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Saturn V: The Complete Manufacturing and Test Records, Plus Supplemental [Paperback]

A. Lawrie
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Apogee Books; Pap/DVD edition (1 Jun 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1894959191
  • ISBN-13: 978-1894959193
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 17.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,741,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Saturn V was the largest, most powerful rocket ever produced. Developed in the 1960s, in response to President Kennedy's call for a moon landing by the end of the decade, it rose from the drawing board to flight vehicle in record time. The rocket was masterminded by Wernher Von Braun and did not fail in any of its flights. The story of the moon missions is well known with many books and films on the subject. Little has been written on the Saturn V rocket and next to nothing on the development, manufacturing and testing of the rocket stages. In this book, for the first time ever, the detailed story of the history of each Saturn V stage is presented. This includes the 45 flight stages built and all of the various test stages. Most of the stages ended up being launched. Some are in museums, some were destroyed on the ground and some are so obscure they are detailed for the first time in this book. The book traces each stage from the start of manufacturing, through assembly, testing, static firing and transport to the Kennedy Space Center. Facilities across the US were used to manufacture and test the hardware at a pace demanded by the Kennedy pronouncement.

Engines were built by Rocketdyne and the rocket stages by Boeing, North American Aviation and the Douglas Company. Testing took place in Santa Susana, Sacramento, Mississippi and other facilities around the country. There were many problems along the way and all are covered in a detail never published before. Stages blew up, materials dis-integrated, engines exploded. The development of the F1 and J2 rocket engines is covered as well as details of all the major manufacturing and testing facilities. Throughout, unprecedented details of dates, times, events and parameters are presented. Other unique aspects of the book include: details of the history of each and every engine on each stage including a log of engine allocation; details of the transportation of each stage and engine by various means such as truck, barge, boat, super Guppy aircraft including a unique log of these trips; details of every firing including timelines, test stands, problems, performance details plus logs of each firing on each stage. To supplement the book many photographs that have never been published before have been obtained and appear for the first time.

The location of the remaining hardware is identified with photographs of the museum pieces. Research for the book has taken over two years and included unique access to all the major facilities and NASA history offices and libraries. Information has been obtained from Saturn veterans and also through the Freedom of Information Act. In summary this book has the first ever comprehensive presentation of the complete Saturn stage and engines activities from the early 1960s to the conclusion of the program in the mid 1970s. Bonus CD-ROM includes rare film footage.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, but flawed. 22 Nov 2005
I looked forward to receiving this book from the moment I saw it advertised, but on getting it I think it could have been an even better book than it already is. A better quality paper would have helped in the reproduction of some of the illustrations, and more detailed diagrams could have been obtained, but for anyone with an interest in the Saturn moonrocket this is still a must have book. The history of each section of the rocket and details of every engine is something I haven't seen anywhere else. Maybe more could have been put on the DVD, and more information could have been shown on how the rocket is held down and then slowly released, as there is very little information availiable anywhere on this important part of the rocket.Maybe in a second edition?
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Saturn V Reference To Date 11 Nov 2005
By Robert I. Hedges - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Alan Lawrie and Robert Godwin are to be commended for assembling this fine volume on the Saturn V. The Apogee series is the best set of books on space ever assembled, and this volume documents an often overlooked part of the Apollo program, the booster development and history of the Saturn V. Although the earlier Saturns are mentioned in passing, this is essentially devoted to the larger Saturn V.

The book details design and history of all stages and engines by serial number. All stages including test stages and battleships are detailed as are all test runs. The technical data including configuration changes are well documented for all engines and stages, and the history of the test areas and test stands are also addressed.

Despite the fact that a large part of the book is a historical stage by stage accounting, the book is still quite readable and enjoyable to a space enthusiast. Certainly, this is not a book for the casual reader, but the Apollo-phile will love the newly revealed information that has been unearthed for the first time in thirty years.

Also included is a DVD which features even more technical and production data in PDF format, as well as wonderful films of Apollo stage production, testing, and the Apollo 11 launch, the last four minutes of which are synchronized with the MOCR audio recording. The editing of the videos is a bit choppy at times, but the material is so good that I can't imagine any serious complaints.

This is a great volume, and I highly recommend it to anyone with a deep interest in space.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Saturn but the Saturn V manufacturing archives!!! 26 Aug 2005
By spaceman - Published on Amazon.com
"Saturn" is what the cover says, but open the book and you find the real name and importance of this book. "Saturn V - the complete manufacturing and test records".

This is what todays' engineers and rocket scientists have been

looking for to assist them in the construction of the next heavy lift booster to get us back to the Moon and Mars, and every fan of the Saturn- Apollo program will HAVE TO HAVE THIS BOOK IN THEIR LIBRARY!

Many of these records were misplaced and presumed lost after Project Apollo, as NASA had not the funds to care and file them. But Alan Lawrie and Robert Godwin searched archives around the United States and England(?) to reconstruct them for

this book. This new publication tells what happened to each and every stage of every Saturn -V launch vehicle ever assembled, even the ones that were not used!

It begins with the rare Saturn V news reference to give the reader a familiarity with the Saturn. Then it documents the facilities and transportation methods, and then the engines themselves and then each vehicle built.

The book goes into the construction, movement, testing, assembly and launch. It goes into the test stands and tells what happened before the fliight versions were built and it details every test firing of every rocket engine for the mighty Moon rocket.

How many people know that the third stage for the first manned flight to the Moon (Apollo-8), exploded on the test stand (S-IVB 503) and had to be replaced (S-IVB 503-N for New construction)? and that Apollo-16's Saturn V first stage

(S1C-11) caught fire on the test stand and took a year to rebuild, and almost delayed the Apollo-11 which was on the launch pad counting down for it's historic mission?

The book sadly concludes with the rare Saturn V payload planners guide that details how Saturn could easily have allowed us to launch probes around the Solar System.

A lesson that we hope is not lost on the new generation.

Every major director and engineer of every major contractor who is planning to build the new launch vehicle will want to buy this book, because they no longer have to go thru the NASA archives digging and hoping to find these nuggets of information

about how we did it before!

The bonus DVD/ROM includes the vehicle records and films of Saturn assembly, and various tests firings.

ERRORS- The color section has a photo of the stacking of the Apollo space craft on the third stage of Apollo-Saturn 500F that is wrongly listed as erection of the launch escape system for Apollo 6 two years before this happened?

S-IVB-DF (pg255) wasn't this kept at JSC until the late 80's as part of the public tour of Skylab?

DVD-Video?ROM disc menu in back- First test firing of S-1C-T at Mississippi testb Facility March 1967? ...or 1965!

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you always wanted to know about the Saturn V program ... but didn't know who to ask 4 Sep 2005
By Dr. Geoffrey Statham - Published on Amazon.com
This book appears at a very timely moment: after more than thirty years there's finally a new commitment to go back to the Moon, and to go beyond. Lot's has been lost - or at least misplaced - in those thirty years. What did it take to transform the Saturn V from design into reality? How was it done? What had to be built? What had to be tested? When, where and how was it all done? What worked the first time around, and what didn't?

To answer these questions one would need to search through a mountain of data, which has been archived away in a host of obscure (and sometimes unlikely) places. Fortunately the authors of "Saturn" have performed this Herculean task, and have also managed to produce a surprisingly readable and coherent narrative. They've also managed to unearth some truly unique archived movie footage showing ground transport of the various stages as well as numerous test firings. This is all included on the DVD that accompanies the book. The DVD also contains an excellent movie of the Apollo XI launch - which, for ten minutes, transported me all the way back to 1969, as well as bringing a tear to my eye. [The book's worth the price just for the DVD alone!]

This book is a `must' for all those with an interest in the history of this great - and seminal - engineering achievement. Even more important, it's a `must' for all those who are about to embark on the next great adventure to the Moon and beyond.

Mandatory reading (and viewing) for the next generation of space engineers, as well as space enthusiasts of any generation!

Most highly recommended!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great review of the Saturn launch vehicle family 16 Jun 2006
By S. Laidlaw - Published on Amazon.com
The already impressive and prodigious output of Apogee has been further enhanced by this great volume on the Saturn launch vehicle program. The history of each piece of hardware is detailed along with each mission. As the distance in years between the events and our recollection of them grows, this volume preserves detail that may otherwise have disappeared into government archives or otherwise be lost forever before we return to the moon again.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All about SATURN V in one book 14 Sep 2005
By Florian Rohrmayr - Published on Amazon.com
For everyone who wants to know everything about the history, development, building and testing of the largest and most powerful rocket ever built, the SATURN V, this book is a must have, I would say a scale-setting book. Not only that the reader gets an enourmous never published amount on data, photos, drawings and information, but the author Alan Lawrie has also added a DVD to the book, which contains rare and never seen movies of test firings of the various SATURN V stages and engines (F-1, J-2) from different angles.

You will like these movies which show the raw power of the mighty SATURN V engines, as well as the assembly of the SATURN V in the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center.

In the first part of the book all the components of the rocket like engines and stages are explained very detailed, as well as the manufacturing-/ transport-processes and the various facilities to built the SATURN V. In the second part of his book, the author described very detailed and visualized by many photos, each stage from all ever built SATURN V rockets reaching from manufacturing and transport to testings in

chronological order. At the end of the book a payload planners guide of the SATURN V shows the versatility and the potential of this rocket.

After reading this book you will have no more questions left on the SATURN V! You can also find very detailed historic-, testing- and manufacture-data of each engine and each SATURN V stage ever built, on the included DVD. This book closes a big gap in documenting the SATURN V rocket!
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