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  If Saturn IB rocket production had continued

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Author Topic:   If Saturn IB rocket production had continued
Captain Apollo

Posts: 169
From: UK
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 05-16-2013 07:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Captain Apollo   Click Here to Email Captain Apollo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, Saturn V production ended, but was it feasible to continue Saturn IB, say instead of Delta? If so, what capability do you think the U.S. might have today?


Posts: 1623
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 05-16-2013 07:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well the U.S. would have a "man-rated" rocket of their own for getting to the ISS I suppose?

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-16-2013 07:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Given the different requirements needed for the Vehicle Assembly Building, the crawlers, the mobile launch platforms, the launch pads and launch control center (to say nothing of production facilities), I don't see NASA having the funding to simultaneously support the Saturn IB and space shuttle, which means there would be no International Space Station (or Hubble Space Telescope, or any large, vibration-sensitive payload).

The U.S. would have been left without a heavy-lift vehicle and lack a cargo capacity beyond what could fit in the Apollo command module.


Posts: 211
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 05-16-2013 08:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Saturn IB could have been upgraded with a lengthened first stage and SRBs to increase payloads. I think the better option would be to keep making Saturn V and use a Saturn INT-20 variant as a replacement for the IB for orbital manned launches and cargo to Earth orbit. A common 1st stage and 3rd stage should have simplified production. This is with no shuttle as it was designed. Maybe a small reusable on the Saturn INT-20.

Rick Teklits

Posts: 15
From: Yardville, NJ USA
Registered: Dec 2010

posted 05-17-2013 06:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Teklits   Click Here to Email Rick Teklits     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, I always enjoy reading your posts because you have so much knowledge. Without entering a debate about building the shuttle, because I believe the shuttle was an amazing vehicle, would a combination of Saturn IBs and a small number of Saturn V's left the US with a similar capability as the shuttle? Were the Saturn's just too expensive to operate? Was it a viable option to use Saturns?

Seems that the US had invested so much in the Saturn vehicles that its almost a shame that we walked away from them. Then again maybe I am just being nostalgic...

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