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  KSC Visitor Complex Rocket Garden: Saturn IB

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Author Topic:   KSC Visitor Complex Rocket Garden: Saturn IB
RISPACE
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Posts: 67
From: Warwick, RI USA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 04-26-2013 01:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RISPACE     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am wondering if anyone has any info on the possible repair and restoration of the Saturn 1B (SA-109) in the Rocket Garden at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center. Is anything planned?

I was there recently and it is in somewhat bad shape — birds living within, cracked paint, mold and mildew build up, etc. Reminds me of the days when the Saturn V was displayed outside the Vehicle Assembly Building.

mode1charlie
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Posts: 1145
From: Honolulu, HI
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 04-26-2013 11:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's...alarming.

I checked the article on Wikipedia, and it is SA-209, which was the standby that would have launched a notional Skylab 4 and later Apollo-Soyuz rescue CSM-119. It also would have launched the cancelled CSM mission to lift Skylab workshop's orbit until the Space Shuttle ready to fly. The article notes that "Due to severe corrosion, the first stage engines and Service Module were replaced with fabricated duplicates in 1993–1994."

So this would seem to be the only remaining (formerly) fully launch-ready Saturn IB.

J.L
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From: Bloomington, Illinois, USA
Registered: May 2005

posted 04-26-2013 11:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for J.L   Click Here to Email J.L     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not from 1993-94, but this photo shows the same Saturn 1B (SA-209) being fitted with mock engines before being shipped to Japan in 1978 for the Space Expo.

GACspaceguy
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Posts: 2410
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 04-27-2013 05:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are photos I took in 2009:

While peeling paint and mildew are ugly, it is the significant amount of exfoliation corrosion happening on the lower hat section stingers that have me concerned. The last time I was there I saw even more corrosion on some of the main fittings. I cannot even imagine what is going on top side, in places where water can pool after the rain.

I trust they will do something about it at some point and I hope it is not just a pressure wash and a coat of paint.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 41844
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-27-2013 08:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From what I understand, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's 10-year master plan, which includes the construction of the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit, the recently completed new entranceway into the complex, and the new Rocket Garden restaurant opposite the Rocket Garden, also includes work on the Rocket Garden itself.

SpaceKSCBlog
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Posts: 119
From: Merritt Island, FL
Registered: Nov 2011

posted 04-27-2013 07:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've heard that some of the artifacts in the Rocket Garden actually belong to the Smithsonian, which would complicate matters as it would be their responsibility to fix them, not KSCVC.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 04-27-2013 08:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To the best of my knowledge, the rockets in the garden are NASA property and do not involve the Smithsonian.

SpaceKSCBlog
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Posts: 119
From: Merritt Island, FL
Registered: Nov 2011

posted 04-27-2013 08:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When the Mercury-Atlas was replaced last year by the replica, I was told the Smithsonian had recalled the original.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 02-09-2014 10:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Astronaut Tom Jones shared this photo on Facebook this week:
The Saturn IB booster here at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is newly refurbished and looks ready to carry an Apollo to orbit. Come visit!

GACspaceguy
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Posts: 2410
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 02-09-2014 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I trust it was reworked and not just painted. I hope to go to KSC shortly and have a look for myself.

tegwilym
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Posts: 2328
From: Sturgeon Bay, WI
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 02-09-2014 01:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was there before Christmas this year. They had a crew out there painting some of the rockets in the rocket garden. They looked pretty good!

dabolton
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Posts: 419
From: Seneca, IL, US
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 02-09-2014 04:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What was in the shroud that held the lunar module on the Saturn V launches? Was it a mass simulator?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 02-09-2014 05:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On most Saturn IB flights, the shroud (known as the Spacecraft Launch Adapter, or SLA) was empty, serving as a "structural interstage between the instrument unit atop the S-IVB stage and the service module" (to quote the Apollo 7 press kit).

On Apollo 5, the SLA surrounded the first lunar module to fly in space.

Ronpur
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Posts: 1190
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 02-09-2014 06:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And Apollo 5 had a nosecone atop the SLA and no CSM.

ASTP had a docking module inside its SLA.

contra
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Posts: 318
From: Kiel, Germany
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 02-10-2014 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for contra   Click Here to Email contra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Took some photos during my last trips in October and again in December 2013.
October 2013; construction fence visible

October 2013; close up of first stage

December 2013; construction fence gone

December 2013; construction fence gone

Ronpur
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Posts: 1190
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 03-05-2014 08:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I took quite a few close ups of the Saturn IB today. It looks very good. I wonder how long the paint will last. Florida sun and weather is harsh... just ask my car.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 12-23-2014 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some photos from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's Holidays in Space 3D mapping show, running through Dec. 30, 2014:

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-02-2018 09:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Restoration begins on NASA's last flight-configured Saturn IB rocket

An extensive effort is underway to save NASA's last remaining flight-configured rocket of the same type that launched the first Apollo astronauts 50 years ago.

The surviving, mostly-intact Saturn IB booster, which for decades has laid on its side, spanning the length of the Rocket Garden at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, is now receiving a much-needed restoration. The 220-foot-long (68-meter) artifact was never used, but briefly stood ready for a launch.

GACspaceguy
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Posts: 2410
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 07-02-2018 02:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fantastic!!!!

Panther494
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Posts: 360
From: London UK
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 07-02-2018 02:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Panther494   Click Here to Email Panther494     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wonderful news.

Cozmosis22
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Posts: 895
From: Texas * Earth
Registered: Apr 2011

posted 07-02-2018 07:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yay! Good to see it gets to stay outside there with its pals in the Rocket Garden.

pupnik
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Posts: 108
From: Maryland
Registered: Jan 2014

posted 07-06-2018 01:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pupnik     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As great as it is to see them outside pointed towards the heavens, hopefully they will be able to get them indoors eventually. There's already been several cases of damage by storm. And on top of that, the coastal Florida conditions just aren't good for long term conditions.

They can keep them looking outwardly good for a while but fatigue and corrosion are permanent, and only get worse with time.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 41844
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-06-2018 04:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Saturn IB aside, a number of the rockets in the Garden are replicas for which historical preservation is not a concern.

The Mercury-Redstone and Mercury-Atlas are replicas (the center's historic Redstone is restored and preserved inside Heroes & Legends) and the Gemini-Titan is a replica constructed out of a Titan II missile. I don't know the pedigree for the Juno I, Juno II, Thor-Delta or Atlas-Agena.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 08-11-2018 06:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are some photos of the work underway to restore the Saturn IB at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (taken today, Aug. 11):

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 41844
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-04-2019 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Chad Emery Shores on Facebook:
Early morning rocket garden visitors got quite a show today. It was great working with the S-IVB-209! Sad that folks won’t see the restored J-2 engine (J-2083) again for a while.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41844
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-18-2019 12:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Fully restored, Apollo-era Saturn IB rocket returns to NASA display

NASA's last remaining, flight-configured example of the rocket that launched the first Apollo astronauts into space is back on public view, having undergone an almost year-long, extensive restoration.

Construction walls spanning the length of the Rocket Garden at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida were recently taken down, revealing the mostly-original, historic Saturn IB booster on display. The forerunner to the Saturn V that launched astronauts to the moon, the Saturn IB was first used by NASA's Apollo 7 crew in October 1968.

"We actually finished a little bit early," said Jennifer Mayo, senior manager of exhibits and artifacts for Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, in an interview with collectSPACE. "Our original planned finish date was going be in early July."

GACspaceguy
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Posts: 2410
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 06-18-2019 04:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am so glad his vehicle was restored. It is truly a treasure that needs to be available for decades of visitors.

Was there ever any talk of a building to preserve the preservation?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41844
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-18-2019 07:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jennifer Mayo, senior manager of exhibits and artifacts for Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, was not aware of plans for a building, but she said that the restoration was conducted with the knowledge that the rocket was to be displayed outside and so it was prepared accordingly.

In addition, there is now an inspection and maintenance plan in place to support the rocket on an annual schedule.

GACspaceguy
Member

Posts: 2410
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 06-18-2019 11:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Robert. I am sure they did the best they could, but after 40 years of providing repair data to corroded aircraft it has been my experience that you can slow it down but you cannot stop corrosion. Even hangered aircraft in a humid salt rich atmosphere still corrode. And while aircraft reach a limit of validity or economic limit at which time they are put aside, these historical vehicles do not have that option. That is if we want the next two or three generations to be able to see the "real deal."

I applauded their efforts and am sure that corrosion inhibiting compound application, zinc rich paints (assuming they could not use Chromate rich paints as that is an EPA issue now) along with a dedicated inspection schedule will all help, a building should remain on the table for the future.

Now if I can just win the lotto and become one of those anonymous donators you hear about from time to time, a building there will be.

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