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The Saturn V F-1 Engine: Powering Apollo Into History (Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration) Paperback – 25 Nov 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Praxis; 2008 edition (25 Nov. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387096299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387096292
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 2 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 834,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


From the reviews:

"The author provides good descriptions of engine components and manufacturing and the contributions that Rocketdyne, Boeing, and the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center made to the F-1. The book also covers engine testing, the first Saturn V stage, and the Apollo launches. … The book contains 32 excellently printed full-page color photographs and numerous black-and-white photos and diagrams. An important contribution to the history of technology and the history of space exploration. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All collections." (A. M. Strauss, Choice, Vol. 46 (10), June, 2009)

“Over the years there have been a few books published about the Saturn rockets, but here’s one that focuses solely on the business end of the Saturn V – the F-1 rocket engine, still the largest such engine ever developed. … The book is profusely illustrated throughout, and there’s a nice section of colour plates as well. All in all, a valuable addition to the literature of both rocket development and the Apollo programme.” (Liftoff, Issue 257, May-June, 2010)

From the Back Cover

Anthony Young writes superbly, with a similar style to David Harland and has authored nine previously published books on post-war automotive history covering engineering, styling and automotive marketing. Much of the history recorded in these books was acquired from personal interviews with the principal engineers involved with vehicle and engine design programs. Interview locations included various cities in Michigan, England and Switzerland. During this time he was a fulltime contract design engineer.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John lichnerowicz on 24 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
An excellent book with much useful information about this formidable engine.

A few more illustrations would have been nice as there were still some details about the engine which I found difficult to deduce from the text. For example I'm still not entirely sure what route the turbine exhaust took when it left the manifold into the nozzle extension and it would hev been nice to see how the gimballing was effected. But all in all a very nice book.

NB: The blurb on Amazon mentions that the even more interesting J2 engine is covered by this book. It isn't covered in significant detail
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Nuts and Bolts 18 Dec. 2008
By Dr. Eric M. Jones - Published on
Format: Paperback
Be warned, I am not an engineer or somebody fascinated with internal combustion engines. (Are rocket engines a subset of ICE's? I know not.) I understand the importance of engines and the magnitude of the achievement by the Rocketdyne/NASA team. The biggest, most complex rocket engine of the 20th century. In 13 flights, not one of the 65 engines had a signficiant problem.

Anthony Young capably describes the heritage, design, testing, installation, and in-flight performance of the F-1. To me, a non-specialist, it appears that Young has done an excellent job. There were some engineering aspects that escaped me, and some aspects of program management that I skimmed. There are also some places where the book gets repetitious - which is why I deducted one star. All considered, I'm glad I had a chance to read it.

Finally, be aware that, in mid-2006, I evaluated the original book proposal for the publisher and, in about September 2008, received a pre-release copy, on which this review is based.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Wolfman 27 Jan. 2009
By Daniel S. Farkas - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to have a little too much about the people and too little about the technical side. There was a lot of repetition because in the way the author chose to report about test sites, rather than chronological. All in all, I learned quite a bit about an exciting project, our mission to land a man on the moon and return him safely. My interest in the Apollo space program is still high after all of the years since the first landing occurred on my 20th birthday. I'm always looking for another book to read about the program.
31 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Thank you, this nation owes you for preserving history. 18 Dec. 2008
By Just a guy in Oregon - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thank you!

I am one of those people still alive today who looked up at the moon in July '69 and knew there were humans on the surface looking back at us. I was in my late teens. I remember watching every televised launch of the Saturn V and following closely the development of the space program from Mercury failures and successes all the way to the present. I remember watching the development of the F-1. I was one of many very close outside observers and someone, by virtue of my birth being timed exactly right, was of sufficient age to follow and understand events as they happened.

As such a person my personal library is filled with books about space travel and hardware. I've read all the popular books that describe the Apollo program. From these I already knew much of what the author describes. However, he provides the chronology of events smoothly focused on the F-1 alone which brings into much sharper focus for me the genius that made the concept of such an engine a reality.

My enjoyment of this book, my praise for this book, and my gratitude to the author for his efforts in writing the book are very high. As I look at the photos of the "injector plate" I realize that this was not only engineering it was technical art perhaps not duplicable today. But positive as my feelings are toward this book and the subject I must admit that it reminds me of the deep sadness and sense of loss that I have felt for decades as we've watched the debacle of the Space Shuttle Program.

You wouldn't think a technical book like this one could make a person weep. I may just have to do that to discharge the emotion of loss and feelings of what might have been.

The author was kind, I think, in his final chapter describing efforts into the early 90s to resurrect the F-1 engine. He was kind to the new generation of managers at NASA who apparently cannot think outside the box far enough to realize that the best solution to future needs might have already been invented.

The author did not do as I expected and outline what the space program MIGHT have accomplished by now if the Saturn family of vehicles and engines had been retained. He failed to mention that a human colony on the moon would probably now be well over 20 years old. He failed to mention that a human landing on Mars would have probably taken place a decade ago. He failed to mention that the "International Space Station" could have been lofted into orbit by perhaps only five Saturn V vehicles or that a much larger Hubble telescope would have been providing us much better images of deep space.

He was very kind indeed in failing to mention in stronger terms the gigantic mistake that is the Space Shuttle. He was also kind in not mentioning the NIH ( not invented here ) attitude of NASA that prevented it from simply recommissioning the Saturn I and Saturn V instead of embarking upon the development of highly questionable "new" vehicles to act as surrogates. He was kind not to point out that the Aries V will use two of the Shuttle SRBs and five lower power liquid fuel mainstage engines rather than simply use five F-1s.

Ah, but those five "new" engines will not burn nasty kerosene. They will be "green" and burn pure hydrogen-never before used in a mainstage booster engine. And, they will have been invented by the current NASA regime AND they are billed as being much less expensive to build and launch compared to the old obsolete F-1s. And....for those of you old enough....remember how little the Shuttle was going to cost to turn around and low little time would be required?

He was kind indeed and that is the one thing that disappointed me about the book. As we look to the future we see a NASA struggling to use a single SRB as stand in for the flawless Saturn I-struggling with pogo effect among other potential problems.

In 1969, as I neared the end of my teen years, to look back at the technology of forty years prior was to see the late 20s and such things as radial piston engines in aircraft and rocketry in the hands of amateurs playing with glorified fireworks. But, sadly, to look back forty years today, this month, is to look back to Apollo 8 and the first Lunar orbiting visit in Devember 1968-something that we could not do today if the fate of the entire planet depended upon it.

Yes, the computers are light years faster today. Digital still and video cameras would give us better views of the exploits than forty years ago. However, as I look back these forty years I see a past technology that reached a zenith and was then abruptly discarded. And now, as the failed Shuttle system is finally about to be ended after much needless loss of life, potential, and resources I see a NASA fumbling to remake the Saturns with better computers but proven dangerous and unpredictable solid fuel rocket boosters.

So to those older readers like this book with pleasure but with the knowledge that it may make you sad. To younger readers who cannot remember the successes of Apollo this book will further your ability to comprehend mistakes and failures that are almost certain to befall NASA as it attempts to reinvent launch vehicles and engines that do not need to be reinvented-they simply need to be reincarnated-they were developed decades ago by people who saw no limits to what they could imagine and build-dreamers and builders were those who made the F-1 engine!

With current computer controlled manufacturing techniques and the enormous advances in computing hardward and software the mainstage of the Saturn V could be recreated and used for perhaps a hundred years. would use improved F-1 engines.

This book is an anthem written in praise of the NASA that once was-I almost felt like standing as I read it.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
For those who want the details, this is your book 26 Oct. 2009
By Brian - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For you engineering types out there who want to know the back story, this is the book. It talks at length about development, testing, production and the people behind it all. An enjoyable read about a very important engineering feat in world history. This is a moment modern man should be proud of and we should all know the story in more detail. This is the engine that took men to the moon, how sad it would be if we lost its history.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
High hopes but... 12 May 2013
By S. Moon - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love books about the history of technology but some just don't "pop". This book is a good overview of the F-1 engine, but somehow it just bogs down. About halfway through I had had enough, skimmed the rest, and wished I hadn't spent $50 on it.

One thing to note is that this book is printed the you order it (at least my copy was). The quality is fine, but don't think that it is overpriced because it is a rare book or out of print or whatever.
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