NASA Study Summary: Modified Launch Vehicle Saturn V Improvement Study

luke strawwalker

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Well, here's probably the biggest one I've done yet... worked on it most of the day! It's the "Modified Launch Vehicle (MLV) Saturn V Improvement Study Composite Summary Report" from July 1965. It's only 76 pages, but most all of it is relevant to modeling the rockets in question (or at least answering why certain versions were recommended and some weren't, and how the evolution of the Saturn V would likely have gone had it become reality). The rocket configurations started off looking at just uprated engines, the 1.8 million pound thrust F-1A, and the 205,000 lb thrust and 220,000 lb thrust upgraded J-2. The configurations also went on to incorporate a new high-pressure high ISP liquid hydrogen engine, the HG-3, which was capable of over 315,000 lbs thrust. Tank stretches to all the stages to increase propellant capacity and beefing up the structures to handle the increased flight acceleration loads and heavier payloads on top were the main changes.

Further investigations also looked at increasing engine counts in all stages (except the S-IVB third stage) as a potential short-term upgrade step using off-the-shelf F-1 and J-2 rocket engines, reducing the costs and risks of engine development programs, while leaving the door open later to further modifications later to use the upgraded engines at a later time if and when they became available. The S-IC with an additional F-1 engine, for a total of SIX first stage engines, was studied, along with the requisite strengthening and stretched propellant tanks to carry the fuel for the sixth F-1. The S-II stage was redesigned for SEVEN J-2 engines, and the possibility of a tank stretch to increase propellant capacity from 970,000 lbs to 1.2 million lbs was investigated. A very beefed up S-IVB stage was investigated as well, first with a standard or uprated J-2, which would be capable of handling the greater flight loads of the beefed up first and second stages and heavier payloads on top, which later would have been capable of having an uprated J-2 engine dropped in. Another S-IVB stage variant was looked at that would use the high pressure high thrust HG-3 engine, which would require a new thrust structure and substantial beefing up to handle the higher thrust levels, so was practically a whole new stage. Part of the study also focused on using the NERVA nuclear rocket engines as potential nuclear stage engines, which when coupled with Saturn upgrades would have had TREMENDOUS payload capabilities, easily doubling the capacity of Saturn V, or more. The main problem with the nuclear stages was the huge size of the hydrogen propellant tank for the nuclear rocket engine reactor... these variants topped out at 470 feet tall-- over 100 feet taller than the standard Saturn V, and 60 feet taller than the VAB doors! Potential solutions to this quandary were discussed as well. The study also looked at designs using the UA-1205 solid rocket motor from Titan III, clustering four of them around the first stage MS-IC for additional liftoff thrust. This was a truly HUGE launch vehicle!

All in all, it's a FASCINATING read in to the "what might have been" had Saturn been continued into the mid-late 70's. It also presents a WEALTH of potential Saturn V variants that were proposed and planned but never actually happened, with enough data to construct them. Some of the nuclear versions were truly mammoth! Any would make interesting models. Pictures from the study will follow with appropriate descriptions...

Later! OL JR :)

View attachment NASA Study Summary- Modified Launch Vehicle Saturn V Improvement Study.txt
 

luke strawwalker

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Ok... the first pic is some of the different rocket configurations in this study. The first is the baseline Saturn V, the second is the V-1 version with 5 uprated F-1's with 9 million pounds liftoff thrust, S-II with 5 uprated J-2's producing a total of 1.025 million pounds thrust in the second stage, and an uprated J-2 producing 205,000 lbs thrust in the S-IVB, plus all stages uprated to handle the additional loads plus additional propellant. The third rocket, the V-2 version, replaces the J-2 on the S-IVB with the high pressure HG-3 engine, producing 315,000 lbs of thrust, with a propellant tank stretch and a LOT of beefing up to handle the additional thrust and payload. The fourth version, the V-3, adds 5 HG-3 engines in place of the J-2's on the second stage, and adds a tank stretch to increase propellant load to 1.2 million pounds. The final configuration on the right is the V-1A vehicle, which adds a sixth standard F-1 engine to the first stage, puts seven J-2's on the second stage, and uses a single 205,000 lb uprated J-2 on the third stage, with requisite tank stretches for additional propellant load where required. This version was added halfway through the study as a "low risk" option using off the shelf engines, or easy engine upgrades like the 205,000 lb thrust J-2.

SVMLV65configs.JPG

The second pic is the combination solid/liquid vehicles studied. The first on the left is a standard Saturn V. The second is the V-4(S) configuration, using 4 120 inch UA-1205 SRMs for additional liftoff thrust, and all the stages beefed up structurally to handle the additional thrust and loads. Basically it's a heavier version of the standard Saturn V with 4 SRBs. The third configuration is the V-4(S)A three stage vehicle, which utilizes a tank stretch in the first stage with additional strengthening, a standard 970,000 pound fuel load in the beefed up second stage, and beefed up S-IVB stage with a standard 230,000 pound fuel load. The last configuration on the right is the two-stage variant of the same vehicle just described, which could launch very large payloads to LEO.

SVMLV65solidliquidconfigs.JPG

The third pic is the NERVA powered nuclear upperstage variants that were studied. First on the left is the V-1/NERVA 1 variant with the 56,000 pound thrust NERVA 1 engine, and 178,000 lbs of hydrogen for the NERVA engine. Second from the left is the V-1/NERVA 2 variant with the larger 230,000 pound thrust NERVA 2 engine, with the optimum 297,000 pounds LH2 load for the nuclear engine. It violates the 410 foot height limit of the VAB by reaching 443 feet in height. Third from the left is the V-1/NERVA 2, this time constrained to observe the 410 foot height limit, by reducing the tank size on the nuclear upper stage to 184,000 pounds. Payload is reduced from 155,400 pounds on the optimized version, to 145,100 pounds on the height limited version. Fourth is the V-3/NERVA 1 configuration, using 5 HG-3 engines in the S-II with a tank stretch to 1.2 million pounds of LH2/LO2, coupled with the 56,000 lb thrust NERVA 1 engine in the third stage which carries 211,000 lbs of LH2. It stands 427 feet tall, busting the 410 foot height limit, and can loft 179,000 pounds of payload to the moon. Third from the right is the height-constrained version of the same rocket, reducing the third stage propellant load to 156,000 pounds for the nuclear engine. Payload falls to 172,200 lbs. Second from the right is the V-3/NERVA 2 configuration, replacing the 56,000 lbs thrust NERVA 1 with the 230,000 pound thrust NERVA 2 engine. This version stands 470 feet tall, 60 feet taller than the VAB height limit, with it's full load of 322,000 pounds of LH2 for the nuclear engine, and can deliver 190,000 pounds to the moon. The final configuration on the right is the same vehicle limited to the 410 foot height, with the fuel load for the nuclear stage more than halved to only 133,000 pounds, reducing it's payload to 158,100 pounds. Almost certainly the V-3/NERVA I would have been chosen if a nuclear upper stage vehicle was chosen for development-- it's performance was excellent and it still fell within the height limit of the VAB.

SVMLV65SV-1N&SV-3Nlunarlogisticsimprovementconfigs.JPG

The fourth pic is showing the two upgrade paths possible for the Saturn S-IC stage, heretofore called the MS-IC-1 and MS-IC-1A. The MS-IC-1 would have used FIVE uprated F-1A engines with 1.8 million pounds of thrust each.
The RP-1 tank is stretched 93 inches and the LO2 tank is stretched 147 inches, with general beefing up of structures throughout the stage to handle the higher loads. The MS-IC-1A stage would be modified to use SIX STANDARD F-1 engines with a nominal thrust of 1.5 million pounds, by spreading the outer engines 28 inches from their S-IC positions, and adding a second inboard F-1 mount. Additional propellant lines and general beefing up was also part of the modifications, and the outboard engine fairings were increased in size to a 22 degree angle from the S-IC's 15 degree angle to better protect the outboard engines from the slipstream (S-IC outboard engines were mounted 12 inches outside the outer skin line of the S-IC stage). This would have provided a stage with the same thrust as 5 uprated F-1's without requiring a lengthy engine development and qualification program.

SVMLV65sixF-1S-IC.JPG

The fifth pic is showing the base arrangement and detailing some of the changes to the MS-II stage to utilize a cluster of SEVEN J-2 engines in place of the normal five.

SVMLV65S-II7J-2engineversionMS-II-1A.JPG

More to come! OL JR :)
 

luke strawwalker

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The first pic is the MS-II stage mods-- on top is the MS-II-1 stage mods for increasing the propellant load from 970,000 pounds to 1 million pounds-- requiring the O2 tank be filled to capacity and a small barrel stretch of the LH2 tank. The lower image is the MS-II-2 mods, requiring a substantial tank stretch on both the O2 and H2 tanks to increase propellant capacity to the maximum 1.2 million pound load (without basically having to replace ALL the tank manufacturing tooling and handling equipment and the test stands). The performance was run with the standard 970,000 pound fuel load and found to be satisfactory for the low-end upgrade versions of improved Saturn V's. The larger tanks would have been required to support HG-3 engines or seven engine clusters of J-2's.

SVMLV65S-IImods.jpg

The second pic is the beefed up MS-IVB-2. The S-IVB was the most versatile stage to upgrade in the studies, but required the most beefing up to handle the higher flight loads and payloads placed on top of it. All versions would have been powered by either the upgraded J-2 or the HG-3, but the high thrust of the HG-3 would have required SUBSTANTIAL rework and beefing up over any of the two upgrades available for J-2 (205,000 pound thrust or 225,000 pound thrust). Propellant capacity was substantially upgraded, lengthening the stage. One substantial change was the common bulkhead-- it would have been much 'flatter' than that in the S-IVB.

SVMLV65MS-IVBmods.JPG

The third pic is the MS-IVB-1, which was only beefed up structurally from the S-IVB. The outer dimensions were the same as the S-IVB (stage length).

SVMLV65MS-IVB-1.JPG

The fourth pic is the changes to the vehicle required to add 4 UA-1205 120 inch SRMs to the vehicle (SRBs). The first stage structures were strengthened greatly to handle the additional thrust, and the stage fuel and O2 tanks lengthened again, the RP-1 tank by 129 inches and the O2 tank by 208 inches. This additional propellant helped with high acceleration after liftoff. The fins were also increased in area (but the study didn't tell by how much!) The MS-II was strengthened as well, as was the MS-IVB, all to handle the greater thrust and payload.

SVMLV65SV4SAstagemods.JPG

The fifth pic is the strengthening to the basic V-4 rocket for the SRBs... the tanks aren't stretched beyond the MS-IC version, which led to high liftoff acceleration and excessive G loads, which prompted the tank stretch shown above.

SVMLV65SV4Sstagemods.JPG

More to come! OL JR :)
 

luke strawwalker

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The first pic is the UA-1205 120 inch SRM used on the Titan III and proposed for use as a Saturn V SRB. The basic dimensions are given.

TitanIIISRMconfigstats.JPG

The second pic is a screencap of the conclusions page, since most of the info on there is relevant to the downselect of configurations...

SVMLV65conclusions.JPG

The third pic is a chart showing various vehicle combinations possible with the 5 uprated F-1 first stage, utilizing a second stage powered by either 5,6, or 7 J-2s of either of two possible uprating levels, in combination with an uprated third stage powered by either one of the two uprated J-2s. Quite a few combinations there. The "loss" column shows inefficiencies introduced by sizing the stage tanking for the largest volume necessary for the largest configuration. In other words if the stage were optimized for that configuration, that is the amount of gain that could be reasonably expected...

SVMLV65configchart5UF-1s.JPG

The fourth pic is another chart, this time showing vehicle combinations possible with the 6 stock F-1 engine first stage, combined with a second stage either "stock" like a regular Saturn V, or using 6 or 7 regular J-2s, or using 5, 6, or 7 uprated J-2's, in combination with a third stage using either the stock J-2 or uprated J-2.

SVMLV65configchart6UF-1s.JPG

The fifth pic is a performance chart listing the combinations of first and third stages with various variants of either 5 or 7 HG-3 powered second stages. The combinations show performance using various combinations with the 5 or 6 regular or uprated F-1 versions of the first stage, along with a third stage powered by the HG-3.

SVMLV65configchart5-7HG-3.JPG

More later! OL JR :)
 

luke strawwalker

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The first pic is a chart showing several different combinations of SRM and Saturn V and the performance statistics from each.

SVMLV65configchartsolidassist.JPG

The second pic is a chart showing the performance capabilities of the various configurations compared to each other graphically.

SVMLV65configchartnetpayloadTLI.JPG

The third pic is from the introduction to the study, giving a general outline of the different versions studied and the combinations of engines and upgrades that were traded... SVMLV65Saturnupratingdescription.JPG

The fourth pic is an orphan I picked up somewhere along the way, probably from nasaspaceflight.com/forums. It's a graphic someone made showing the gamut of different Saturn V upgrades that were proposed over the years, including some from this study, which is why I post it here...

satvgen.gif

Hope you enjoyed! This one was a lot of work! I want to see a nuclear Saturn V at a launch one of these days! :D

Later! OL JR :)
 

skyspike1

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Great thread! interesting designs, invokes the thought of...What If ?...Thats alot to absorb! Nice of you to include such detailed diagrams/charts, hope you don't mind if I make copy for myself...great resource..
 

luke strawwalker

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Great thread! interesting designs, invokes the thought of...What If ?...Thats alot to absorb! Nice of you to include such detailed diagrams/charts, hope you don't mind if I make copy for myself...great resource..

Sure, that's why I posted it! Glad SOMEONE is taking an interest!

I've been reading lots of these old NASA studies, mostly from links off of nasaspaceflight.com/forums from stuff linked to in discussion threads over there. GREAT stuff!

I think some of these would make REALLY neat scale models-- or for that "future/fantasy scale" category, or just for sport flying. There's enough data in most of these to do a decent scale model, and where data is missing, printing the pics out and using a good ruler and a known figure such as first stage diameter would allow one to derive the data they need through simple division...

Later and good luck on your projects! OL JR :)

PS. Thanks to nasaspaceflight.com/forums for great links and NASA Technical Reports Server for making this stuff available for download-- I just go through 806 pages, so you don't have to!!! LOL:)
 

skyspike1

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Thanks for the website/info, but it seems i dont have to scour through hundreds of pages of useless script to find "the good stuff", you've already taken care of the hard work....The information your posting is an amazing resource for anyone here at TRF...Thanks, i could compile quite a reference selection from these!
 
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