Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo/Saturn Launch Vehicles (Nasa History Series.)

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9780160489099: Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo/Saturn Launch Vehicles (Nasa History Series.)

The gigantic Saturn V launch vehicle may well be the first and last of its kind. Subsequent space ventures will be based on new vehicles, such as the smaller, reusable Space Shuttle. Manned launches in the near future will be geared to orbital missions rather than planetary excursions, and unmanned deep-space missions will not demand the very high thrust boosters characteristic of the Apollo program. As the space program moves into the future, it also appears that the funding for elaborate “big booster” missions will not be forthcoming for NASA. The Saturn V class of launch vehicles are the end of the line of the Saturn generation. It is not likely that anything like them will ever be built again. Because of the commanding drama of the awesome Saturn V, it is easy to forget the first Saturns, the Saturn I and Saturn IB. This history is an attempt to give due credit to these pioneering vehicles, to analyze the somewhat awkward origins of the Saturn I as a test bed for static testing only, not as an operational vehicle, and to discuss the uprated Saturn IB as an interim booster for the orbital testing of the first Apollo capsules. This book is a technological history. To many contemporaries the narrative may read too much like a technical manual, but the author’s concern is for posterity, when the technical manuals may be lost or dispersed and knowledgeable participants have passed on. The narrative approach was largely predicated on questions that might well be asked by future generations: How were the Saturns made? How did they work?

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Review:

"Easily the best book of the NASA History Series....Starting with the earliest rockets, Bilstein traces the development of the family of massive Saturn launch vehicles that carried the Apollo astronauts to the moon and boosted Skylab into orbit."

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Bilstein, Roger E.
Published by History Office (1997)
ISBN 10: 0160489091 ISBN 13: 9780160489099
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Bilstein, Roger E.
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Bilstein, Roger E.
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