Saturn IB   Page 1(2)


Saturn IB

General information

Saturn IB - Apollo
S-IB S-IVB (200 series)
with interstage
S-IU
Instrument
Unit
SLA
Service module
Lunar module
Adapter
Command module
and
Service module
Launch
Escape
System
Empty: 38 Tons
Loaded: 453 Tons
Empty: 11 Tons
Loaded: 118 Tons
Interstage: 3.1 Tons
2 Tons 1.8 Tons 5.7 Tons
8.9 Tons
4.1 Tons

The Saturn IB is a two stage launch vehicle and is an improved version of the Saturn I. The configuration which comprises the two stage launch vehicle with the Apollo spacecraft on top stood 71 meters tall..
The Saturn I and IB development program had three objectives:

  1. development of rocket technology: such as clustering of thrust engines to obtain large thrust; application of liquid Hydrogen and Oxygen as propellants; guidance & control.
  2. to provide launch capacity for heavy payloads
  3. to conduct qualification tests in space on the Apollo spacecraft, which was to be used for the upcoming moon missions

The light green curve represents the flight path in the first 12 minutes of the Apollo 7 mission. The 30 metric Ton heavy Apollo spacecraft was inserted into a 230 km high orbit.


Saturn IB - Apollo   flight configuration
Launch vehicle SA-203 for the Apollo 3 mission

Liftoff of AS-203 from Launch Complex 37B July 5, 1966
credit to NASA
Scanning credit to Kipp Teague

SA-203 at pad 37B
credit to NASA
Scanning credit to Kipp Teague

Testing the modified S-IVB stage

The configuration shown here stood 53 meter tall.
The SA-203 didn't contain any Apollo spacecraft hardware or payload. So the two stage launcher was simply topped by a aerodynamic nosecone. Its mission was focussed on qualifying the modified S-IVB stage for moonbound missions. For these kind of missions the task of the S-IVB would be two fold:
  1. To bring the Apollo spacecraft into an Earth parking orbit;
  2. To boost the spacecraft into a translunar trajectory.
To make this possible, it was essential that the S-IVB could re-ignite its thrust engine in space under weightless conditions. Therefore an onboard system was needed to maintain or recreate the proper conditions for the propellant tanks and cryogenic thrust engine.

SA-203 in detail



Saturn IB - Apollo   flight configuration
Launch vehicle SA-204 for the Apollo 5 mission

Mating of Lunar Module-1 with Spacecraft Lunar Module Adapter-7; November 22, 1967
credit to NASA
Scanning credit to Kipp Teague

Apollo 5 (SA-204) on the launch pad
credit to NASA
Scanning credit to Kipp Teague

Early evening launch of Apollo 5 from pad 37B; an unmanned lunar module test flight;
January 22, 1968
credit to NASA
Scanning credit to Kipp Teague

Testing the Lunar Module

The SA-204 was used to bring a Lunar Module into an Earth parking orbit. The LM underwent flight tests which were conducted remotely, it concerned the descent stage and the ascent stage as well. For the first time the thrust systems and the attitude control systems could be tested in space.

SA-204 in detail



Saturn IB - Apollo   flight configuration
Launch vehicle SA-205 for the Apollo 7 mission

The Command/Service Module and Lunar Module Adapter are erected for mating to the Saturn booster at Complex 34. August 19, 1966
credit to NASA
Scanning credit to Kipp Teague

Launch of Apollo 7
(SA-205)
on 11 October 1968
credit to NASA
Scanning credit to Kipp Teague

S-IVB stage in orbit
as a docking target
credit to NASA
Scanning credit to Kipp Teague

The first manned Apollo mission

This mission was focussed on qualifying the Apollo Spacecraft, which contained the conical shaped command module and the cylindrical shaped service module attached to it. To test the spacecraft all kinds of manoeuvres had to be performed in space which were found essential for moonbound missions. For docking manoeuvres the spent S-IVB stage was used as a docking target.

SA-205 in detail



Gallery of Saturn Launch Vehicles
Saturn IB Launch Vehicles

Saturn V Launch Vehicles

Apollo Program Launch Vehicles

Skylab program Launch Vehicles

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
Launch Vehicles

 


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Copyright 2006 by Sander Panhuyzen
Comments and questions are welcome. All pictures and drawings contained on and through these pages are the author's, unless otherwise noted. No unauthorized reproduction without permission.