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Saturn V: The Complete Manufacturing and Test Records, Plus Supplemental Paperback – 1 Jun 2005
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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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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.
Alan Lawrie and Robert Godwin have done a lot of research to compile a very comprehensive technical look at the rocket used in the Apollo program. By details, Godwin meant down to the serial numbers of the engines, test results of each of the components, transportation logistics - basically, the complete manufacture and test records.
Since many of the companies have been bought out or gone out of business, a lot of the historical records have been lost or not archived accurately. Godwin brings together many of those original sources to create a reference on the development, testing and manufacture of this rocket from a technical aspect. The book has 3 major parts - Saturn V News Reference, Complete Manufacturing and Test results and Payload Planners Guide.
In each section, you'll find wire diagrams, flow charts, line diagrams, different views such as 3-d, cut away views, exploded. There are B&W and color photos of the stages, rockets, descriptions of the VAB, Launch transporter, brief histories of each test facility and an overview of the NASA program management and key personnel. The color photos of the rocket during assembly are stunning. No book is perfect, of course everyone would like to see all the illustrations and photos be larger, more of them. You could fill volumes of books with all of the data here. An added bonus includes a DVD at the end of the book that has film of the rocket tests, transportation from barges to KSC, assembly, to the final launch. Most of the DVD is silent, but in the first chapter, they use audio from the launch countdown as background to accompany the footage.
Who will enjoy this book? It is dry, technical reading and not a coffee table book. If you like to see wire diagrams, facts, statistics, dates, the subcomponents of planes, ships, engineering type stuff, you'll enjoy this. This is hardcore NASA junkie material, very little about the men behind the decisions, just the hardware. No office politics or personalities here. Four stars only because I wish the book & photos were larger. What is there is fantastic and drives home the size and scope of what was done in the 1960's in a very compressed time frame.
Representing a triumph of systems management, the Saturn V program required that NASA juggle prime contracts with Boeing for the S-IC, first stage; North American Aviation, S-II, second stage; Douglas Aircraft, S-IVB, third stage; Rocketdyne Division of North American Aviation, J-2 and F-1 engines; and IBM, Saturn instruments. These prime contractors, with more than 250 subcontractors, provided millions of parts for use in the Saturn launch vehicle, all meeting exacting specifications for performance and reliability. The total cost expended on development was massive, amounting to $9.3 billion.
The Saturn V is an important story, deserving serious attention from historians. An official history, Roger E. Bilstein's "Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo/Saturn Launch Vehicles" (Washington, DC: NASA, 1980; reprinted in 1996 by NASA and in 2003 by University Press of Florida), offers an exceptionally capable narrative history, and it is the appropriate place to start any serious study of the Saturn V Moon rocket. Lawrie's volume is a compilation of technical data, much of it reprinted from elsewhere and some of it offering an important set of details about the program. The first item reprinted, the "Saturn V News Reference" of August 1967, intended for the media and others seeking detailed information about the program, remains a valuable source 40 years after publication. It has also been available for downloading from the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center on the World Wide Web for many years at [...] Lawrie also reprints the "Saturn V Payload Planners Guide," a document from November 1965 intended as a source of detailed knowledge needed by any organization that might launch a payload on a Saturn V. (At the time, NASA anticipated that the Saturn would become the launcher of choice for all manner of spacecraft.) Because of this document's rarity, it is a welcome addition to the volume.
The most useful part of the book is Lawrie's compilation of manufacturing and test records concerning each of the stages built for the Saturn V, as well as for each of the engines constructed for the Moon program. Lawrie's ferreting out of obscure data from a variety of sources to construct this discussion represents a decidedly useful contribution to knowledge about the program. Finally, as is the case with many Apogee publications, Robert Godwin has found and offered on DVD a selection of engine tests, assembly sequences, and manufacturing film to round out the work.
"Saturn V: The Complete Manufacturing and Test Records plus Supplemental Material" is a useful compilation of information about the rocket that carried astronauts to the Moon. It is not, per se, concerned with the Moon landings or any other aspect of the program. Even the discussion of the propulsion system ends with delivery of each stage to the Kennedy Space Center, where it was assembled for launch. This book's greatest value lies in providing technical details about the Saturn V's systems, engines, tests, and manufacturing. It is very much a work aimed at a technical audience that seeks considerable detail about the rocket. As such, it will serve as a useful addition to the literature of the Apollo program.
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