Transterrestrial Musings  

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay

Alan Boyle (MSNBC)
Space Politics (Jeff Foust)
Space Transport News (Clark Lindsey)
NASA Watch
NASA Space Flight
Hobby Space
A Voyage To Arcturus (Jay Manifold)
Dispatches From The Final Frontier (Michael Belfiore)
Personal Spaceflight (Jeff Foust)
Mars Blog
The Flame Trench (Florida Today)
Space Cynic
Rocket Forge (Michael Mealing)
COTS Watch (Michael Mealing)
Curmudgeon's Corner (Mark Whittington)
Selenian Boondocks
Tales of the Heliosphere
Out Of The Cradle
Space For Commerce (Brian Dunbar)
True Anomaly
Kevin Parkin
The Speculist (Phil Bowermaster)
Spacecraft (Chris Hall)
Space Pragmatism (Dan Schrimpsher)
Eternal Golden Braid (Fred Kiesche)
Carried Away (Dan Schmelzer)
Laughing Wolf (C. Blake Powers)
Chair Force Engineer (Air Force Procurement)
Saturn Follies
JesusPhreaks (Scott Bell)
The Ombudsgod
Cut On The Bias (Susanna Cornett)
Joanne Jacobs

Site designed by

Powered by
Movable Type
Biting Commentary about Infinity, and Beyond!

« Winning Wars | Main | Like Rats »

Forgotten Apollo History

Jonathan Gewirtz has found some, down in the Everglades. I hadn't previously been aware that there were plans for a solid booster for the Saturn.

Posted by Rand Simberg at January 08, 2007 04:40 PM
TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference this post from Transterrestrial Musings.


There were no "plans" to use solids as the first stage of the Saturn 1. I have recently come into possession of a letter from Von Braun to LBJ explaining why solids were a bad idea for a first stage. Had to do with the total impluse of the booster.

This was an Aerojet boondoggle.

Posted by Dennis Ray Wingo at January 8, 2007 05:27 PM

Not all plans come to fruition, Dennis.

Posted by Rand Simberg at January 8, 2007 05:32 PM

Well duh

Von Braun never had any intention of using solids for the Saturn. One meeting would have disabused them of that notion.

Posted by Dennis Ray Wingo at January 8, 2007 05:35 PM

Did I say they were von Braun's plans?

Posted by Rand Simberg at January 8, 2007 05:44 PM

Thiokol also worked on the program and had a facility built down in Georgia.

You can find out more about that facility from this site:

Posted by Mazoo at January 8, 2007 06:39 PM

Thanks for the information. I've updated my post to reflect it.

Posted by Jonathan at January 8, 2007 07:18 PM

I do believe there were some Saturn V derivatives that would use strap on SRB's. Aerojet could have built these facilities for that purpose as well.

Posted by Cecil Trotter at January 8, 2007 07:42 PM

The "Solid" Saturn IB class vehicle with the Aerojet monolithic 260 inch motor can be seen in David Hammock's Chapter 33, Fig. 33-2 in Purser, Faget & Smith's Manned Spacecraft: Engineering Design and Operation, Fairchild Publications Inc., 1964. Payload was 60K for 5M lbs GLOW with an SIV as the upper stage.

I got my copy from the JSC Library as they were throwing them out.

Posted by Gary C Hudson at January 8, 2007 08:58 PM

An old Time-Life book has an illustration of an evolved Saturn V with SRB's replacing the first stage. It is referred to as a "Nova" booster.

Posted by Louise at January 8, 2007 11:12 PM

There were detailed proposals for adding Minuteman first stages (4 or 8), 5-segment 120" Titan motors (2 or 4) and 7-segment Titan motors (2 or 4) to the Saturn Ib. There were equally detailed proposals for replacing the first stage with a monolithic 156" or 260" diameter solid. UTC also proposed clusters of Titan motors for the same first-stage job.

The 120", 156" and 260" solids were proposed as strap-ons for the Saturn V. Quite detailed planning and design and development went into these. A lesser concept caleld for putting the S-II second stage on top of a single 260" solid (looked like a fat "Stick").

Back when Apollo was a going concern (before 68 or so), upgrading the Saturn Ib and V with strap-ons was looking like a sure thing.

Posted by Scott Lowther at January 9, 2007 07:24 AM

Post a comment

Email Address: