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  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Saturn IB missions and the 'milkstool'

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Author Topic:   Saturn IB missions and the 'milkstool'
Paul78zephyr
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Posts: 632
From: Hudson, MA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 09-19-2006 11:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Were any of the Saturn IB launchers not stacked in the Vehicle Assembly Building? Did all the IBs roll out to the pad on the mobile launch platform and crawler?

I thought the Apollo 7 IB (and I assume earlier IBs) were launched from LC-34? How could it have been rolled out from the VAB? What about pre-Apollo 7 IBs?

But later IBs (Skylab/ASTP) were launched from LC-39 using the "milkstool." These were stacked in the VAB, correct? Anyone have any insight with rough dates on VAB/IB use?

On edit: I guess I'm asking about AS-201 through AS-205. Where were they stacked? How were they rolled out (if at all)?

SpaceCat
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Posts: 151
From: Florida, US
Registered: May 2006

posted 09-19-2006 12:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceCat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Prior to the SkyLab and ASTP "milkstool," all the smaller Saturns left from either LC-34 or LC-37. They were stacked with cranes on the pads with the VAB completely "out of the loop."

spacecraft films
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From: Columbus, OH USA
Registered: Jun 2002

posted 09-19-2006 12:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spacecraft films   Click Here to Email spacecraft films     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apollo 7 (and previous IBs) were stacked upon and launched from LC-34 or 37:
  • SA-201 on LC-34: 2-26-66
  • SA-203 on LC-37B: 7-5-66
  • SA-202 on LC-34: 8-25-66
  • SA-204 on LC-37B (as Apollo 5): 1-22-68
  • SA-205 on LC-34 (as Apollo 7): 10-11-68
The four other manned Saturn IBs (three Skylab and ASTP) were stacked in the VAB and launched from LC-39.

Paul78zephyr
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Posts: 632
From: Hudson, MA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 09-20-2006 08:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great info. Thank you.

Paul78zephyr
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Posts: 632
From: Hudson, MA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 11-03-2017 08:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just following up (11 years later) — I know the technical and cost reasons for the "milkstool" but what I'm trying to find out is when, exactly, was the concept of the milkstool developed to allow the integration of the Saturn IB launch vehicle with the SLC 39, VAB and LUT infrastructure?

I have searched for and can find no reference or documentation to its development in either "Stages to Saturn" (SP-4206) or "Moonport" (SP-4204). I read Alan Lawrie's "Saturn" many years ago and can't recall if he discussed the milkstool development of not. Does anyone know of any NASA documentation of its development?

Fra Mauro
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From: Bethpage, N.Y.
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 11-04-2017 09:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From what I've read, the idea for the milkstool came from the NASA in early 1969. It cost about $5 million, which was a much better option than using LC-34. Congress approved funding in 1970.

Jim Behling
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From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 11-04-2017 09:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
See SP-4011 Skylab: A Chronology. The decision to use LC-39 for Saturn IB was made on May 15, 1970.

The contract was let for the pedestal on Feb. 10, 1971.

Paul78zephyr
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Posts: 632
From: Hudson, MA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 11-04-2017 06:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you!

mikej
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Posts: 471
From: Germantown, WI USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 11-15-2017 05:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You might also see two Bellcomm memos, "LC-34 and LC-37 Deactivation" and "Use Of LC-39 for the Launching of Saturn IBs in the Apollo Applications Program" for additional information in the decision to use LC-39 instead of LC-34 or LC-37.

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