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  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Potential damage to Saturn V from LUT

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Author Topic:   Potential damage to Saturn V from LUT
Paul78zephyr
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Posts: 371
From: Hudson, MA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 01-29-2014 10:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just watched an interesting account from Stan Lebar of a piece of metal from the Launch Umbilical Tower (LUT) on Apollo 13 that could have damaged the rocket during launch and was wondering if that was an isolated case or where there other times during the Saturn V launches that that happened? Did they even find out how that piece got loose?

Jim Behling
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Posts: 637
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 01-29-2014 02:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am sure it wasn't an isolated instance. Shuttle had recurring issues of the same type.

Paul78zephyr
Member

Posts: 371
From: Hudson, MA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 01-29-2014 07:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How 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 Pearlman
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Posts: 28694
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-29-2014 07:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The 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
Member

Posts: 637
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 01-29-2014 10:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
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).

All times are CT (US)

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