The Saturn and Apollo vehicles represent an important national resource which will find use in the pursuit of national goals in space beyond the immediate Apollo mission. Saturn V, for example, is presently scheduled to carry the unmanned Voyager payload to the planet Mars. Beyond this mission there are important high energy scientific missions in which Saturn hardware can be employed. These missions include cometary intercepts, probes to the asteroids, solar probes, flights out of the ecliptic, flights to the earth-moon libration points, and probes out of the solar system. These missions appear to hold great scientific validity. With a fourth stage Saturn V will carry 31,000 pounds to an intercept with the comet Encke, 20,000 pounds to the asteroid Ceres, 10,000 pounds on a two-tenths A.U. solar probe, and 5,000 pounds on a “fast” probe to 40 A.U.
Additionally, significant improvement in escape payload capability can be achieved by placing the escape velocity stages in orbit via Saturn V and elements of the payload in orbit with Saturn V or other boost vehicles. If Saturn V payload is off-loaded the S-IVB will enter orbit with extra propellant; in the limit a fully loaded S-IVB can be placed into orbit. If its payload is brought up by another booster, approximately 160,000 pounds can be boosted to escape velocity. Note that these boosters are not uprated.
The Saturn IB and Saturn V launch vehicles offer very high velocity and payload capability with appropriate upper stages and operational modes; they offer an unequaled medium for solar system exploration. The challenge today has become how best to use their capability for the national good.