Encyclopedia Astronautica
Saturn I



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Saturn 1
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Saturn I (1959)
Saturn I configuration for Project Horizon
Credit: US Army
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Saturn I Stages
Saturn I , stages 1 to 3, configuration for Project Horizon (1959)
Credit: US Army
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Saturn I
As conceived for Project Horizon, 1958.
Credit: © Mark Wade
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E-1 Engine
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Juno-5 Airlift
The Juno-5 was designed to be air-transportable and assembled at austere launch pads.
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Juno-5 Parallel Stag
A parallel staging scheme was considered for the Juno-5. This would have resulted in a vehicle similar to the Russian R-7 launcher.
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Juno-5 Recovery
Full recovery and reuse of the Juno-5 was planned. The structural provisions were retained in the earliest Saturn I test vehicles, but never used.
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Juno-5 on Test Stand
The very first Juno-5 test article firing on the stand at the Redstone Arsenal.
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Saturn A-1 to C-5
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Saturn 1B
Credit: © Mark Wade
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J-2
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Saturn 1B LC34
Credit: NASA
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Saturn 1B LC39
Credit: NASA
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Saturn 1B with LM
Saturn 1B with LM Payload
Credit: NASA
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Saturn 1B rad
Credit: NASA
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Saturn IB-INT-5B
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Saturn 1B/4 SRBs
Saturn 1B with 4 solids replacing S-1B
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Saturn 1B/MM SRB
Saturn 1B with Minuteman strapons
Credit: © Mark Wade
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.

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 initially 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 organization 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.

LEO Payload: 9,000 kg (19,800 lb) to a 185 km orbit at 28.00 degrees. Payload: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb) to a translunar trajectory. Success Rate: 100.00%. Launch data is: complete. Development Cost $: 838.100 million. Launch Price $: 76.000 million in 1963 dollars in 1967 dollars.

Stage Data - Saturn I

  • Stage 1. 1 x Saturn I. Gross Mass: 432,681 kg (953,898 lb). Empty Mass: 45,267 kg (99,796 lb). Thrust (vac): 7,582.100 kN (1,704,524 lbf). Isp: 289 sec. Burn time: 150 sec. Isp(sl): 255 sec. Diameter: 6.52 m (21.39 ft). Span: 6.52 m (21.39 ft). Length: 24.48 m (80.31 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 8. Engine: H-1. Status: Out of Production.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Saturn IV. Gross Mass: 50,576 kg (111,500 lb). Empty Mass: 5,217 kg (11,501 lb). Thrust (vac): 400.346 kN (90,001 lbf). Isp: 410 sec. Burn time: 482 sec. Diameter: 5.49 m (18.01 ft). Span: 5.49 m (18.01 ft). Length: 12.19 m (39.99 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 6. Engine: RL-10. Status: Out of Production.
  • Stage 3. 1 x Centaur C. Gross Mass: 15,600 kg (34,300 lb). Empty Mass: 1,996 kg (4,400 lb). Thrust (vac): 133.448 kN (30,000 lbf). Isp: 425 sec. Burn time: 430 sec. Isp(sl): 0.0000 sec. Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft). Span: 3.05 m (10.00 ft). Length: 9.14 m (29.98 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 2. Engine: RL-10A-1. Status: Out of Production.

AKA: Juno V; Saturn C-1.
Status: Retired 1975.
Gross mass: 509,660 kg (1,123,600 lb).
Payload: 9,000 kg (19,800 lb).
Height: 55.00 m (180.00 ft).
Diameter: 6.52 m (21.39 ft).
Thrust: 6,690.00 kN (1,503,970 lbf).
Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).
First Launch: 1963.03.28.
Last Launch: 1965.07.30.
Number: 7 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Horizon Lunar Outpost American manned lunar base. Study 1959. In 1959 the US Army completed a plan for a manned military outpost on the moon. More...
  • Ideal Home Station American manned space station. Study 1959. Designed by Douglas, the Space Vehicle was represented by a full-scale model at the Ideal Home Show in London in 1962. It had a length of 19 m and was 5.2 m in diameter. More...
  • Horizon LERV American manned lunar lander. Study 1959. Lunar landing and return vehicle planned to take up to 16 crew to the lunar surface and back in the US Army's Project Horizon of 1959. More...
  • Apollo Lunar Landing American manned lunar expedition. Begun in 1962; first landing on the moon 1969; sixth and final lunar landing 1972. The project that succeeded in putting a man on the moon. More...
  • Apollo A American manned space station. Study 1961. Apollo A was a lighter-weight July 1961 version of the Apollo spacecraft. More...
  • Highwater American earth atmosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1962.04.25 (Highwater 1) and 1962.11.16 (Highwater 2). Release of large quantities of chemicals at high altitudes during suborbital tests of Saturn I. More...
  • 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...
  • Lunar Bus American lunar logistics spacecraft. Study 1962. The lunar "bus" was an early NASA Apollo logistics vehicle study. More...
  • MORL American manned space station. Study 1962. In June 1964 Boeing and Douglas received Phase I contracts for Manned Orbital Research Laboratory station designs. The recommended concept was a 13. More...
  • Apollo D-2 American manned lunar orbiter. Study 1962. The General Electric design for Apollo put all systems and space not necessary for re-entry and recovery into a separate jettisonable 'mission module', joined to the re-entry vehicle by a hatch. More...
  • Apollo L-2C American manned spacecraft. Study 1962. Martin's L-2C design was the basis for the Apollo spacecraft that ultimately emerged. The 2590 kg command module was a flat-bottomed cone, 3. 91 m in diameter, 2.67 m high, with a rounded apex. More...
  • Apollo Lenticular American manned spacecraft. Study 1962. The Convair/Astronautics alternate Lenticular Apollo was a flying saucer configuration with the highest hypersonic lift to drag ratio (4.4) of any proposed design. More...
  • Apollo LM American manned lunar lander. 10 launches, 1968.01.22 (Apollo 5) to 1972.12.07 (Apollo 17). More...
  • Surveyor American lunar lander. 13 launches, 1963.11.27 (Atlas Centaur 2) to 1968.01.07 (Surveyor 7). Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Surveyor series soft-landed on the moon, provided images of the lunar surface, and tested the characteristics of the lunar soil. More...
  • Dynasoar American manned spaceplane. Cancelled 1963. The X-20A Dyna-Soar (Dynamic Soarer) was a single-pilot manned reusable spaceplane, really the earliest American manned space project to result in development contracts. More...
  • Apollo CSM Block I American manned spacecraft. 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...
  • Jupiter nose cone American re-entry vehicle technology satellite. One launch, 1964.01.29, Saturn 5. Launch vehicle test. More...
  • Gemini - Saturn I American manned lunar flyby spacecraft. Study 1964. In the spring of 1964, with manned Apollo flights using the Saturn I having been cancelled, use of a Saturn I to launch a Gemini around the moon was studied. 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 LM Lab American manned space station. Study 1965. Use of the Apollo LM as an earth-orbiting laboratory was proposed for Apollo Applications Program missions. More...
  • Apollo Experiments Pallet American manned lunar orbiter. Study 1965. The Apollo Experiments Pallet was a sophisticated instrument payload that would have been installed in the Apollo CSM for dedicated lunar or earth orbital resource assessment missions. More...
  • Gemini Observatory American manned spacecraft. Study 1966. Proposed version of Gemini for low-earth orbit solar or stellar astronomy. This would be launched by a Saturn S-IB. It has an enlarged reentry module which seems to be an ancestor of the 'Big Gemini' of 1967. More...
  • Apollo RM American logistics spacecraft. Study 1967. In 1967 it was planned that Saturn IB-launched Orbital Workshops would be supplied by Apollo CSM spacecraft and Resupply Modules (RM) with up to three metric tons of supplies and instruments. More...
  • Apollo Rescue CSM American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1970. Influenced by the stranded Skylab crew portrayed in the book and movie 'Marooned', NASA provided a crew rescue capability for the first time in its history. More...
  • Skylab American manned space station. One launch, 1973.05.14. First US space station. The project began life as the Orbital Workshop- outfitting of an S-IVB stage with a docking adapter with equipment launched by several subsequent S-1B launches. 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 Engines
  • H-1 Rocketdyne Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 947.7 kN. Saturn l/lB. Designed for booster applications. Gas generator, pump-fed. Isp=289s. First flight 1961. More...
  • RL-10 Pratt and Whitney lox/lh2 rocket engine. 66.7 kN. Isp=410s. Early version as proposed for Nova A, Nova B, Saturn B-1, Saturn C-2, Saturn C-3, Saturn I. First flight 1961. More...
  • RL-10A-1 Pratt and Whitney lox/lh2 rocket engine. 66.7 kN. Isp=425s. Version used on Atlas Centaur LV-3C, and proposed for various early Saturn launch vehicle designs. First flight 1961. More...

See also
  • 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...
  • 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...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Von Braun American manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Von Braun, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • Apollo The successful US project to land a man on the moon. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Ertel , Ivan D; Morse , Mary Louise; et al, The Apollo Spacecraft Chronology Vol I - IV NASA SP-4009, NASA, 1966-1974. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Emme, Eugene M, Aeronautics and Astronautics: An American Chronology of Science and Technology in the Exploration of Space 1915-1960, NASA, 1961. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Emme, Eugene M, Aeronautical and Astronautical Events of 1961 Report of NASA to the Committee on Science and Astronautics US House of Representatives 87th Cong 2d Sess, NASA, 1962. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Gatland, Kenneth, Manned Spacecraft, Macmillan, New York, 1968.
  • Baker, David, The History of Manned Spaceflight, Crown, New York, 1981.
  • Brooks, Courtney G, Grimwood, Hames M, Swenson, Lloyd S, Chariots for Apollo, Government Printing Office, 1989. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Furniss, Tim, Manned Spaceflight Log, Jane's, London, 1986.
  • Koelle, Heinz Hermann,, Handbook of Astronautical Engineering, McGraw-Hill,New York, 1961.
  • Ley, Willy, Rockets Missiles and Men in Space, Viking Press, New York, 1968.
  • Turnill, Reginald,, The Observer's Spaceflight Directory, Frederick Warne, London, 1978.
  • Ordway, Frank, and Sharpe, Mitchell, The Rocket Team, Collector's Guide Publishing, Ontario, Canada, 2000.
  • Hobbs, Marvin, Fundamentals of Rockets, Missiles, and Spacecraft, John F Rider, 1961..
  • Bilstein, Roger E, Stages to Saturn, US Government Printing Office, 1980.
  • Lowther, Scott, Saturn: Development, Details, Derivatives and Descendants, Work in progress. Availabe chapters may be ordered directly from Scott Lowther at web site indicated. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Stuhlinger, Ernst, et. al., Astronautical Engineering and Science: From Peenemuende to Planetary Space, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1964.
  • Tharratt, C E, "Improving the Uprated Saturn 1", Spaceflight, 1967, page 207.
  • Normyle, William J, "Changing Concepts Key to Desing of Future Saturn Family", Aviation Week and Space Technology, 1966-03-27, page 106.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Kamanin, N P, Skritiy kosmos, Infortext, Moscow, 1995.
  • Ezell, Edward Clinton and Ezell, Linda Neuman, The Partnership: A History of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, NASA History Series SP-4209, 1978.

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...
  • Cape Canaveral LC37B Saturn I, Delta IV launch complex. Complexes 34 and 37 were designed to support NASA's Saturn I and Saturn IB program. Complex 37 was built in 1962, and it was occupied by NASA in January 1963. Complex 37 supported eight Saturn I and Saturn IB missions, including the first flight of an unmanned Apollo lunar module, between 29 January 1964 and 23 January 1968. Complexes 34 and 37 were mothballed in November 1971, and their service structures were scrapped in April 1972. NASA retained control of both complexes, and both sites became NASA tour stops. 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 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 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 I Chronology


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 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 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.
  • 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.

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..

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 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 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 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..

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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: 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 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 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 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 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..

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 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..

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 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 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..

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 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 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 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.

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 October 19 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
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