Encyclopedia Astronautica
Saturn C-1



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Saturn C-1
Credit: © Mark Wade
American orbital launch vehicle. Original flight version with dummy upper stages, including dummy Saturn S-V/Centaur (never flown).

LEO Payload: 9,000 kg (19,800 lb).

Gross mass: 420,000 kg (920,000 lb).
Payload: 9,000 kg (19,800 lb).
Height: 49.60 m (162.70 ft).
Diameter: 6.60 m (21.60 ft).
Thrust: 5,768.00 kN (1,296,697 lbf).
Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).
First Launch: 1961.10.27.
Last Launch: 1962.11.16.
Number: 3 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Saturn The Saturn launch vehicle was the penultimate expression of the Peenemuende Rocket Team's designs for manned exploration of the moon and Mars. Numerous designs and variants were studied, but in the end only three models - the Saturn I, IB, and V - were built in the 1960's, and then only used to support NASA's Apollo moon landing program. More...
  • Saturn I 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...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Von Braun American manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Von Braun, USA. 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...
  • Cape Canaveral LC34 Saturn I launch complex. Saturn I and IB program launch complex, built 1959-1961. Four Saturn I and three Saturn IB vehicles were launched from Complex 34 between 27 October 1961 and 12 October 1968. More...

Associated Stages
  • Centaur C Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 15,600/1,996 kg. Thrust 133.45 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 425 seconds. The first high-energy liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen propellant stage in history. Despite initial development problems, the Centaur is entering its sixth decade of development and production. More...
  • Saturn I Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 432,681/45,267 kg. Thrust 7,582.10 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 289 seconds. Configuration as flown, Saturn I. More...
  • Saturn IV Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 50,576/5,217 kg. Thrust 400.35 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 410 seconds. Configuration as flown. More...

Saturn C-1 Chronology


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.".

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 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.

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