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Forum:Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
Topic:Potential damage to Saturn V from LUT
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Jim BehlingI am sure it wasn't an isolated instance. Shuttle had recurring issues of the same type.

Paul78zephyrHow can you be sure it wasn't an isolated incident?

Also I'd like to keep this thread focused on damage to the Saturn V. The shuttle is a whole different thing when it comes to damage.

Robert PearlmanThe shuttle-era fixed service structure was built from the same launch umbilical tower used during Apollo. So it stands to reason that if the FSS suffered damage from the shuttle's thrust and exhaust, then the LUT suffered the same (or worse) from Saturn rockets.
Jim Behling
Originally posted by Paul78zephyr:
How can you be sure it wasn't an isolated incident?
Because hardware is liberated from pads all the time. Also, that is why there is a FOD program, so as to eliminate or reduce debris.

There are many reasons it happens.

  1. Under designed
  2. Wear due to repeated exposure the launch environment
  3. Weakening from the weather environment
  4. Poor installation
And it doesn't matter whether what is on the pad, Saturn V, Shuttle, Delta, the debris can damage any of them.

When the solar array broke free from Skylab, some debris hit the S-II interstage which damaged some harnesses and prevented the second plane separation.

Foam hit one of the IEA boxes on a shuttle SRB causing a severe dent (using this example to show that other items are sensitive to impact other than tiles and foam).

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