Nation: USA. Program: NERVA. Summary: The first experimental reactor (Kiwi-A) in the nuclear space rocket program operated successfully at full temperature and duration at Jackass Flats, Nev..

1959 October 21 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Transfer to NASA of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency's Development Operations Division - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun; Eisenhower. Program: Apollo. After a meeting with officials concerned with the missile and space program, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced that he intended to transfer to NASA control the Army Ballistic Missile Agency's Development Operations Division personnel and facilities. The transfer, subject to congressional approval, would include the Saturn development program.

1959 November 2 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Transfer of Saturn I project to NASA announced. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun; Eisenhower. Program: Apollo. Summary: President Eisenhower announced his intention of transferring the Saturn project to NASA, which became effective on March 15, 1960..

1959 December 6 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Plan for transferring the Army Ballistic Missile Agency and Saturn to NASA - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Glennan; von Braun; Eisenhower. Program: Apollo. The initial plan for transferring the Army Ballistic Missile Agency and Saturn to NASA was drafted. It was submitted to President Dwight D. Eisenhower on December 1 1 and was signed by Secretary of the Army Wilber M. Brucker and Secretary of the Air Force James H. Douglas on December 16 and by NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan on December 17.

1959 December 7 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Engineering and cost study for a new Saturn configuration - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. The Advanced Research Projects Agency ARPA and NASA requested the Army Ordnance Missile Command AOMC to prepare an engineering and cost study for a new Saturn configuration with a second stage of four 20,000-pound-thrust liquid-hydrogen and liquid-oxygen engines (later called the S-IV stage) and a modified Centaur third stage using two of these engines later designated the S-V stage). Additional Details: here....

1959 December 15 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn upper stage study. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Summary: NASA team completed study design of upper stages of Saturn launch vehicle..

1959 December 19 - . LV Family: Saturn C-3; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • NERVA development roles AEC/NASA. - . Nation: USA. Program: NERVA. Summary: The Chairman, AEC, in a letter to the Administrator of NASA, proposed a flight test objective be established for the nuclear rocket program and proposed a technical program and division of agency responsibilities to achieve those objectives..

1960 February 29 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Eleven companies submitted contract proposals for the Saturn second stage - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Eleven companies submitted contract proposals for the Saturn second stage (S-IV): Bell Aircraft Corporation; The Boeing Airplane Company; Chrysler Corporation; General Dynamics Corporation, Convair Astronautics Division; Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc.; Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation; Lockheed Aircraft Corporation; The Martin Company; McDonnell Aircraft Corporation; North American Aviation, Inc.; and United Aircraft Corporation.

1960 March 15 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn I transferred to NASA. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. The Army Ballistic Missile Agency's Development Operations Division and the Saturn program were transferred to NASA after the expiration of the 60-day limit for congressional action on the President's proposal of January 14. (The President's decision had been made on October 21, 1959.) By Executive Order, the President named the facilities the "George C. Marshall Space Flight Center." Formal transfer took place on July 1.

1960 March 28 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Two H-1's fired together. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: Two of Saturn's first-stage engines passed initial static firing test of 7.83 seconds duration at Huntsville, Ala..

1960 April 1-May 3 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-2.
  • Guidelines for the advanced manned spacecraft program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. STG's Robert O. Piland, during briefings at NASA Centers, presented a detailed description of the guidelines for missions, propulsion, and flight time in the advanced manned spacecraft program:
    1. The spacecraft should be capable ultimately of manned circumlunar reconnaissance. As a logical intermediate step toward future goals of lunar and planetary landing many of the problems associated with manned circumlunar flight would need to be solved.
    2. The lunar spacecraft should be capable of earth orbit missions for initial evaluation and training. The reentry component of this spacecraft should be capable of missions in conjunction with space laboratories or space stations. To accomplish lunar reconnaissance before a manned landing, it would be desirable to approach the moon closer than several thousand miles. Fifty miles appeared to be a reasonable first target for study purposes.
    3. The spacecraft should be designed to be compatible with the Saturn C-1 or C-2 boosters for the lunar mission. The multiman advanced spacecraft should not weigh more than 15,000 pounds including auxiliary propulsion and attaching structure.
    4. A flight-time capability of the spacecraft for 14 days without resupply should be possible. Considerable study of storage batteries, fuel cells, auxiliary power units, and solar batteries would be necessary. Items considered included the percentage of the power units to be placed in the "caboose" (space laboratory), preference for the use of storage batteries for both power and radiation shielding, and redundancy for reliability by using two different types of systems versus two of the same system.

1960 April 1-May 3 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-2.
  • Guidelines for an advanced manned spacecraft program presented by STG - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS; CSM Source Selection. Members of STG presented guidelines for an advanced manned spacecraft program to NASA Centers to enlist research assistance in formulating spacecraft and mission design.

    To open these discussions, Director Robert R. Gilruth summarized the guidelines: manned lunar reconnaissance with a lunar mission module, corollary earth orbital missions with a lunar mission module and with a space laboratory, compatibility with the Saturn C-1 or C-2 boosters (weight not to exceed 15,000 pounds for a complete lunar spacecraft and 25,000 pounds for an earth orbiting spacecraft), 14-day flight time, safe recovery from aborts, ground and water landing and avoidance of local hazards, point (ten square-mile) landing, 72-hour postlanding survival period, auxiliary propulsion for maneuvering in space, a "shirtsleeve" environment, a three-man crew, radiation protection, primary command of mission on board, and expanded communications and tracking facilities. In addition, a tentative time schedule was included, projecting multiman earth orbit qualification flights beginning near the end of the first quarter of calendar year 1966.


1960 April 6 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Four H-1's fired together. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: Four of the eight H-1 engines of the Saturn C-1 first-stage booster were successfully static-fired at Redstone Arsenal for seven seconds..

1960 April 26 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Douglas to build the second stage (S-IV) of the Saturn C-1 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: NASA announced the selection of the Douglas Aircraft Company to build the second stage (S-IV) of the Saturn C-1 launch vehicle..

1960 April 29 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • All eight H-1 engines of the Saturn C-1 first stage ground-tested simultaneously - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: At Redstone Arsenal, all eight H-1 engines of the first stage of the Saturn C-1 launch vehicle were static-fired simultaneously for the first time and achieved 1.3 million pounds of thrust..

1960 May 26 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Assembly of the first Saturn flight booster began - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Summary: Assembly of the first Saturn flight booster, SA-1, began at Marshall Space Flight Center..

1960 May 26 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • First public demonstration of the H-1 engine - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: Eight H-1 engines of the first stage of the Saturn C-1 launch vehicle were static-fired for 35.16 seconds, producing 1.3 million pounds of thrust. This first public demonstration of the H-1 took place at Marshall Space Flight Center..

1960 May 31 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Selection of Rocketdyne for the J-2 rocket engine - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: NASA selected Rocketdyne Division of NAA to develop the J-2, a 200,000-pound-thrust rocket engine, burning liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. (A decision was later made to use the J-2 in the upper stages of the Saturn C-5.).

1960 June 8 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Full Saturn I engine cluster full duration test. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: Complete eight-engine static firing of Saturn successfully conducted for 110 seconds at MSFC, the longest firing to date..

1960 June 15 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn C-1 first stage completed test series - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Summary: The Saturn C-1 first stage successfully completed its first series of static tests at the Marshall Space Flight Center with a 122-second firing of all eight H-1 engines..

1960 July 5 - . LV Family: Hawk; Nova; Saturn C-3; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • House recommends a high priority manned expedition to the moon - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. The House Committee on Science and Astronautics declared: "A high priority program should be undertaken to place a manned expedition on the moon in this decade. A firm plan with this goal in view should be drawn up and submitted to the Congress by NASA. Such a plan, however, should be completely integrated with other goals, to minimize total costs. The modular concept deserves close study. Particular attention should be paid immediately to long lead-time phases of such a program." The Committee also recommended that development of the F-1 engine be expedited in expectation of the Nova launch vehicle, that there be more research on nuclear engines and less conventional engines before freezing the Nova concept, and that the Orion project be turned over to NASA. It was the view of the Committee that "NASA's 10-year program is a good program, as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. Furthermore the space program is not being pushed with sufficient energy."

1960 July 8 - . LV Family: Saturn C-3; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Kiwi-A Prime tested at full power. - . Nation: USA. Program: NERVA. Summary: Second experimental reactor (Kiwi-A Prime) in the Project Rover nuclear rocket program was successfully tested at full power and duration at Jackass Flats, Nev..

1960 July 14-15 - . LV Family: Saturn C-3; Saturn I; Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-2.
  • Space Exploration Program Council - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. The third meeting of the Space Exploration Program Council was held at NASA Headquarters. The question of a speedup of Saturn C-2 production and the possibility of using nuclear upper stages with the Saturn booster were discussed. The Office of Launch Vehicle Programs would plan a study on the merits of using nuclear propulsion for some of NASA's more sophisticated missions. If the study substantiated such a need, the amount of in-house basic research could then be determined.

1960 September 29 - . LV Family: Saturn C-3; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • RAND Corporation to evaluate nuclear propulsion missions - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Seamans. Program: NERVA. In a memorandum to NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., Robert L. King, Executive Secretary, described the action taken on certain items discussed at the July 14-15 meeting of the Space Exploration Program Council. Among these actions was the awarding of a contract to The RAND Corporation to evaluate missions for which nuclear propulsion would be desirable. Included in the study would be the determination of availability dates, cost of development, operational costs, the safety aspects of the missions, and an evaluation of research requirements.

1960 September 30 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-2.
  • Space Exploration Program Council - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George. Program: Apollo. The fourth meeting of the Space Exploration Program Council was held at NASA Headquarters. The results of a study on Saturn development and utilization was presented by the Ad Hoc Saturn Study Committee. Objectives of the study were to determine (1) if and when the Saturn C-2 launch vehicle should be developed and (2) if mission and spacecraft planning was consistent with the Saturn vehicle development schedule. No change in the NASA Fiscal Year 1962 budget was contemplated. The Committee recommended that the Saturn C-2 development should proceed on schedule (S-II stage contract in Fiscal Year 1962, first flight in 1965). The C-2 would be essential, the study reported, for Apollo manned circumlunar missions, lunar unmanned exploration, Mars and Venus orbiters and capsule landers, probes to other planets and out-of- ecliptic, and for orbital starting of nuclear upper stages. Additional Details: here....

1960 October 7 - . LV Family: Saturn C-3; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • NERVA test facilities bidder's conference. - . Nation: USA. Program: NERVA. AEC briefing held at the Nevada Test Site at Jackass Flats, Nev., for representatives of 26 companies for proposals to study the requirements for a National Nuclear Rocket Engine Development Facility. Existing test facilities are fully committed to the development of nuclear reactors.

1960 October 19 - . LV Family: Saturn C-3; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Project Rover request for bids. - . Nation: USA. Program: NERVA. Summary: Kiwi-A No. 3 static test of nuclear rocket propulsion was successfully conducted at AEC Nevada test site, resulting in NASA-AEC call for bids for industrial development phase of Project Rover on November 1, 1960..

1960 December 2 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn I static firing. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Summary: First of new series of static firings of Saturn considered only 50 percent successful in 2-second test at MSFC..

1960 December 13 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn transport barge commissioned. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: Palaemon, a 180-foot barge built to transport the Saturn launch vehicle from MSFC to Cape Canaveral by water, was formally accepted by MSFC Director from Maj. Gen. Frank S. Besson, Chief of Army Transportation..

1961 January 26 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn C-1 changed to a two-stage configuration - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Summary: Wernher von Braun, Director of Marshall Space Flight Center, proposed that the Saturn C-1 launch vehicle be changed from a three-stage to a two-stage configuration to meet Apollo program schedules. The planned third stage (S-V) would be dropped..

1961 January - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn first stage recovery system study - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Summary: Marshall Space Flight Center awarded contracts to NAA and Ryan Aeronautical Corporation to investigate the feasibility of recovering the first stage (S-I) of the Saturn launch vehicle by using a Rogallo wing paraglider..

1961 February 2 - . LV Family: Saturn C-3; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • NERVA Request for Proposal. - . Nation: USA. Program: NERVA. Summary: NASA-AEC Space Nuclear Propulsion Office invited industry to submit proposals for participation in development of Nerva (nuclear engine for rocket vehicle application), a part of Project Rover initiated in 1955 by USAF-AEC..

1961 March 1 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-2.
  • Current Saturn launch vehicle configurations announced - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. The current Saturn launch vehicle configurations were announced:

    C-1:
    S-I stage eight H-1 engines, 1.5 million pounds of thrust; S-IV stage four (LR-119 engines, 70,000 pounds of thrust); and S-V stage (two LR-119 engines, 35,000 pounds of thrust).
    C-2 (four-stage version):
    S-1 stage (same as first stage of the C-1); S-II (not determined); S-IV (same as second stage of the C-1); S-V (same as third Stage of C- 1).
    C-2 (three-stage version):
    S-I (same as first stage of C-1); S-II (not determined); and S-IV (same as third stage of C-1).

1961 March 7 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • First flight Saturn I on test stand. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: First flight model of Saturn booster (SA-1) installed on static test stand for preflight checkout, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville..

1961 March 23 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-2.
  • Configuration changes for the Saturn C-1 launch vehicles - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Representatives of Marshall Space Flight Center recommended configuration changes for the Saturn C-1 launch vehicles to NASA Headquarters. These included:

    • Elimination of third-stage development, since two stages could put more than ten tons into earth orbit.
    • Use of six LR-115 (15,000-pound) Centaur engines (second-stage thrust thus increased from 70,000 to 90,000 pounds).
    • Redesign of the first stage (S-1) to offer more safety for manned missions.
    Plans were also presented to accelerate the development of the Saturn C- 2, and a recommendation was made that a prime contractor be selected to work on the second stage (S-II) of the C-2. NASA Headquarters approved the C-2 plans on March 31.

1961 March 30 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I RIFT.
  • RIFT flight briefed to contractors. - . Nation: USA. Program: NERVA. Summary: Reactor-in-flight-test system (Rift) study, a part of the NASA-AEC program on nuclear rockets, was briefed by contractors at NASA headquarters..

1961 April 28 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Dynasoar launch by Saturn I studied. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: Dynasoar. Summary: Final NASA report on the study proposed for Saturn for use as Dyna-Soar booster was presented to the Air Force..

1961 April 29 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn I fight qualification. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: The first successful flight qualification test of the Saturn SA-1 booster took place in an eight-engine test lasting 30 seconds..

1961 April - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Air transport of the Saturn C-1 second stage feasible - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Summary: The Douglas Aircraft Company reported that air transport of the Saturn C-1 second stage (S-IV) was feasible..

1961 May 2 - . LV Family: Nova; Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-2.
  • Ad Hoc Task Group for a Manned Lunar Landing Study - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., established the Ad Hoc Task Group for a Manned Lunar Landing Study, to be chaired by William A. Fleming of NASA Headquarters. The study was expected to produce the following information:

    • All tasks associated with the mission.
    • Interdependent time-phasing of the tasks.
    • Areas requiring considerable technological advancements from the current state of the art.
    • Tasks for which multiple approach solutions were advisable.
    • Important action and decision points in the mission plan.
    • A refined estimate by task and by fiscal year of the dollar resources required for the mission.
    • Refined estimates of in-house manpower requirements, by task and by fiscal year
    • Tentative in-house and contractor task assignments accompanying the dollar and manpower resource requirements.
    The study began on May 8 and the final report was submitted on June 16. Guidelines served as a starting point for the study:

    • The manned lunar landing target date was 1967.
    • Intermediate missions of multiman orbital satellites and manned circumlunar missions were desirable at the earliest possible time.
    • Man's mission on the moon as it affected the study was to be determined by the Ad Hoc Task Group - i.e., the time to be spent on the lunar surface and the tasks to be performed while there.
    • In establishing the mission plan, the use of the Saturn C-2 launch vehicle was to be evaluated as compared with an alternative launch vehicle having a higher thrust first stage and C-2 upper-stage components.
    • The mission plan was to include parallel development of liquid and solid propulsion leading to a Nova vehicle 400,000 pounds in earth orbit and should indicate when the decision should be made on the final Nova configuration.
    • Nuclear-powered launch vehicles should not be considered for use in the first manned lunar landing mission.
    • The flight test program should be laid out with enough launchings to meet the needs of the program considering the reliability requirements.
    • Alternative approaches should be provided in critical areas - e.g., upper stages and mission modes.

    The engineering sketch drawn by John D. Bird of Langley Research Center on May 3, 1961, indicated the thinking of that period: By launching two Saturn C-2's, the lunar landing mission could be accomplished by using both earth rendezvous and lunar rendezvous at various stages of the mission.


1961 May 8 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • S-IV satisfactory for Apollo missions - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. After study and discussion by STG and Marshal! Space Flight Center officials, STG concluded that the current 154-inch diameter of the second stage (S-IV) adapter for the Apollo spacecraft would be satisfactory for the Apollo missions on Saturn flights SA-7, SA-8, SA-9, and SA-10.

1961 May 25 - . LV Family: Nova; Saturn I.
  • Kennedy Proclaims Moon Landing Objective - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kennedy. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo Lunar Landing. Following Gagarin's flight and Bay of Pigs failure, Kennedy announces the objective of landing an American on the moon by end of the decade. In his second State of the Union Message President Kennedy said: "With the advice of the Vice President, who is Chairman of the National Space Council, we have examined where we (United States) are strong and where we are not, where we may succeed and where we may not. . . . Now is the time to take longer strides-time for a great new American enterprise-time for this Nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement which in many ways may hold the key to our future on Earth." President Kennedy set forth an accelerated space program based upon the long-range national goals of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth; early development of the Rover nuclear rocket; speed up the use of Earth satellites for worldwide communications; and provide "at the earliest possible time a satellite system for worldwide weather observation." An additional $549 million was requested for NASA over the new administration March budget requests; $62 million was requested for DOD for starting development of a solid-propellant booster of the Nova class.

1961 June 1 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Change in the Saturn C-1 configuration - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. NASA announced a change in the Saturn C-1 vehicle configuration. The first ten research and development flights would have two stages, instead of three, because of the changed second stage (S-IV) and, starting with the seventh flight vehicle, increased propellant capacity in the first stage (S-1) booster.

1961 June 2 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn I transport route interdicted. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: Collapse of a lock in the Wheeler Dam below Huntsville on the Tennessee River interdicted the planned water route of the first Saturn space booster from Marshall Space Flight Center to Cape Canaveral on the barge Palaemon..

1961 June 5 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC34. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn I launch complex completed. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Huge Saturn launch complex at Cape Canaveral dedicated in brief ceremony by NASA, construction of which was supervised by the Army Corps of Engineers. Giant gantry, weighing 2,800 tons and being 310 feet high, is largest movable land structure in North America.

1961 June 23 - . LV Family: Nova; Saturn C-3; Saturn I.
  • NASA / DOD agree to define support requirements - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Debus. Program: Apollo. NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., requested Kurt H. Debus, Director of the NASA Launch Operations Directorate, and Maj. Gen. Leighton I. Davis, Commander of the Air Force Missile Test Center, to make a joint analysis of all major factors regarding the launch requirements, methods, and procedures needed in support of an early manned lunar landing. The schedules and early requirements were to be considered in two phases:

    1. in line with the Fleming Report, a direct flight to the moon would be assumed, using the Saturn C-1 and C-3 launch vehicles in early support phases and liquid- or solid-fueled Nova launch vehicles for the lunar landing;
    2. as a possible alternative or parallel program, orbital rendezvous operations using Saturn C-3 and liquid-fueled Nova.
    The analysis should include recommendations on mutual NASA-DOD range responsibilities, authority, management structures, and other allied subjects. On June 30, Seamans notified Debus and Davis that the evaluation of tracking and command stations should not be included in the study. He stressed that the factors of immediate concern with regard to launch operations were those of launch site locations, land acquisition requirements, spacecraft and launch vehicle preparation facilities, vehicle launch facilities, and other facilities and requirements at the launch site. (Phase I of the Report was submitted on July 31.)

1961 June 23 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn C-1 to be operational in 1964 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Summary: NASA announced that the Saturn C-1 launch vehicle, which could place ten-ton payloads in earth orbit, would be operational in 1964..

1961 June 26 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn I barge replacement. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: A Navy YFNB barge was obtained by NASA to serve as a replacement for the Palaemon in transporting of the Saturn booster to Cape Canaveral..

1961 July 24 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-2.
  • Changes in Saturn launch vehicle configurations - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Summary: Changes in Saturn launch vehicle configurations were announced :

    C-1:
    Stages S-I (1.5 million pounds of thrust) and S-IV
    C-2:
    Stages S-I, S-II, and S-IV
    C-3:
    Stages S-IB (3 million pounds of thrust), S-II, and S-IV.
    .

1961 July 28 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • NASA invitation to bids for Apollo prime contract - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Original Specification; CSM Source Selection. NASA invited 12 companies to submit prime contractor proposals for the Apollo spacecraft by October 9: The Boeing Airplane Company, Chance Vought Corporation, Douglas Aircraft Company, General Dynamics/Convair, the General Electric Company, Goodyear Aircraft Corporation, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, The Martin Company, North American Aviation, Inc., and Republic Aviation Corporation. Additional Details: here....

1961 August 5 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • First Saturn I leaves factory. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Summary: First Saturn (SA-1) booster began water trip to Cape Canaveral on Navy barge Compromise after overland detour around Wheeler Dam..

1961 August 14 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • First Saturn I arrives at Cape Canaveral. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Summary: Navy barge Compromise, carrying first Saturn booster, stuck in the mud in the Indian River just south of Cape Canaveral. Released several hours later, the Saturn was delayed only 24 hours in its 2,200-mile journey from Huntsville..

1961 August 28 - . LV Family: Saturn C-3; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • NERVA facilities contract. - . Nation: USA. Program: NERVA. Summary: NASA selected Vitro Engineering Co. for negotiation of a design contract for an engine maintenance and disassembly building, one of the facilities to be a part of the National Nuclear Rocket Development Center..

1961 October 20 - . LV Family: Atlas; Nova; Saturn I.
  • STG discussed development of automatic checkout system for the entire NASA launch vehicle program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. The MSFC-STG Advanced Program Coordination Board met at STG and discussed the question of the development of an automatic checkout system which would include the entire launch vehicle program from the Saturn C-1 through the Nova. It agreed that the Apollo contractor should be instructed to make the spacecraft electrical subsystems compatible with the Saturn complex.

    In further discussion, Paul J. DeFries of Marshall Space Flight Center MSFC presented a list of proposed guidelines for use in studying early manned lunar landing missions:

    • The crew should draw on its own resources only when absolutely necessary. Equipment and service personnel external to the spacecraft should be used as much as possible.
    • Early lunar expeditions would receive active external support only up to the time of the launch from earth orbit.
    • The crew would board the spacecraft only after it was checked out and ready for final countdown and launch.
    • The first Apollo crews should have an emergency shelter available on the moon which could afford several months of lift: support and protection.
    • The capability for clocking an orbital launch vehicle with a propulsion stage - the "connecting mode" - should be possible.
    • The capability of fueling an orbital launch vehicle should be made available - "fueling mode."
    • The capability of making repairs, replacements, or adjustments in orbit should be developed.
    • For repairs, replacements, and adjustments on the orbital launch vehicle in earth orbit, two support vehicles would be necessary. These would be a Saturn C-1 launch vehicle manned by Apollo technicians and an unmanned Atlas-Centaur launch vehicle carrying repair kits.
    • Development of docking, testing of components, and techniques for docking and training of man in orbital operations could be carried out by a space ferry loaded with a Mercury capsule.
    Some of the points discussed in connection with these suggestions were:

    • Orbital launch operations were just as complex, if not more complex, than earth-launched operations.
    • A question existed as to how complex the orbital launch facility could be and what its function should be.
    • There was a possibility that the crew could do most of the checkout and launch operations. Studies should be made to define the role of the crew versus the role of a proposed MSFC auxiliary checkout and maintenance crew.
    After the discussion on orbital launch operations, the Board agreed that contemporary technology was inadequate to support such operations. Both STG and MSFC would need to study and develop both refueling and connector techniques.

1961 October 27 - . 15:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC34. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-1. LV Configuration: Saturn C-1 SA-1.
  • - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 136 km (84 mi). Largest known rocket launch to date, the Saturn I 1st stage booster, successful on first test flight from Atlantic Missile Range. With its eight clustered engines developing almost 1.3 million pounds of thrust at launch, the Saturn (SA-1) hurled waterfilled dummy upper stages to an altitude of 84.8 miles and 214.7 miles down range. In a postlaunch statement, Administrator Webb said: "The flight today was a splendid demonstration of the strength of our national space program and an important milestone in the buildup of our national capacity to launch heavy payloads necessary to carry out the program projected by President Kennedy on May 25.".

1961 November 17 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Contract issued for build of 20 Saturn I's. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. NASA announced that the Chrysler Corporation had been chosen to build 20 Saturn first-stage (S-1) boosters similar to the one tested successfully on October 27 . They would be constructed at the Michoud facility near New Orleans, La. The contract, worth about $200 million, would run through 1966, with delivery of the first booster scheduled for early 1964.

1961 December 7 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I RIFT.
  • Kiwi B-1A tests completed. - . Nation: USA. Program: NERVA. Power run completed the test series on the Kiwi B-1A reactor system being conducted at the Nevada Test Site by AEC's Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. Fourth in a series of test reactors in the joint AEC-NASA nuclear rocket propulsion program, Kiwi B-1A was disassembled for examination at the conclusion of the test runs.

1961 December 8 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Support service contractor selected for Michoud. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. NASA selected Mason-Rust as the contractor to provide support services at NASA's Michoud plant near New Orleans, providing housekeeping services through June 30, 1962 for the three contractors who would produce the Saturn S-I and S-IB boosters and the Rift nuclear upper-stage vehicle.

1962 February 13-15 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Technical aspects of earth orbit rendezvous meeting - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Geissler; Rudolph. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. A meeting on the technical aspects of earth orbit rendezvous was held at NASA Headquarters. Representatives from various NASA offices attended: Arthur L. Rudolph, Paul J. DeFries, Fred L. Digesu, Ludie G. Richard, John W. Hardin, Jr., Ernst D. Geissler, and Wilson B. Schramm of Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC); James T. Rose of MSC; Friedrich O. Vonbun, Joseph W. Siry, and James J. Donegan of Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC); Douglas R. Lord, James E. O'Neill, Richard J. Hayes, Warren J. North, and Daniel D. McKee of the NASA Office of Manned Space Flight (OMSF). Joseph F. Shea, Deputy Director for Systems, OMSF, who had called the meeting, defined in general terms the goal of the meeting: to achieve agreement on the approach to be used in developing the earth orbit rendezvous technique. After two days of discussions and presentations, the Group approved conclusions and recommendations:

    • Gemini rendezvous operations could and must provide substantial experience with rendezvous techniques pertinent to Apollo.
    • Incorporation of the Saturn guidance equipment in a scaled-down docking module for the Agenas in the Gemini program was not required.
    • Complete development of the technique and equipment for Apollo rendezvous and docking should be required before the availability of the Saturn C-5 launch vehicle.
    • Full-scale docking equipment could profitably be developed by three- dimensional ground simulations. MSFC would prepare an outline of such a program.
    • The Apollo rendezvous technique and actual hardware could be flight- tested with the Saturn C-1 launch vehicle. MSFC would prepare a proposed flight test program.
    • The choice of connecting or tanking modes must be made in the near future. The MSFC Orbital Operations Study program should be used to provide data to make this decision.
    • The rendezvous technique which evolved from this meeting would place heavy requirements on the ground tracking network. GSFC should provide data relating the impact of detailed trajectory considerations to ground tracking station requirements.
    (This meeting was part of a continuing effort to select the lunar mission mode.)

1962 February 27 - . LV Family: Nova; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Manned Space Flight Management Council meeting - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun; Maus. Program: Apollo. The preparation of schedules based on the NASA Fiscal Year 1962 budget (including the proposed supplemental appropriation), the Fiscal Year 1963 budget as submitted to Congress, and Fiscal Year 1964 and subsequent funding was discussed at the Manned Space Flight Management Council meeting. Program assumptions as presented by Wernher von Braun, Director, Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), were approved for use in preparation of the schedules :

    • The Saturn C-5 launch vehicle and earth orbital rendezvous were considered the primary mode for the lunar landing.
    • Full-scale orbit operations development, including ground testing, would be accomplished, using S-I boosters and orbital upper stages. This development would be planned so that upper stages and rendezvous techniques would be developed by the time the C-5 was operational. Planning would consider both connecting and fueling modes.
    • The development of a two-stage Nova with liquid-propellant engines in both stages would be activated as early as realistically feasible. This would provide an alternative, direct flight mode carrying the same orbital launch vehicle as developed for the C-5.
    • There would be no solid-propellant vehicle development.
    Charles W. Frick of MSC and Hans H. Maus of MSFC would coordinate schedule assumptions between the Centers.

1962 March - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Preliminary Apollo program schedules - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM. A small group within the MSC Apollo Spacecraft Project Office developed a preliminary program schedule for three approaches to the lunar landing mission: earth orbit rendezvous, direct ascent, and lunar orbit rendezvous. The exercise established a number of ground rules :

    • Establish realistic schedules that would "second guess" failures but provide for exploitation of early success.
    • Schedule circumlunar, lunar orbit, and lunar landing missions at the earliest realistic dates.
    • Complete the flight development of spacecraft modules and operational techniques, using the Saturn C-1 and C-1B launch vehicles, prior to the time at which a "man-rated" C-5 launch vehicle would become available.
    • Develop the spacecraft operational techniques in "buildup" missions that would progress generally from the simple to the complex.
    • Use the spacecraft crew at the earliest time and to the maximum extent, commensurate with safety considerations, in the development of the spacecraft and its subsystems.
    The exercise also provided a basis for proceeding with the development of definitive schedules and a program plan.

1962 April 25 - . 14:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC34. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-1. LV Configuration: Saturn C-1 SA-2.
  • - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 145 km (90 mi). Second suborbital test of Saturn I. The Saturn SA-2 first stage booster was launched successfully from Cape Canaveral. The rocket was blown up intentionally and on schedule about 2.5 minutes after liftoff at an altitude of 65 miles, dumping the water ballast from the dummy second and third stages into the upper atmosphere. The experiment, Project Highwater, produced a massive ice cloud and lightning-like effects. The eight clustered H-1 engines in the first stage produced 1.3 million pounds of thrust and the maximum speed attained by the booster was 3,750 miles per hour. Modifications to decrease the slight fuel sloshing encountered near the end of the previous flight test were successful.

1962 June 7 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • von Braun recommends lunar orbit rendezvous mode for Apollo - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; Apollo Lunar Landing; CSM Recovery; CSM SPS. Wernher von Braun, Director, Marshall Space Flight Center, recommended to the NASA Office of Manned Space Flight that the lunar orbit rendezvous mode be adopted for the lunar landing mission. He also recommended the development of an unmanned, fully automatic, one-way Saturn C-5 logistics vehicle in support of the lunar expedition; the acceleration of the Saturn C-1B program; the development of high-energy propulsion systems as a backup for the service module and possibly the lunar excursion module; and further development of the F-1 and J-2 engines to increase thrust or specific impulse.

1962 June 22 - . LV Family: Nova; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Lunar orbit rendezvous selected as mode for the Apollo lunar landing mission - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. After an extended discussion, the Manned Space Flight Management Council unanimously decided:

    • Lunar orbit rendezvous, using the Saturn C-5 launch vehicle, should be the mission mode for lunar exploration.
    • The development of a lunar logistics vehicle, using the Saturn C-1B or the C-5 launch vehicle, should be started and a six-month study of this development should begin immediately.
    • Time was too short and the expense too great to develop a parallel backup mode.
    • Study of the Nova vehicle should continue with the expectation that its development would follow the C-5 by two or three years.
    • The C-1B launch vehicle should be started immediately, looking toward the first two-stage flight in mid- 1965.
    • Development of a lunar excursion module should begin at once.
    These decisions were to be presented to NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., NASA Deputy Administrator Hugh L. Dryden, and NASA Administrator James E. Webb for approval.

1962 June 22 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Selection of ablative material for Apollo heatshield - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth reported to the Manned Space Flight Management Council that the selection of the ablative material for the Apollo spacecraft heatshield would be made by September 1. The leading contender for the forebody ablative material was an epoxy resin with silica fibers for improving char strength and phenolic microballoons for reducing density.

    In addition, Gilruth noted that a reevaluation of the Saturn C-1 and C-1B launch capabilities appeared to indicate that neither vehicle would be able to test the complete Apollo spacecraft configuration, including the lunar excursion module. Complete spacecraft qualification would require the use of the Saturn C-5.


1962 July 11 - . LV Family: Nova; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Selection of LOR as Apollo Mission Mode - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Spacecraft: Apollo Lunar Landing. Following a long controversy NASA selected Lunar Orbit Rendezvous (LOR) as the fastest, cheapest, and safest mode to accomplish the Apollo mission. LOR solved the engineering problem of how to land. The EOR or Direct Landing approaches required the Apollo crew to be on their backs during the landing and having to use television or mirrors to see the lunar surface. A lunar crasher stage approach had finally emerged as lesser of evils but raised other issues. LOR allowed a purpose-built lander with a logical helicopter-like crew station layout. Studies indicated LOR would allow landing 6-8 months earlier and cost $9.2 billion vs $ 10.6 billion for EOR or direct. Direct flight by this time would not involve Nova, but a scaled-down two-man spacecraft that could be launched by the Saturn C-5. Additional Details: here....

1962 August 2 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Apollo lunar bus - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Lunar Bus. NASA's Office of Manned Space Flight issued Requests for Proposals for a study of the lunar "bus" and studies for payloads which could be handled by the C-1B and C-5 launch vehicles. Contract awards were expected by September 1 and completion of the studies by December 1.

1962 August 8 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Two Apollo lunar logistic studies - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Lunar Bus. At a bidders' conference held at NASA Headquarters, proposals were requested from Centers and industry for two lunar logistic studies: a spacecraft "bus" concept that could be adapted for use first on the Saturn C-1B and later on the Saturn C-5 launch vehicles and a variety of payloads which could be soft-landed near manned Apollo missions. The latter study would determine how a crew's stay on the moon might be extended, how human capability for scientific investigation of the moon might be increased, and how man's mobility on the moon might be facilitated.

1962 August 16 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • S-IV successfully static-fired for the first time - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Summary: The second stage (S-IV) of the Saturn C-1 launch vehicle was successfully static-fired for the first time in a ten-second test at the Sacramento, Calif., facility by the Douglas Aircraft Company..

1962 September - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Tentative Apollo flight plan - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. MSC outlined a tentative Apollo flight plan:

    Pad abort:
    Two tests to simulate an abort on the pad.
    Saturn C-1:
    Determine launch exit environment: SA-6 with SA-8 as backup. Flight- test the emergency detection system: SA-7, SA-9, and SA-10
    Saturn C-1B:
    Four launch vehicle development flights prior to the manned flight.
    Saturn C-5:
    Six unmanned Saturn C-5 launch vehicle development flights.
    Additional Details: here....

1962 October 26 - . LV Family: Little Joe II; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • New numbering system for flight missions of the Apollo spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight missions of the Apollo spacecraft were to be numerically identified in the future according to the following scheme :

    Pad aborts: PA-1, PA-2, etc.

    Missions using Little Joe II launch vehicles: A-001, A-002, etc. Missions using Saturn C-1 launch vehicles: A-101, A-102, etc. Missions using Saturn C-1B launch vehicles: A-201, A-202, etc. Missions using Saturn C-5 launch vehicles: A-501, A-502, etc.

    The 'A' denoted Apollo, the first digit stood for launch vehicle type or series, and the last two digits designated the order of Apollo spacecraft flights within a vehicle series.


1962 November 16 - . 17:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC34. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-1. LV Configuration: Saturn C-1 SA-3.
  • - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 167 km (103 mi). Third suborbital test of Saturn I. Saturn-Apollo 3 (Saturn C-1, later called Saturn I) was launched from the Atlantic Missile Range. Upper stages of the launch vehicle were filled with 23000 gallons of water to simulate the weight of live stages. At its peak altitude of 167 kilometers (104 miles), four minutes 53 seconds after launch, the rocket was detonated by explosives upon command from earth. The water was released into the ionosphere, forming a massive cloud of ice particles several miles in diameter. By this experiment, known as "Project Highwater," scientists had hoped to obtain data on atmospheric physics, but poor telemetry made the results questionable. The flight was the third straight success for the Saturn C-1 and the first with maximum fuel on board.

1963 January 10 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Unmanned Apollo spacecraft to be flown on Saturn C-1 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: MSC and OMSF agreed that an unmanned Apollo spacecraft must be flown on the Saturn C-1 before a manned flight. SA-10 was scheduled to be the unmanned flight and SA-111, the first manned mission..

1963 February 7 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Simplified terminology for the Saturn booster series - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: NASA announced a simplified terminology for the Saturn booster series: Saturn C-1 became "Saturn I," Saturn C-1B became "Saturn IB," and Saturn C-5 became "Saturn V.".

1963 February 20 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn engine-out capability investigated - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. At a meeting of the MSC-MSFC Flight Mechanics Panel, it was agreed that Marshall would investigate "engine-out" capability (i.e., the vehicle's performance should one of its engines fail) for use in abort studies or alternative missions. Not all Saturn I, IB, and V missions included this engine-out capability. Also, the panel decided that the launch escape system would be jettisoned ten seconds after S-IV ignition on Saturn I launch vehicles.

1963 March 6 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • North American completed Apollo boilerplate (BP) 9 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM LES. North American completed construction of Apollo boilerplate (BP) 9, consisting of launch escape tower and CSM. It was delivered to MSC on March 18, where dynamic testing on the vehicle began two days later. On April 8, BP-9 was sent to MSFC for compatibility tests with the Saturn I launch vehicle.

1963 March 13 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • First long-duration static test of Saturn SA-5 first stage - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. The first stage of the Saturn SA-5 launch vehicle was static fired at MSFC for 144.44 seconds in the first long-duration test for a Block II S-1. The cluster of eight H-1 engines produced 680 thousand kilograms (1.5 million pounds) of thrust. An analysis disclosed anomalies in the propulsion system. In a final qualification test two weeks later, when the engines were fired for 143.47 seconds, the propulsion problems had been corrected.

1963 March 28 - . 20:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC34. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I. LV Configuration: Saturn I SA-4.
  • - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 129 km (80 mi). Fourth suborbital test of Saturn I. The S-I Saturn stage reached an altitude of 129 kilometers (80 statute miles) and a peak velocity of 5,906 kilometers (3,660 miles) per hour. This was the last of four successful tests for the first stage of the Saturn I vehicle. After 100 seconds of flight, No. 5 of the booster's eight engines was cut off by a preset timer. That engine's propellants were rerouted to the remaining seven, which continued to burn. This experiment confirmed the "engine-out" capability that MSFC engineers had designed into the Saturn I.

1963 August 5 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • First static firing test of Saturn S-IV stage for SA-5 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. In what was to have been an acceptance test, the Douglas Aircraft Company static fired the first Saturn S-IV flight stage at Sacramento, Calif. An indication of fire in the engine area forced technicians to shut down the stage after little more than one minute's firing. A week later the acceptance test was repeated, this time without incident, when the vehicle was fired for over seven minutes. (The stage became part of the SA-5 launch vehicle, the first complete Saturn I to fly.)

1963 September 16 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Apollo launch escape system modified - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: The launch escape system was modified so that, under normal flight conditions, the crew could jettison the tower. On unmanned Saturn I flights, tower jettison was initiated by a signal from the instrument unit of the S-IV (second) stage..

1963 September 26 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Apollo mission plans - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM. OMSF, MSC, and Bellcomm representatives, meeting in Washington, D.C., discussed Apollo mission plans: OMSF introduced a requirement that the first manned flight in the Saturn IB program include a LEM. ASPO had planned this flight as a CSM maximum duration mission only.

    • Bellcomm was asked to develop an Apollo mission assignment program without a Saturn I.
    • MSFC had been asking OMSF concurrence in including a restart capability in the S-IVB (second) stage during the Saturn IB program.
    ASPO would agree to this, but only if the H-1 engine were uprated from 85,275 to 90,718 kilograms (188,000 to 200,000 pounds) of thrust, resulting in a 907-kilogram (2,000-pound) payload gain.

1963 October 30 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Manned Saturn I earth orbital flights canceled - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Mueller; Webb. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo Lunar Landing. NASA canceled four manned earth orbital flights with the Saturn I launch vehicle. Six of a series of 10 unmanned Saturn I development flights were still scheduled. Development of the Saturn IB for manned flight would be accelerated and "all-up" testing would be started. This action followed Bellcomm's recommendation of a number of changes in the Apollo spacecraft flight test program. The program should be transferred from Saturn I to Saturn IB launch vehicles; the Saturn I program should end with flight SA-10. All Saturn IB flights, beginning with SA-201, should carry operational spacecraft, including equipment for extensive testing of the spacecraft systems in earth orbit.

    Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller had recommended the changeover from the Saturn I to the Saturn IB to NASA Administrator James E. Webb on October 26. Webb's concurrence came two days later.


1963 November 1 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Major reorganization of NASA - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM. NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller notified the Directors of MSC, MSFC, and LOC that he intended to plan a flight schedule which would have a good chance of being met or exceeded. To this end, he directed that "all-up" spacecraft and launch vehicle tests be started as soon as possible; all Saturn IB flights would carry CSM and CSM LEM configurations; and two successful unmanned flights would be flown before a manned mission on either the Saturn IB or Saturn V.

    On November 18, Mueller further defined the flight schedule planning. Early Saturn IB flights might not be able to include the LEM, but every effort must be made to phase the LEM into the picture as early as possible. Launch vehicle payload capability must be reached as quickly as practicable. Subsystems for the early flights should be the same as those intended for lunar missions. To conserve funds, the first Saturn V vehicle would be used to obtain reentry data early in the Saturn test program.

    By December 31 the official schedule showed:
    Final Saturn I flight (SA-10):
    June 1965
    First Saturn IB flight (SA-201):
    first quarter, 1966
    First manned Saturn IB flight:
    either SA-203, third quarter of 1966, or SA-207, third quarter of 1967
    First Saturn V flight (SA-501):
    first quarter, 1967
    First manned Saturn V flight:
    either SA-503, third quarter of 1967, or SA-507, second quarter of 1968.

1963 November 8 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Uprated H-1 engine for the first stage of the Saturn IB - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. MSFC directed Rocketdyne to develop an uprated H-1 engine to be used in the first stage of the Saturn IB. In August, Rocketdyne had proposed that the H-1 be uprated from 85,275 to 90,718 kilograms (188,000 to 200,000 pounds) of thrust. The uprated engine promised a 907-kilogram (2,000 pound) increase in the Saturn IB's orbital payload, yet required no major systems changes and only minor structural modifications.

1963 November 15 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • An engine hard-over maximum q manual abort was impractical for the Apollo CSM on Saturn I and IB - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. NASA and contractor studies showed that, in the event of an engine hard-over failure during maximum q, a manual abort was impractical for the Saturn I and IB, and must be carried out by automatic devices. Studies were continuing to determine whether, in a similar situation, a manual abort was possible from a Saturn V.

1963 December 11 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Douglas contracted for 10 additional Apollo S-IVB stages - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: NASA Headquarters approved a $48,064,658 supplement to the Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc., contract for 10 additional S-IVB stages, four for the Saturn IB and six for the Saturn V missions..

1964 January 29 - . 16:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I. LV Configuration: Saturn I-Blk2 SA-5.
  • Saturn 5 - . Payload: Saturn-SA 5. Mass: 17,100 kg (37,600 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville. Program: Apollo. Class: Technology. Type: Re-entry vehicle technology satellite. Spacecraft: Jupiter nose cone. Decay Date: 1966-04-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 744 . COSPAR: 1964-005A. Apogee: 740 km (450 mi). Perigee: 274 km (170 mi). Inclination: 31.4000 deg. Period: 94.80 min. First first mission of Block II Saturn with two live stages. SA-5, a vehicle development flight, was launched from Cape Kennedy Complex 37B at 11:25:01.41, e.s.t. This was the first flight of the Saturn I Block II configuration (i.e., lengthened fuel tanks in the S-1 and stabilizing tail fins), as well as the first flight of a live (powered) S-IV upper stage. The S-1, powered by eight H-1 engines, reached a full thrust of over 680,400 kilograms (1.5 million pounds) the first time in flight. The S-IV's 41,000 kilogram (90,000-pound-thrust cluster of six liquid-hydrogen RL-10 engines performed as expected. The Block II SA-5 was also the first flight test of the Saturn I guidance system.

1964 February 4 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Development flight tests for Apollo heatshield qualification - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. MSC and MSFC officials discussed development flight tests for Apollo heatshield qualification. Engineers from the Houston group outlined desired mission profiles and the number of missions needed to qualify the component. MSFC needed this information to judge its launch vehicle development test requirements against those of MSC to qualify the heatshield. By the middle of the month, Richard D. Nelson of the Mission Planning and Analysis Division (MPAD) had summarized the profiles to be flown with the Saturn V that satisfied MSC's needs. Nelson compiled data for three trajectories that could provide reentry speeds of around 11,000 meters (36,000 feet) per second, simulating lunar return. As an example, "Trajectory 1" would use two of the booster's stages to fire into a suborbital ballistic path, and then use a third stage to accelerate to the desired reentry speed.

    Flight profiles for Saturn IB missions for heatshield qualification purposes proved to be a little more difficult because "nobody would or could define the requirements or constraints, or test objectives." In other words, MSFC requirements for booster development test objectives and those of MSC for the spacecraft heatshield conflicted. So compromises had to be forged. Finally Ted H. Skopinski and other members of MPAD bundled up all of ASPO's correspondence on the subject generated from the various pertinent sources: MSFC, MSC, and contractors. From this, the Skopinski group drafted "broad term test objectives and constraints" for the first two Saturn IB flights (missions 201 and 202). Generally, these were to man-rate the launch vehicle and the CSM and to "conduct entry tests at superorbital entry velocities" (8,500 to 8,800 meters per second) (28,000 to 29,000 feet per second). Skopinski also enumerated specific test objectives covering the whole spacecraft-launch vehicle development test program. These were first distributed on March 27, and adjustments were made several times later in the year.


1964 February 6 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • American challenge - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Popovich; Tereshkova. Program: Lunar L1. Popovich has left on a tour of Australia, and Tereshkova is in England. The propaganda front of the Soviet space program is going well. But Kamanin is disquieted by the American testing of the Saturn I rocket. Its 17 tonne payload is more than double that of any Soviet booster. Greater efforts are needed, instead he is wasting his time editing Tereshkova's new book...

1964 March 23 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Apollo missions defined - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM Heat Shield. OMSF outlined launch vehicle development, spacecraft development, and crew performance demonstration missions, using the Saturn IB and Saturn V:

    1. Launch vehicle and unmanned CSM (at least two flights planned).
    2. CSM long-duration.
    3. CSM and LEM (two flights planned).
    4. Launch vehicle and heatshield (at least two flights).
    5. Lunar mission simulation.
    6. Lunar exploration.
    Missions (1) through (3) would use the Saturn IB and (4) through (6) the Saturn V. Additional launch vehicles and spacecraft would be provided for contingency or repeated flights. If necessary, repeat flights could provide additional crew training.

1964 April 20 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • IBM to build the instrument units for the Saturn launch vehicles - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. NASA selected IBM, Federal Systems Division, to develop and build the instrument units (IU) for the Saturn IB and Saturn V launch vehicles. (IBM had been chosen by NASA in October 1963 to design and build the IU data adapters and digital guidance computers and to integrate and check out the IUs.) Under this new contract, expected to be worth over $175 million, IBM would supply the structure and the environmental control system. NASA would furnish the telemetry system and the stabilized platform (ST-124M) of the guidance system. MSFC would manage the contract.

1964 May 28 - . 17:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I. LV Configuration: Saturn I-Blk2 SA-6.
  • Saturn 6 - . Payload: Apollo CSM Boilerplate 13. Mass: 16,900 kg (37,200 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Decay Date: 1964-06-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 800 . COSPAR: 1964-025A. Apogee: 204 km (126 mi). Perigee: 179 km (111 mi). Inclination: 31.7000 deg. Period: 88.20 min. Summary: Apollo Saturn Mission A-101, using CM BP-13 atop SA-6 Saturn I launch vehicle, launched at Cape Kennedy, Fla., to prove spacecraft/launch vehicle compatibility. Boilerplate CSM, LM adapter, LES. LES jettison demonstrated..

1964 September 18 - . 16:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I. LV Configuration: Saturn I-Blk2 SA-7.
  • Saturn 7 - . Payload: Apollo CSM Boilerplate 15. Mass: 16,700 kg (36,800 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Decay Date: 1964-09-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 883 . COSPAR: 1964-057A. Apogee: 215 km (133 mi). Perigee: 181 km (112 mi). Inclination: 31.7000 deg. Period: 88.50 min. Summary: Apollo systems test. Third orbital test. First closed-loop guidance test..

1964 October 28 - . LV Family: Little Joe II; Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Apollo mission programming - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Block II. ASPO's Operations Planning Division defined the current Apollo mission programming as envisioned by MSC. The overall Apollo flight program was described in terms of its major phases: Little Joe II flights (unmanned Little Joe II development and launch escape vehicle development); Saturn IB flights (unmanned Saturn IB and Block I CSM development, Block I CSM earth orbital operations, unmanned LEM development, and manned Block II CSM/LEM earth orbital operations); and Saturn V flights (unmanned Saturn V and Block II CSM development, manned Block II CSM/LEM earth orbital operations, and manned lunar missions).

1965 January 7 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Differences in the Apollo schedule - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. MSC Deputy Director George M. Low issued a memorandum regarding differences in the Apollo schedule as made public in an Associated Press release with a Houston, Texas, dateline. Low cited the following statement by George E. Mueller, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, and said it "represents our official and only position on Apollo schedules:

    • "The Apollo schedule for accomplishment of major milestones leading to the first manned lunar landing has not changed.
    • The first Saturn IB flight is scheduled in 1966.
    • Apollo manned flights on Saturn IB are scheduled for 1967.
    • Unmanned Saturn V flights are scheduled for 1967.
    • Manned Apollo earth orbital flights are scheduled for 1968.
    "We believe these major milestones will be met and our goal of a manned lunar landing in this decade can be accomplished."

1965 January 21 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Requirements for Apollo spacecraft launched by Saturn IB assessed - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Phillips, Samuel. Program: Apollo. At the request of Maj. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips, Apollo Program Director, ASPO reexamined the performance requirements for spacecraft slated for launch with Saturn IBs. MSC currently assessed that the launch vehicle was able to put 16,102 kg (35,500 lbs) into a circular orbit 105 nm above the earth. Based on the spacecraft control weights, however, it appeared that the total injected weight of the modules would exceed this amount by some 395 kg (870 lbs). Additional Details: here....

1965 January 22 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Apollo qualification test plans - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips forecast "heavy ground testing" for Apollo during 1965. The coming months, he said, should see the completion of testing on the first Apollo spacecraft intended for manned space flight, as well as flight qualification of the Saturn IB and initial testing of the Saturn V launch vehicles.

1965 February 1 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Pacific Crane and Rigging contract to install ground equipment at Launch Complex 39 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Pacific Crane and Rigging Company received a NASA contract, worth $8.3 million, to install ground equipment at Kennedy Space Center's Saturn V facility, Launch Complex 39. On the following day, the Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $2,179,000 contract to R. E. Carlson Corporation, St. Petersburg, Fla., to modify Launch Complex 34 to handle the Saturn IB.

1965 February 2-3 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Emergency detection system (EDS) and abort procedures for the early Apollo flights decided - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. The Apollo-Saturn Crew Safety Panel decided on a number of emergency detection system (EDS) and abort procedures for the early Apollo flights:

    • If any of the three redundant automatic abort circuits so indicated, the launch vehicle would not be released.
    • The EDS would be flight-tested on the SA-201 and SA-202 missions.
    • Unmanned Apollo flights should be aborted from the ground only under the most severe conditions.
    • Liftoff permitted automatic abort without manual backup.
    • To ensure a successful abort, a redundant mode of EDS-commanded engine shutdown was mandatory.
    After hearing the results of several supporting studies, the Panel further agreed that Saturn IB flights would be automatically aborted if the vehicle's roll rate reached 20 degrees per second; if two engines should fail during the first 30 seconds of flight, the Saturn IB must be capable of aborting automatically, and the Saturn V must have the same capability for the first 60 seconds of flight; and, finally, the Panel stated that during the Saturn V's initial stages, automatic abort might be required if even one engine shut down.

1965 February 16 - . 14:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I. LV Configuration: Saturn I-Blk2 SA-9.
  • Pegasus 1 - . Payload: Pegasus 1. Mass: 10,400 kg (22,900 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville. Program: Apollo. Class: Earth. Type: Micrometeoroid satellite. Spacecraft: Pegasus. Decay Date: 1978-09-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 1085 . COSPAR: 1965-009A. Apogee: 726 km (451 mi). Perigee: 510 km (310 mi). Inclination: 31.7000 deg. Period: 97.00 min. A Saturn I vehicle SA-9 launched a multiple payload into a high 744 by 496 km (462 by 308 mi) earth orbit. The rocket carried a boilerplate (BP) CSM (BP-16) and, fitted inside the SM, the Pegasus I meteoroid detection satellite. This was the eighth successful Saturn flight in a row, and the first to carry an active payload. BP-16's launch escape tower was jettisoned following second-stage S-IV ignition. After attaining orbit, the spacecraft were separated from the S-IV. Thereupon the Pegasus I's panels were deployed and were ready to perform their task, i.e., registering meteoroid impact and relaying the information to the ground.
  • Apollo-Model 3 - . Payload: Apollo CSM Boilerplate 16. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Structural. Decay Date: 1985-07-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 1088 . COSPAR: 1965-009B. Apogee: 736 km (457 mi). Perigee: 500 km (310 mi). Inclination: 31.7000 deg. Period: 97.06 min.

1965 February 17 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Unmanned capabilities required of Block I Apollo CSM - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Shea. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Block I. Summary: ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea clarified the manned unmanned capabilities required of Block I CSM spacecraft to ensure that end-item specifications appropriately reflect those capabilities. . Additional Details: here....

1965 February 25 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Chrysler contract for support services for the Saturn I and IB launch programs modified - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: KSC supplemented Chrysler Corporation's contract for support services for the Saturn I and IB launch programs. Effective through June 30, 1968, the agreement would cost NASA $41 million plus an award fee..

1965 March 31 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Apollo LEMs 1, 2, and 3 to have remote command of the transponder feature - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Communications. MSC requested that Grumman incorporate in the command list for LEMs 1, 2, and 3 the capability for turning the LEM transponder off and on by real-time radio command from the Manned Space Flight Network. Necessity for capability of radio command for turning the LEM transponder on after LEM separation resulted from ASPO's decision that the LEM and Saturn instrument unit S-band transponders would use the same transmission and reception frequencies.

1965 April 1 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • First stage of the Saturn IB first static firing at MSFC - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. The first stage of the Saturn IB booster (the S-IB-1) underwent its first static firing at Huntsville, Alabama. The stage's eight uprated H-1 engines produced about 71,168-kilonewtons (1.6 million lbs) thrust. On April 23, Marshall and Rocketdyne announced that the uprated H-1 had passed qualification testing and was ready for flight.

1965 May 12 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Thrust of the H-1 engine uprated - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: MSFC informed MSC that the thrust of the H-1 engine was being uprated to 1,000 kilonewtons (205,000 lbs), thus increasing the Saturn IB's payload capability..

1965 May 13 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Mission directive for Apollo-Saturn 201 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Phillips, Samuel. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Summary: Samuel C. Phillips, Apollo Program Director, issued the mission directive for Apollo-Saturn 201. The mission would flight-test the Saturn IB and the Apollo CSM..

1965 May 25 - . 07:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I. LV Configuration: Saturn I-Blk2 SA-8.
  • Pegasus 2 - . Payload: Pegasus 2. Mass: 10,464 kg (23,069 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville. Program: Apollo. Class: Earth. Type: Micrometeoroid satellite. Spacecraft: Pegasus. Decay Date: 1979-11-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 1381 . COSPAR: 1965-039A. Apogee: 740 km (450 mi). Perigee: 502 km (311 mi). Inclination: 31.7000 deg. Period: 97.00 min. Pegasus 2 was a meteoroid detection satellite. The Saturn I launch vehicle (SA-8) placed the spacecraft, protected by a boilerplate CSM (BP-26), into a 740-by-509-km (460-by-316-mi) orbit. Once in orbit, the dummy CSM was jettisoned. Pegasus 2, still attached to the second stage of the launch vehicle, then deployed its 29-m (96-ft) winglike panels. Within several hours, the device began registering meteoroid hits.
  • Apollo-Model 4 - . Payload: Apollo CSM Boilerplate 26. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Structural. Decay Date: 1989-07-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 1385 . COSPAR: 1965-039B. Apogee: 739 km (459 mi). Perigee: 511 km (317 mi). Inclination: 31.7000 deg. Period: 97.21 min.

1965 June 11 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Data tape recorder probably not to be installed on Apollo LEM-1 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Weight. Summary: The question of whether a data tape recorder would be installed on LEM-1 had been discussed at several Apollo 206 Mission Operations Plan meetings and there was a strong possibility it would not be installed. . Additional Details: here....

1965 June 15 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Reduced Apollo Block II service propulsion system for Saturn IB missions - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Block II. Independent studies were made at MSC and North American to determine effects and impact of off-loading certain Block II service propulsion system components for Saturn IB missions. The contractor was requested to determine the weight change involved and schedule and cost impact of removing one oxidizer tank, one fuel tank, one helium tank and all associated hardware (fuel and oxidizer transfer lines, propellant quantity sensors and certain gaging wire harnesses) from CSM 101 and CSM 103. The MSC study was oriented toward determining technical problems associated with such a change and the effects on spacecraft operational requirements. The North American study indicated that removing the equipment would save about 690 000, along with a weight reduction of approximately 454 kg (1,000 lbs). Additional Details: here....

1965 June 17 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Planned missions for the Saturn IB - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Officials from Bellcomm, MSFC, and the Apollo offices in Houston and in Washington planned primary and alternate missions for the Saturn IB (applicable to SA-201 through SA-208). On July 16, the Office of Manned Space Flight specified launch vehicles (both Saturn IB and V hardware) for Apollo missions.

1965 June 25 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Col Bolender Mission Director for the first and second Apollo/Saturn IB flights - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: NASA announced the appointment of Col. C. H. Bolender as Mission Director for the first and second Apollo/Saturn IB flights. Bolender was assigned to the Mission Operations Organization in the Office of Manned Space Flight, NASA..

1965 June 29 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • No structural changes required for uprated Saturn IB's H-1 engine - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. North American reported to MSC that no structural changes to the spacecraft would be required for uprating the thrust of the Saturn IB's H-1 engine from 90,718 to 92,986 kg (200,000 to 205,000 lbs). Effects on the performance of the launch escape vehicle would be negligible.

1965 July 30 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Performance of the Apollo launch escape vehicle evaluated - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. During the preceding six months, officials in ASPO and the Engineering and Development Directorate evaluated the performance of the launch escape vehicle (LEV) during aborts on and near the launch pad. That performance, they had determined, was inadequate. To solve this problem, MSC ordered North American to incorporate a number of design changes in both the LEV and the spacecraft:

    • provide the capability for manual override of the main parachute deployment timer and for manual deployment of those parachutes (for both Saturn IB and V flights)
    • Provide for dumping helium from the CM's reaction control system (RCS) automatically
    • Modify the CM RCS to permit rapid dumping of its fuel (similar to the existing oxidizer dump). But fuel and oxidizer must not be dumped simultaneously. (This change applied only to Block II CMs.)
    • Provide the capability to cut out the LEV's pitch control motor on Block I vehicles (similar to that already in Block II spacecraft)
    • Design a removable device that, while on the pad, would keep the launch escape motor's propellant temperature above 70 degrees.

1965 July 30 - . 13:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I. LV Configuration: Saturn I-Blk2 SA-10.
  • Pegasus 3 - . Payload: Pegasus 3. Mass: 10,500 kg (23,100 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville. Program: Apollo. Class: Earth. Type: Micrometeoroid satellite. Spacecraft: Pegasus. Decay Date: 1969-08-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 1467 . COSPAR: 1965-060A. Apogee: 449 km (278 mi). Perigee: 441 km (274 mi). Inclination: 28.9000 deg. Period: 93.40 min. NASA launched Pegasus 3, third of the meteoroid detection satellites, as scheduled at 8:00 a.m. EST, from Cape Kennedy. As earlier, an Apollo spacecraft (boilerplate 9) served as the payload's shroud. This flight (SA-10) marked the end of the Saturn I program, which during its seven-year lifetime had achieved 10 straight successful launches and had contributed immeasurably to American rocket technology.
  • Apollo-Model 5 - . Payload: Apollo CSM Boilerplate 9A. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Structural. Decay Date: 1975-11-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 1468 . COSPAR: 1965-060B. Apogee: 536 km (333 mi). Perigee: 521 km (323 mi). Inclination: 28.8000 deg. Period: 95.21 min.

1965 August 9 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Saturn V stages tested - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Two Saturn milestones occurred on the same day. At Santa Susana, Calif., North American conducted the first full-duration captive firing of an S-II, second stage of the Saturn V. And at Sacramento, Douglas static-tested the first flight-model S-IVB, second stage for the Saturn IB. This latter marked the first time that a complete static test (encompassing vehicle checkout, loading, and firing) had been controlled entirely by computers.

1965 September 3 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Ultimate strength of Apollo spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: To aid in defining abort limits for the emergency detection system, MSC authorized North American to determine the ultimate strength of the spacecraft based on failure trajectories of the Saturn IB and Saturn V vehicles..

1965 October 21 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Launch schedule for Apollo-Saturn IB flights revised - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Phillips, Samuel. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Block I. Samuel C. Phillips, Apollo Program Director, notified the Center directors and Apollo program managers in Houston, Huntsville, and Cape Kennedy that OMSF's launch schedule for Apollo-Saturn IB flights had been revised, based on delivery of CSMs 009 and 011:

    • AS-201 - January 1966
    • AS-202 - June 1966
    Schedules for AS-203 through 205 (July and October 1966, and January 1967) were unchanged.

1965 November 18 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Saturn IB/Centaur Office named changed to Saturn Applications. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Voyager 1973. John H. Disher, Saturn/Apollo Applications Deputy Director, requested the Manned Space Flight Management Operations Director to officially change the designation of the Saturn IB/Centaur Office to Saturn Applications. This change, Disher said, reflected the change in status of the office and provided for necessary management of potential Saturn Applications such as the Saturn V/Voyager by the Office of Manned Space Flight. However, on the same day, Disher ordered E. F. O'Connor at MSFC to halt all Saturn IB/Centaur efforts (except those already underway that could not be recalled) and disapproved the request for an additional $1.1 million for the program. (Any funds required for definition of a Saturn V/Voyager mission, he said, would be authorized separately.)

1966 January 13 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Land impact program for the Apollo CM Block I deleted - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Block II. A decision made at a Program Management Review eliminated the requirement for a land impact program for the CM to support Block I flights. Post-abort CM land impact for Saturn IB launches had been eliminated from Complex 37 by changes to the sequence timers in the launch escape system abort mode. The Certification Test Specification and related Certification Test Requirements would reflect the new Block II land impact requirements.

1966 January 14 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • MSFC issued requests for proposals to the aerospace industry for definition studies of integrating experiment hardware into AAP space vehicles. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Orbital Workshop. MSFC issued requests for proposals to the aerospace industry for definition studies of integrating experiment hardware into AAP space vehicles-i.e., payload integration in the Apollo lunar module, the Saturn instrument unit, and the S-IVB stage of the Saturn IB and Saturn V launch vehicles. Following evaluation of the proposals, MSFC would select two or more firms for negotiation of nine-month study contracts to be managed by Huntsville as the Center responsible for payload integration of this portion of AAP. (MSC was responsible for payload integration of the Apollo CSM.)

1966 February 26 - . 16:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC34. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB. LV Configuration: Saturn IB SA-201.
  • Apollo 201 (AS-201) - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 488 km (303 mi). Apollo-Saturn 201 was launched from Cape Kennedy, with liftoff of an Apollo Block I spacecraft (CSM 009) on a Saturn IB launch vehicle at 11:12:01 EST. Launched from Launch Complex 34, the unmanned suborbital mission was the first flight test of the Saturn IB and an Apollo spacecraft. Total launch weight was 22,000 kilograms.

    Spacecraft communications blackout lasted 1 minute 22 seconds. Reentry was initiated with a space-fixed velocity of 29,000 kilometers per hour. CM structure and heatshields performed adequately. The CM was recovered by the USS Boxer from the Atlantic about 72 kilometers uprange from the planned landing point. (8.18 S x 11.15 W).


1966 May 12 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Changes in Saturn/Apollo nomenclature - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM. A memo to KSC, MSC, and MSFC from the NASA Office of Manned Space Flight reported that the NASA Project Designation Committee had concurred in changes in Saturn/Apollo nomenclature recommended by Robert C. Seamans, Jr., George E. Mueller, and Julian Scheer:

    • lunar excursion module to be called lunar module.
    • Saturn IB to become the "uprated Saturn I."
    The memo instructed that the new nomenclature be used in all future news releases and announcements.

1966 July 5 - . 14:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Uprated Saturn I. LV Configuration: Uprated Saturn I SA-203.
  • Apollo 203 - . Payload: Saturn S-IVB-203. Mass: 26,500 kg (58,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville. Program: Apollo. Decay Date: 1966-07-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 2289 . COSPAR: 1966-059A. Apogee: 212 km (131 mi). Perigee: 183 km (113 mi). Inclination: 31.9000 deg. Period: 88.50 min. First orbital test Saturn IB; no spacecraft. AS-203 lifted off from Launch Complex 37, Eastern Test Range, at 10:53 a.m. EDT in the second of three Apollo-Saturn missions scheduled before manned flight in the Apollo program. All objectives - to acquire flight data on the S-IVB stage and instrument unit - were achieved.

    The uprated Saturn I - consisting of an S-IB stage, S-IVB stage, and an instrument unit - boosted an unmanned payload into an original orbit of 185 by 189 kilometers. The inboard engine cutoff of the first stage occurred after 2 minutes 18 seconds of flight and the outboard engine cutoff was 4 seconds later. The S-IVB engine burned 4 minutes 50 seconds. No recovery was planned and the payload was expected to enter the earth's atmosphere after about four days.


1966 August 1 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Chrysler uprated Saturn I first-stage production contract changed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. NASA signed a supplemental agreement with Chrysler Corp.'s Space Division at New Orleans, La., converting the uprated Saturn I first-stage production contract from cost-plus-fixed-fee to cost-plus-incentive-fee. Under the agreement, valued at $339 million, the amount of the contractor's fee would be based on ability to perform assigned tasks satisfactorily and meet prescribed costs and schedules. The contract called for Chrysler to manufacture, assemble and test 12 uprated Saturn I first stages and provide system engineering, integration support, ground support equipment, and launch services.

1966 August 25 - . 17:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC34. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Uprated Saturn I. LV Configuration: Uprated Saturn I SA-202.
  • Apollo 202 (AS-202) - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,143 km (710 mi). Spacecraft 011 was essentially a Block I spacecraft with the following exceptions: couches, crew equipment, and the cabin postlanding ventilation were omitted; and three auxiliary batteries, a mission control programmer, four cameras, and flight qualification instrumentation were added.

    Of six primary test objectives assigned to the mission, the objectives for the environmental control, electrical power, and communications subsystems were not completely satisfied. All other spacecraft test objectives were successfully accomplished.


1966 October 19 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
1966 October 25 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Propellant tanks of Apollo service module 017 failed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Block I. Summary: Propellant tanks of service module 017 failed during a pressure test at North American Aviation, Downey, Calif. . Additional Details: here....

1966 November 16 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Revised criteria for design of a one-year Workshop in space. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Orbital Workshop; Skylab. Maurice J. Raffensperger, Earth Orbital Mission Studies Director in NASA Hq, spelled out revised criteria for design of a one-year Workshop in space (criteria to be incorporated by MSFC and MSC planners into their proposed configurations). Maurice J. Raffensperger, Earth Orbital Mission Studies Director in NASA Hq, spelled out revised criteria for design of a one-year Workshop in space (criteria to be incorporated by MSFC and MSC planners into their proposed configurations): This 'interim space station' should be ready for launch in January 1971. The design had to be a minimum-cost structure capable of a two-year survival in low Earth orbit. (Raffensperger speculated that a 'dry-launched' S-IVB stage could be employed without major structural changes.) Initial vehicle subsystems were to consist of flight-qualified Apollo and Manned Orbiting Laboratory hardware capable of one-year operation. Operation of the station during the second year was to be accomplished by means of a long- duration 'developmental systems' module that would be attached to the original space station structure (and would be developed separately as part of the long-duration space station program). Initial launch of the station would be with a Saturn V (and include CSM). This interim space station must be suited for operation in either zero-g or with artificial gravity (using the 'simplest, least expensive' approach). Cost of the hardware must not exceed $200 million (excluding launch vehicle and the long-duration subsystems module). Cargo resupply and crew changes were to be carried out using Apollo Applications- modified CSMs (limited to three Saturn IBs per year).

1966 December 5 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • NASA Hq issued a schedule which introduced the cluster concept into the AAP design. The cluster concept consisted of a Workshop launch following a manned CSM launch. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Orbital Workshop; Skylab; Apollo ATM. Six months later, a LM/ATM launch would follow a second manned flight. The LM/ATM would rendezvous and dock to the cluster. The first Workshop launch was scheduled for June 1968. As opposed to the habitable OWS and cluster concept which projected a much more complex program, the S-IVB SSESM had been a comparatively simple mission requiring no rendezvous and docking and no habitation equipment. A major similarity between the old S-IVB/SSESM concept and the cluster concept was use of the S-IVB stage to put the payload into orbit before passivation and pressurization of the stage's hydrogen tanks. The new cluster concept embodied the major step of making the Saturn IVB habitable in orbit, incorporating a two-gas atmosphere (oxygen and nitrogen) and a 'shirt- sleeve' environment. The OWS would contain crew quarters in the S IVB hydrogen tank (two floors and walls installed on the ground), which would be modified by Douglas Aircraft Company under MSFC management; an airlock module (previously called the SSESM) attached to the OWS, which would be built by McDonnell Aircraft Corporation under MSC management; and a multiple docking adapter (MDA), which would contain five docking ports permitting up to five modules to be docked to the Workshop at any one time. The MDA would also house most OWS astronaut habitability equipment and many experiments. The schedule called for 22 Saturn IB and 15 Saturn V launches. Two of the Saturn IBs would be launched a day apart-one manned, the other unmanned. Flights utilizing two Saturn V Workshops and four LM ATM missions were also scheduled.

1967 January 27 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Apollo AS-204 first steps - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Shea. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 204. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Block I. Summary: Fire sweeping through command module 012 atop its Saturn IB launch vehicle at Launch Complex 34, KSC, took the lives of the three-man crew scheduled for the first manned Apollo space flight. . Additional Details: here....

1967 January 27 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
1967 February 3 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Progress of the Apollo 204 Review Board investigation reported - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 204. Summary: NASA Deputy Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., reported to Administrator James E. Webb on progress of the Apollo 204 Review Board investigation of the January 27 spacecraft fire. . Additional Details: here....

1967 February 16 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Interim nature of schedule for manned Apollo missions discussed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. NASA Deputy Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., informed Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller that, in view of the interim nature of schedule outlook for manned uprated Saturn I and Saturn V missions, he had decided to show these missions as "Under Study" in the Official NASA Flight Schedule for February 1967. As soon as firm approved dates for the missions were available the schedule would be updated. He said that all participants in the Apollo program should be advised that - except for unmanned missions 206, 501, and 502 - official agency schedule commitments had not been made and certainly could not be quoted until management assessments of the program had been completed and schedules approved by the Office of the Administrator.

1967 March 25 - April 24 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Designations for Apollo / Apollo Applications missions - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 204. NASA Hq. Office of Manned Space Flight informed KSC, MSFC, and MSC of approved designations for Apollo and Apollo Applications missions:

    1. all Apollo missions would be numbered sequentially in the order flown, with the next mission to be designated Apollo 4, the following one Apollo 5, etc., and
    2. the Apollo Applications missions would be designated sequentially as AAP-1, AAP-2, etc. The number designations would not differentiate between manned and unmanned or uprated Saturn I and Saturn V missions. Additional Details: here....

1967 April 28 - May 16 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Apollo spacecraft delivery dates - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Structural. Summary: Spacecraft delivery date and ground rule discussions were summarized by MSC ASPO Manager George M. Low in a letter to North American Aviation's Apollo Program Manager Dale D. Myers. . Additional Details: here....

1967 May 24 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • NASA realigned its Apollo and AAP launch schedules following the Apollo 204 accident in January. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Orbital Workshop; Skylab; AES Lunar Base; ALSS Lunar Base. Because of the Apollo 204 accident in January and the resulting program delays, NASA realigned its Apollo and AAP launch schedules. The new AAP schedule called for 25 Saturn IB and 14 Saturn V launches. Major hardware for these launches would be two Workshops flown on Saturn IB vehicles, two Saturn V Workshops, and three ATMs. Under this new schedule, the first Workshop launch would come in January 1969.

1967 June 19 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Apollo spacecraft/S-IVB rendezvous for AS-205 mission discussed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7. Summary: H. G. Paul, Chief of Marshal Space Flight Center's Propulsion Division, said it had come to the attention of his office that spacecraft/S-IVB rendezvous to within approximately 100 meters was being considered for the AS-205 mission. . Additional Details: here....

1967 August 1 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • AS-208 - . Payload: LM-2. Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar lander. Spacecraft: Apollo LM. Summary: Before fire, planned in-orbit test of LM. CSM-101 would dock with and crew would maneuver together..

1967 August - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Apollo 207 (cancelled) - . Crew: McDivitt; Schweickart; Scott. Backup Crew: Cernan; Stafford; Young. Payload: CSM-101. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McDivitt; Schweickart; Scott; Cernan; Stafford; Young. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 207. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Before the Apollo 1 fire, it was planned that McDivitt's crew would conduct the Apollo D mission - a first manned test in earth orbit of the Lunar Module. Separate Saturn IB launches would put Apollo Block II CSM 101 / AS-207 and Lunar Module LM-2 / AS-208 into earth orbit. The crew would then rendezvous and dock with the lunar module and put it through its paces. After the fire, it was decided to launch the mission on a single Saturn V as Apollo 9.

1967 September 20 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Proposed sequence of Apollo missions leading to a lunar landing mission - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 204; Apollo 11; Apollo 12; Apollo 15. Spacecraft: Apollo LM. MSC proposed to the NASA Office of Manned Space Flight a sequence of missions leading to a lunar landing mission. The sequence included the following basic missions:

    • A - Saturn V/unmanned CSM development
    • B - Saturn IB/unmanned LM development
    • C - Saturn IB/manned CSM evaluation
    • D - Saturn V/manned CSM and LM development (A dual Saturn IB mission would be an alternative to the Saturn V for mission D)
    • E - CSM/LM operations in high earth orbit
    • F - Lunar orbit mission
    • G - Lunar landing mission (like Apollo 11)
    • H - Lunar landing mission (Apollo 12, 13, and 14)
    • I - Reserved for lunar survey missions (not used)
    • J - Lunar landing missions, upgraded hardware (Apollo 15, 16, and 17)

1967 October 3 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Budgetary cutbacks reduced AAP lunar activity to four missions and Saturn V Workshops to 17 Saturn IB and 7 Saturn V launches. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Orbital Workshop; Skylab; AES Lunar Base; ALSS Lunar Base. NASA Hq issued a revised AAP schedule incorporating recent budgetary cutbacks. The schedule reflected the reduction of AAP lunar activity to four missions and of Saturn V Workshop activity to 17 Saturn IB and 7 Saturn V launches. There would be two Workshops launched on Saturn IBs, one Saturn V Workshop, and three ATMs. Launch of the first Workshop was scheduled for March 1970.

1967 October 23 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Minuteman strap-one for the Saturn IB were canceled as part of the AAP. The studies for AAP on the feasibility of the Minuteman strap-one were terminated. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab.

1967 November 4 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Apollo mission schedule for six flights in 1968 and five in 1969 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Mueller. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 10; Apollo 14. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM Recovery. NASA announced an Apollo mission schedule calling for six flights in 1968 and five in 1969. NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller said the schedule and alternative plans provided a schedule under which a limited number of Apollo command and service modules and lunar landing modules, configured for lunar landing might be launched on test flights toward the moon by the end of the decade. Apollo/uprated Saturn I flights were identified with a 200 series number; Saturn V flights were identified with a 500 series number. Additional Details: here....

1967 December 2 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Designation Saturn IB approved - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Webb. Program: Apollo. Summary: NASA Administrator James E. Webb approved the designation "Saturn IB" as the standard way of referring to that launch vehicle in public statements, congressional testimony, and similar materials, rather than "Uprated Saturn I.".

1968 January 9 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Budgetary restraints required additional cuts in AAP to three Saturn IB and three Saturn V launches. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Orbital Workshop; Skylab; AES Lunar Base; ALSS Lunar Base. NASA budgetary restraints required an additional cut in AAP launches. The reduced program called for three Saturn IB and three Saturn V launches, including one Workshop launched on a Saturn IB, one Saturn V Workshop, and one ATM. Two lunar missions were planned. Launch of the first Workshop would be in April 1970.

1968 January 22 - . 22:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB. LV Configuration: Saturn IB SA-204.
  • Apollo 5 - . Payload: Apollo LM-1. Mass: 14,360 kg (31,650 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar lander. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Descent Propulsion. Decay Date: 1968-02-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 3107 . COSPAR: 1968-007B. Apogee: 374 km (232 mi). Perigee: 169 km (105 mi). Inclination: 31.6000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. NASA launched Apollo 5 - the first, unmanned LM flight - on a Saturn IB from KSC Launch Complex 37B at 5:48:08 p.m. EST. Mission objectives included verifying operation of the LM structure itself and its two primary propulsion systems, to evaluate LM staging, and to evaluate orbital performances of the S-IVB stage and instrument unit. Flight of the AS-204 launch vehicle went as planned, with nosecone (replacing the CSM) jettisoned and LM separating. Flight of LM-1 also went as planned up to the first descent propulsion engine firing. Because velocity increase did not build up as quickly as predicted, the LM guidance system shut the engine down after only four seconds of operation, boosting the LM only to a 171 x 222 km orbit. Mission control personnel in Houston and supporting groups quickly analyzed the problem. They determined that the difficulty was one of guidance software only (and not a fault in hardware design) and pursued an alternate mission plan that ensured meeting the minimum requirements necessary to achieve the primary objectives of the mission. The ascent stage separated and boosted itself into a 172 x 961 km orbit. After mission completion at 2:45 a.m. EST January 23, LM stages were left in orbit to reenter the atmosphere later and disintegrate. Apollo program directors attributed success of the mission to careful preplanning of alternate ways to accomplish flight objectives in the face of unforeseen events.

1968 January 29 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Saturn V and Saturn I Workshop designations. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Orbital Workshop; Skylab. Nomenclature for the OWS included in the AAP presented in the FY 1969 budget was confirmed by NASA. The ground-outfitted OWS to be launched with Saturn V would be designated the 'Saturn V Workshop.' (This had sometimes been called the 'dry Workshop.') The OWS that would be launched by a Saturn IB would be referred to as the 'Saturn I Workshop.' (Colloquially it had been referred to as the 'wet workshop.') Terminology 'Uprated Saturn I' would not be used officially. This launch vehicle would be referred to as the 'Saturn IB.'

1968 June 4 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • New AAP schedule decreased to 11 Saturn IB flights and one Saturn V flight. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Orbital Workshop; Skylab; AES Lunar Base; ALSS Lunar Base. NASA released a new AAP launch readiness and delivery schedule. The schedule decreased the number of Saturn flights to 11 Saturn IB flights and one Saturn V flight. It called for three Workshops. One of the Workshops would be launched by a Saturn IB, and another would serve as a backup. The third Workshop would be launched by a Saturn V. The schedule also included one ATM. Launch of the first Workshop would be in November 1970. Lunar missions were no longer planned in the AAP.

1968 September 24 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Launch wind constraint for Saturn IB relaxed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7. Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips wrote to his two principal counterparts at MSFC and MSC, Lee B. James and George M. Low, to express his concern that the launch-release wind constraint for the Saturn IB, currently 45 kilometers, was perhaps the most restrictive of all such constraints. Additional Details: here....

1968 October 2 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • MSFC and KSC officials agreed upon procedures for maintaining the capability to check out and launch the remaining Saturn IB vehicle inventory. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Their joint recommendations included a phasedown on contractor activity following the AS 205 launch; deactivation of Launch Complexes 34 and 37 to allow maximum storage of equipment and minimum maintenance on items remaining in place; and continuance of KSC analysis of manpower required to support the AAP dual launch requirement, with contractor participation at the earliest date.

1968 October 9 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • All changes to Apollo 7 as a result of Apollo 1 fire completed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Block II. Summary: NASA Apollo Mission Director William C. Schneider reported completion of all action items pertinent to Apollo 7 assigned by Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips as a result of recommendations by the Apollo Crew Safety Review Board on May 27, 1968.. Additional Details: here....

1968 October 11 - . 15:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC34. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB. LV Configuration: Saturn IB SA-205.
  • Apollo 7 - . Call Sign: Apollo 7. Crew: Cunningham; Eisele; Schirra. Backup Crew: Cernan; Stafford; Young. Payload: Apollo CSM 101 / S-IVB-205. Mass: 14,674 kg (32,350 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Cunningham; Eisele; Schirra; Cernan; Stafford; Young. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Flight: Apollo 7. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Duration: 10.84 days. Decay Date: 1968-10-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 3486 . COSPAR: 1968-089A. Apogee: 306 km (190 mi). Perigee: 229 km (142 mi). Inclination: 31.6000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. Apollo 7 (AS-205), the first manned Apollo flight, lifted off from Launch Complex 34 at Cape Kennedy Oct. 11, carrying Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Donn F. Eisele, and R. Walter Cunningham. The countdown had proceeded smoothly, with only a slight delay because of additional time required to chill the hydrogen system in the S-IVB stage of the Saturn launch vehicle. Liftoff came at 11:03 a.m. EDT. Shortly after insertion into orbit, the S-IVB stage separated from the CSM, and Schirra and his crew performed a simulated docking with the S-IVB stage, maneuvering to within 1.2 meters of the rocket. Although spacecraft separation was normal, the crew reported that one adapter panel had not fully deployed. Two burns using the reaction control system separated the spacecraft and launch stage and set the stage for an orbital rendezvous maneuver, which the crew made on the second day of the flight, using the service propulsion engine.

    Crew and spacecraft performed well throughout the mission. During eight burns of the service propulsion system during the flight, the engine functioned normally. October 14, third day of the mission, witnessed the first live television broadcast from a manned American spacecraft.


1968 October 16 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Saturn IB program placed in a standby status - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Phillips, Samuel. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8. Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips ordered that the Saturn IB program be placed in a standby status pending any future requirements for Apollo or the Apollo Applications program. Phillips' action signaled the shift in Apollo to the Saturn V vehicle, effective with AS-503.

1969 January 15 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Management of the Saturn IB project and AAP-assigned spacecraft was transferred from the Apollo program to AAP. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. This transfer of management responsibility included Saturn IB launch vehicles SA-206 through SA-212 and Saturn IB unique spares and unique facilities. The Apollo program would continue to fund the Saturn IB effort through FY 1969, except for that effort unique to AAP. Beginning in FY 1970, the Saturn IB funding would be an AAP responsibility. This transfer of responsibilities placed management of the Saturn IB project under control of the program that would use it and relieved Apollo management of some responsibilities, allowing more time for concentration on the mainline Apollo program.

1969 May 21 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Saturn V "dry" Workshop decision. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Orbital Workshop; Skylab; Apollo ATM. Summary: Gilruth and Von Braun support decision to fly a complete integrated solution on a single Saturn V launch.. Additional Details: here....

1969 July 18 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • NASA Administrator Paine approved the shift from a "wet" to a "dry" Orbital Workshop for AAP. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Paine. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Orbital Workshop; Skylab; Apollo ATM. NASA Administrator Thomas O. Paine approved the shift from a 'wet' to a 'dry' Orbital Workshop concept for AAP following a review presentation by program officials on the potential benefits of such a change. On 22 July, AAP Director William C. Schneider ordered program managers at the three Centers to implement the change, abandoning the idea of using a spent Saturn IB second stage for a Workshop and adopting the concept of a fully equipped 'dry' configuration-with the ATM integrated into the total payload-launched aboard a Saturn V. Additional Details: here....

1969 August 13 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • NASA Hq revised AAP delivery and launch schedules, further altering the program in light of both changing resources and fiscal climate, as well as a maturing of program plans per se. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Orbital Workshop. Summary: The new schedule called for seven Saturn IB and two Saturn V launches, with flight of the first Workshop slated for July 1972..

1969 August 28 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • KSC officials and AAP managers recommended to the Manned Space Flight Management Council that the Saturn IB AAP launches take place from LC-37 rather than LC-34. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Summary: They were incorporating the recommendation into the latest program operating plan proposals. If the recommendation were accepted, LC-34 would be partially deactivated and placed in a 'down- mode' condition..

1969 October 6 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Program responsibility for the Saturn launch vehicles was divided - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Program responsibility for the Saturn launch vehicles was divided, at the Headquarters level, between the Apollo Program Office and the Apollo Applications Program. Overall responsibility for the Saturn V remained with the Apollo Program Office, while overall responsibility for the Saturn IB vehicle was assigned to Apollo Applications.

1969 November 1 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • A major study was performed by KSC, The Boeing Company, and Chrysler Corporation to determine the feasibility of launching S-IB vehicles from LC-39. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Major facilities and equipment needed to convert LC-39 to an elevated pedestal configuration were studied, as well as estimated cost figures, program schedules, and interrelationships with other NASA programs. The study indicated that use of the elevated pedestal concept in LC-39 appeared technically and operationally feasible. However, because of the close operational coupling of the Apollo and AAP if this concept were implemented, it was decided to defer further consideration of this concept.

1969 December 18 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • LC-34 would be used for Saturn IB-related AAP manned launches. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Debus. Program: Skylab. KSC Director Kurt H. Debus announced that LC-34 would be used for Saturn IB-related AAP manned launches (scheduled to begin in mid-1972), while LC-37 would be placed in a semi- deactivated 'minimum maintenance' condition. Thomas W. Morgan, AAP Manager of the Florida Center, said that design of modifications to LC-34 to meet the needs of AAP would begin on 1 January 1970, while the modifications to the pad itself would begin around the end of the summer. The current estimate for the cost of modifying the complex and bringing it to a state of readiness was about $3.7 million.

1970 May 15 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • NASA Hq announced that both the manned and unmanned (Saturn IB and Saturn V) launches of the Skylab Program would be from KSC LC-39. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Previous plans were to conduct the Saturn IB launches from LC-34, a part of the U.S. Air Force Eastern Test Range used by NASA, a tenant at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. However, program studies showed the feasibility of the pedestal concept of launching the Saturn IB from LC-39 and indicated a cost savings of $13.5 million. The pedestal would be of standard steel structural design; however, there were unique conditions considered. One of these was the requirement to withstand engine exhaust temperatures of 3000 K (5000°F). Another dealt with winds. The pedestal was designed to launch an S-IB at maximum vehicle allowed winds (59.4 km) and to withstand a 200-km per hr hurricane without the launch vehicle. Launch Complex 34, which became operational in 1961, was placed in a standby condition after the Apollo 7 flight in October 1968. It would have required extensive updating of equipment and repairs to ready it for the Skylab Program.

1970 July 30 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Contract for adapting existing Saturn V facilities to launch Saturn IB space vehicles. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. KSC awarded a contract to Reynolds, Smith, and Hills of Jacksonville, Florida, for architectural and engineering services in modification plans for adapting existing Saturn V facilities at Launch Complex 39 to launch Saturn IB space vehicles. A launcher-umbilical tower would require a major modification, and minor modification would be required in the service platforms of the Vehicle Assembly Building, where space vehicles were assembled and checked out before being moved to the launch pad. The firm, fixed-price contract had a performance period of 200 days, with work to be performed at the Center and in Jacksonville.

1970 August 28 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Modification to contract with McDonnell Douglas for Skylab Program work. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Skylab. MSFC issued a modification to an existing contract with McDonnell Douglas for Skylab Program work. The modification would pay for the conversion of the original OWS to be launched by a Saturn IB booster to a completely outfitted Workshop to be launched by a Saturn V. Originally the plan was to launch the second stage (S IVB) of a Saturn IB into Earth orbit. The S-IVB would be filled with fuel so that it could propel itself into orbit. Astronauts launched by a second Saturn IB would then rendezvous with the empty stage and convert it into living and working quarters. A decision was made 21 May 1969 to outfit an S-IVB on the ground and launch it ready for use on a Saturn V.

1971 February 10 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • KSC awarded a contract to the Holloway Corporation of Titusville, Florida, to construct a launcher-pedestal for the Skylab Program. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. The 38.7-m-tall pedestal adapted to an existing launcher-umbilical tower so that manned Saturn IB space vehicles could be launched from facilities supporting the larger Saturn V rockets. Holloway contracted to construct the launcher- pedestal in 180 days after receiving notice to proceed.

1971 February 23 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • MSFC granted International Business Machine Corporation (IBM) a contract modification for the manufacture of instrument units (IU) for Saturn launch vehicles. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. The modification would extend IBM's delivery schedule for IUs through 31 December 1973, to be compatible with the extended Apollo and Skylab Program launch schedules. IBM was under NASA contract to build 27 IUs for Saturn vehicles: 12 Saturn IBs and 15 Saturn Vs. Ten of the Saturn IB units and 12 Saturn V units had been completed. All work was being done at the company's facilities in Huntsville. The original IU contract had been granted to IBM in March 1965 for the fabrication, assembly, checkout, and delivery of the 27 units and related support functions.

1971 March 5 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • With the issuance of the Launch Complex 34/37 Phaseout Plan, Skylab Program management responsibility- for these two launch complexes was terminated. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Skylab. Summary: Although use of Launch Complex 37 for Space Shuttle engine testing had been considered, other options were chosen, and the complexes were to be removed from NASA operational facilities inventory..

1971 March 10 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • MSFC modified a contract with Chrysler Corporation to authorize additional work in the Saturn IB program. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Chrysler was the prime contractor for the first stage of the Saturn IB, which was assembled at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Under the current modification, the company would maintain nine Saturn IB boosters in storage. Three of the nine vehicles were for the Skylab Program and would be launched in 1973. Those three, plus a fourth that would serve as a backup, would be maintained and modified as necessary under terms of this contract. Prelaunch checkout of the Skylab vehicles would also be accomplished under this modification. The period of performance was from 1 January 1971 to 15 August 1973. Six of the vehicles were located at the Michoud Facility; the other three were at MSFC in Huntsville.

1971 November 26 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • MSFC awarded Chrysler's Space Division a contract modification for additional work on Saturn IB launch vehicle booster stages. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. The contract extension would run through 31 January 1974. The additional work was to refurbish four S-IB booster stages that would be used in the Skylab Program in 1973. The fourth vehicle (SA-209) would be assigned as a backup. All four stages had been in storage for several years. The major portion of the work would be removing the stages from storage, preparing them for delivery to KSC, and providing launch support to them throughout the Skylab launch readiness period, which would end in early 1974. Most of the work would be done at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, but some work would be done at MSFC.

1973 February 27 - May 25 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Skylab 2 spacecraft transferred to Launch Complex 39B in preparation for launch. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 2. The Skylab 2 spacecraft, mated to its launch vehicle, was transferred 27 February from the KSC Vehicle Assembly- Building to Launch Complex 39B in preparation for launch. The SL-2 space vehicle consisted of the following major components: an S-IB (the first stage); an S-IVB (the second stage, which comprised the propulsion stages); an IU; a CSM; and an SLA. Additional Details: here....

1973 May 25 - . 13:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB. LV Configuration: Saturn IB SA-206.
  • Skylab 2 - . Call Sign: Skylab. Crew: Conrad; Kerwin; Weitz. Backup Crew: McCandless; Musgrave; Schweickart. Payload: Apollo CSM 116. Mass: 19,979 kg (44,046 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Conrad; Kerwin; Weitz; McCandless; Musgrave; Schweickart. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Skylab. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Flight: Skylab 2. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Duration: 28.03 days. Decay Date: 1973-06-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 6655 . COSPAR: 1973-032A. Apogee: 440 km (270 mi). Perigee: 425 km (264 mi). Inclination: 50.0000 deg. Period: 93.20 min. Epic repair mission which brought Skylab into working order. Included such great moments as Conrad being flung through space by the whiplash after heaving on the solar wing just as the debris constraining it gave way; deployment of a lightweight solar shield, developed in Houston in one week, which brought the temperatures down to tolerable levels. With this flight US again took manned spaceflight duration record.

    Skylab 2 , consisting of a modified Apollo CSM payload and a Saturn IB launch vehicle, was inserted into Earth orbit approximately 10 minutes after liftoff. The orbit achieved was 357 by 156 km and, during a six-hour period following insertion, four maneuvers placed the CSM into a 424 by 415 km orbit for rendezvous with the Orbital Workshop. Normal rendezvous sequencing led to stationkeeping during the fifth revolution followed by a flyaround inspection of the damage to the OWS. The crew provided a verbal description of the damage in conjunction with 15 minutes of television coverage. The solar array system wing (beam) 2 was completely missing. The solar array system wing (beam) 1 was slightly deployed and was restrained by a fragment of the meteoroid shield. Large sections of the meteoroid shield were missing. Following the flyaround inspection, the CSM soft-docked with the OWS at 5:56 p.m. EDT to plan the next activities. At 6:45 p.m. EDT the CSM undocked and extravehicular activity was initiated to deploy the beam 1 solar array. The attempt failed. Frustration of the crew was compounded when eight attempts were required to achieve hard docking with the OWS. The hard dock was made at 11:50 p.m. EDT, terminating a Skylab 2 first-day crew work period of 22 hours.


1973 June 11 - July 28 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Skylab 3 space vehicle was moved to pad. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 3. The Skylab 3 space vehicle was moved to KSC Launch Complex 39, Pad B, on 11 June in preparation for launch. The space vehicle consisted of a Saturn IB launch vehicle S-IB-207 first stage, S-IVB-207 second stage, and a S-IU-208 instrument unit; a CSM; and a spacecraft lunar module adapter. Additional Details: here....

1973 July 28 - . 11:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB. LV Configuration: Saturn IB SA-207.
  • Skylab 3 - . Call Sign: Skylab. Crew: Bean; Garriott; Lousma. Backup Crew: Brand; Lenoir; Lind. Payload: Apollo CSM 117. Mass: 20,121 kg (44,359 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bean; Garriott; Lousma; Brand; Lenoir; Lind. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Skylab. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Flight: Skylab 3. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Duration: 59.46 days. Decay Date: 1973-09-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 6757 . COSPAR: 1973-050A. Apogee: 442 km (274 mi). Perigee: 422 km (262 mi). Inclination: 50.0000 deg. Period: 93.20 min. Continued maintenance of the Skylab space station and extensive scientific and medical experiments. Installed twinpole solar shield on EVA; performed major inflight maintenance; doubled record for length of time in space. Completed 858 Earth orbits and 1,081 hours of solar and Earth experiments; three EVAs totalled 13 hours, 43 minutes.

    The space vehicle, consisting of a modified Apollo command and service module payload on a Saturn IB launch vehicle, was inserted into a 231.3 by 154.7 km orbit. Rendezvous maneuvers were performed during the first five orbits as planned. During the rendezvous, the CSM reaction control system forward firing engine oxidizer valve leaked. The quad was isolated. Station-keeping with the Saturn Workshop began approximately 8 hours after liftoff, with docking being performed about 30 minutes later.


1973 August 30 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • NASA plans release, disposition, and storage of all unneeded Skylab Program equipment. - . Nation: USA. Guidelines were issued by NASA Hq for release, disposition, and storage of all unneeded Skylab Program equipment. Two Saturn Vs, two Saturn IBs, three command and service modules, the backup Skylab cluster, and appropriate spares would be placed in minimum cost storage as soon as program requirements permitted.

1973 November 16 - . 14:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB. LV Configuration: Saturn IB SA-208.
  • Skylab 4 - . Call Sign: Skylab. Crew: Carr; Gibson, Edward; Pogue. Backup Crew: Brand; Lenoir; Lind. Payload: Apollo CSM 118. Mass: 20,847 kg (45,959 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Carr; Gibson, Edward; Pogue; Brand; Lenoir; Lind. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Skylab. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Flight: Skylab 4. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Duration: 84.05 days. Decay Date: 1974-02-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 6936 . COSPAR: 1973-090A. Apogee: 437 km (271 mi). Perigee: 422 km (262 mi). Inclination: 50.0000 deg. Period: 93.10 min. Final Skylab mission; included observation and photography of Comet Kohoutek among numerous experiments. Completed 1,214 Earth orbits and four EVAs totalling 22 hours, 13 minutes. Increased manned space flight time record by 50%. Rebellion by crew against NASA Ground Control overtasking led to none of the crew ever flying again. Biological experiments included two Mummichog fish (Fundulus heteroclitus).

    The space vehicle consisted of a modified Apollo CSM and a Saturn IB launch vehicle. All launch phase events were normal, and the CSM was inserted into a 150.1- by 227.08-km orbit. The rendezvous sequence was performed according to the anticipated timeline. Stationkeeping was initiated about seven and one-half hours after liftoff, and hard docking was achieved about 30 minutes later following two unsuccessful docking attempts. Planned duration of the mission was 56 days, with the option of extending it to a maximum of 84 days.


1974 February 8 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • KSC was directed to discontinue plans for the Skylab rescue capability and to move the rescue vehicle (SA-209 and CSM-119) back to the Vehicle Assembly Building. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Apollo Rescue CSM. Summary: Upon completion of this action, Headquarters responsibility for the SA-209 and CSM-119 would be transferred to the Program Director of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Program..

1974 February 21 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Summary of Skylab operations. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Skylab. Summary: MSFC published a summary of Skylab operations.. Additional Details: here....

1975 January 1 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Skylab B (cancelled) - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab B. Spacecraft: Skylab. NASA considered use of surplus Apollo/Saturn assets for a second Skylab station in May 1973. Instead the decision was taken to mothball surplus hardware in August 1973. In December 1976, the boosters and spacecraft were handed over to museums. The opportunity to launch an International Space Station, at a tenth of the cost and twenty years earlier, was lost.

1975 July 15 - . 19:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB. LV Configuration: Saturn IB SA-210.
  • Apollo (ASTP) - . Call Sign: Apollo. Crew: Brand; Slayton; Stafford. Backup Crew: Bean; Evans; Lousma. Payload: Apollo CSM 111. Mass: 14,768 kg (32,557 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Brand; Slayton; Stafford; Bean; Evans; Lousma. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: ASTP. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Flight: Soyuz 19 (ASTP); Apollo (ASTP). Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Duration: 9.06 days. Decay Date: 1975-07-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 8032 . COSPAR: 1975-066A. Apogee: 166 km (103 mi). Perigee: 152 km (94 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 87.60 min. This flight marked the culmination of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, a post-moon race 'goodwill' flight to test a common docking system for space rescue. 15 July 1975 began with the flawless launch of Soyuz 19. Apollo followed right on schedule. Despite a stowaway - a 'super Florida mosquito' - the crew accomplished a series of rendezvous manoeuvres over the next day resulting in rendezvous with Soyuz 19. At 11:10 on 17 July the two spacecraft docked. The crew members rotated between the two spacecraft and conducted various mainly ceremonial activities. Stafford spent 7 hours, 10 minutes aboard Soyuz, Brand 6:30, and Slayton 1:35. Leonov was on the American side for 5 hours, 43 minutes, while Kubasov spent 4:57 in the command and docking modules.

    After being docked for nearly 44 hours, Apollo and Soyuz parted for the first time and were station-keeping at a range of 50 meters. The Apollo crew placed its craft between Soyuz and the sun so that the diameter of the service module formed a disk which blocked out the sun. This artificial solar eclipse, as viewed from Soyuz, permitted photography of the solar corona. After this experiment Apollo moved towards Soyuz for the second docking.

    Three hours later Apollo and Soyuz undocked for the second and final time. The spacecraft moved to a 40 m station-keeping distance so that the ultraviolet absorption (UVA MA-059) experiment could be performed. This was an effort to more precisely determine the quantities of atomic oxygen and atomic nitrogen existing at such altitudes. Apollo, flying out of plane around Soyuz, projected monochromatic laser-like beams of light to retro-reflectors mounted on Soyuz. On the 150-meter phase of the experiment, light from a Soyuz port led to a misalignment of the spectrometer, but on the 500-meter pass excellent data were received; on the 1,000-meter pass satisfactory results were also obtained.

    With all the joint flight activities completed, the ships went on their separate ways. On 20 July the Apollo crew conducted earth observation, experiments in the multipurpose furnace (MA-010), extreme ultraviolet surveying (MA-083), crystal growth (MA-085), and helium glow (MA-088). On 21 July Soyuz 19 landed safely in Kazakhstan. Apollo continued in orbit on 22-23 July to conduct 23 independent experiments - including a doppler tracking experiment (MA-089) and geodynamics experiment (MA-128) designed to verify which of two techniques would be best suited for studying plate tectonics from earth orbit.

    After donning their space suits, the crew vented the command module tunnel and jettisoned the docking module. The docking module would continue on its way until it re-entered the earth's atmosphere and burned up in August 1975.

  • Saturn S-IVB-210 - . Payload: Saturn S-IVB-210. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville. Program: ASTP. Decay Date: 1975-07-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 8033 . COSPAR: 1975-066B. Apogee: 166 km (103 mi). Perigee: 152 km (94 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 87.60 min.
  • Docking Module 2 - . Payload: Apollo DM-2. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: ASTP. Spacecraft: Apollo ASTP Docking Module. Decay Date: 1975-08-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 8042 . COSPAR: 1975-066C. Apogee: 222 km (137 mi). Perigee: 201 km (124 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 88.73 min.

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