Encyclopedia Astronautica
Saturn IVB (S-V)


Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 119,900/13,300 kg. Thrust 1,031.60 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 421 seconds. Saturn V version of S-IVB stage for use with upper stage.

Status: Study 1968.
Gross mass: 119,900 kg (264,300 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 13,300 kg (29,300 lb).
Height: 17.80 m (58.30 ft).
Diameter: 6.61 m (21.68 ft).
Span: 6.61 m (21.68 ft).
Thrust: 1,031.60 kN (231,913 lbf).
Specific impulse: 421 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 200 s.
Burn time: 475 s.
Number: 13 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • J-2 Rocketdyne lox/lh2 rocket engine. 1033.1 kN. Study 1961. Isp=421s. Used in Saturn IVB stage in Saturn IB and Saturn V, and Saturn II stage in Saturn V. Gas generator, pump-fed. First flight 1966. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Saturn V 2 American orbital launch vehicle. Two stage version of Saturn V, consisting of 1 x Saturn S-IC + 1 x Saturn S-II, used to launch Skylab. More...
  • Saturn INT-20 American orbital launch vehicle. Saturn variant consisting of S-IC first stage and S-IVB second stage. Consideration was given to deleting one or more of the F-1 engines in the first stage. More...
  • Saturn V-A American orbital launch vehicle. MSFC study, 1968. Essentially identical to Saturn INT-20; standard Saturn IC stage together with Saturn IVB second stage, with Centaur third stage for deep space missions. More...
  • Saturn V-C American orbital launch vehicle. MSFC study, 1968. S-ID stage-and-a-half first stage and Saturn IVB second stage. Centaur available as third stage for deep space missions. 30% performance improvement over Saturn V-A/Saturn INT-20 with standard Saturn IC first stage. More...
  • Saturn V-D American orbital launch vehicle. MSFC study, 1968. Rehashed the Boeing 1967 studies, covering a variety of stage stretches and 120, 156, or 260 inch solid rocket boosters, but with S-ID stage-and-a-half first stage. More...
  • Saturn V-Centaur American orbital launch vehicle. MSFC study, 1968. S-ID stage-and-a-half first stage and Saturn IVB second stage. Centaur available as third stage for deep space missions. 30% performance improvement over Saturn V-A/Saturn INT-20 with standard Saturn IC first stage. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/LH2 Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks. The United States mastered hydrogen technology for the highly classified Lockheed CL-400 Suntan reconnaissance aircraft in the mid-1950's. The technology was transferred to the Centaur rocket stage program, and by the mid-1960's the United States was flying the Centaur and Saturn upper stages using the fuel. It was adopted for the core of the space shuttle, and Centaur stages still fly today. More...

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