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I haven't
If they were detected by sonar most certainly it would have got into the news...
I would think that hitting the water at that velocity, they would almost certainly break apart on impact.

I'd think you'd be more likely to find large chunks, say an engine nozzle than find a fully intact booster.
Discussion here about prospects of finding any Saturn-V first stages:


Not counting the Challenger accident or the routine recovery of SRB’s of other shuttle flights, the only stage of a manned vehicle that was recovered was from Gemini-5’s Titan-II first stage. The upper half or so.

Apparently it broke in half in the air and the upper part fell relatively slowly since it weighed so little. For one, where it fell happened to have been seen. I am not sure if it floated, or if the landing coordinates were so well locked down that it was relatively easy to send a sub down to hook a line to it.

Scroll to the middle of this discussion page for pics and a link to a PDF document about it:


Unfortunately the PDF document does not load (I think that sever has been down for a few weeks).

More pics and discussion here (actually the first page of the link posted above):


I have actually seen it in Huntsville. Though I am not sure where they moved it to. I even touched it and was able to shake it, INCREDIBLY lightweight considering what it was and its size (10 feet diameter, 20 or more feet long).

- George Gassaway

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Someone told me that when a robot sub survey was done of the floor of Lake Superior the airframes of the Nike Apache and Arcas sounding rockets from the late 1960s and 70s were found.
A while ago I tried calling some of the Cocoa Beach area dive shops to see if anybody was running "missile wreck" dives. They weren't but they sounded intrigued.
I read recently that the first and second stages of the Saturn Vs crashed downrange into the ocean. Has anyone ever heard of them being detected by sonar?

They're probably in a million pieces on the seafloor... surely the S-II upperstages are since they surely broke up and partially burned up due to their extremely high velocity and reentry from high altitudes...

The S-IC first stages were moving at a pretty good clip as well when the Saturn V staged, and at pretty good altitude. There were a set of retro motors located under the fairings which fired at staging to pull the S-IC "backwards" away from the S-II interstage just before the S-II J-2 engines fired up. These totally blew away the fairings. Also I read that the heavy weight of the F-1 engines on the S-IC caused it to re-enter "backwards" when it came into the lower atmosphere, which would have caused the thing to break up aerodynamically so they said. The S-IC had NO chutes or drag retarding of any kind (beyond it's own atmospheric drag and any induced by inadvertant tumbling) and so when it hit the water at several hundred MPH, what was left to settle on the seafloor was probably "not much". The F-1 engine powerheads probably stayed in one piece (as they did with Columbia) though the bells were probably blown apart in the impact, and probably the "X" beam the engines were mounted to on the bottom of the stage came though in some mangled twisted manner in one or a few large pieces-- the rest though was probably mainly shredded aluminum scattered into a debris field on the seafloor.

There was a report of a transport ship or tanker having some S-IC bits land on the deck after the Apollo 11 launch IIRC... just chunks of metal, mostly.

When I stand beside that HUGE HONKIN' S-IC at JSC, though, I wonder what the splash of that big sonuvagun hittin' the ocean woulda looked like though... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcKX4wCcU5k

Well, not THAT big... OL JR :)