Saturn I/IB Launch Vehicle Operational Status and Experience 680739
NASA's Saturn I/IB Launch Vehicle Program has been a remarkable success story in terms of flight accomplishments. Fourteen launch vehicles have flown without a single significant launch vehicle failure; that is, a failure that affected the mission objective.
The present Saturn IB launch vehicle comprises an S-IB stage, an S-IVB stage, and an Instrument Unit stage. The S-IB stage and the S-IVB stage are propulsion or booster stages. The Instrument Unit houses the navigation, guidance, and control equipment. A variety of payloads has been flown on the launch vehicle and different types of payloads are planned for future flights; however, the primary payloads for which the launch vehicle was designed are the Command Service Module and the Lunar Module.
This paper discusses the operational characteristics of the fourteen successful flights in terms of the launch vehicle description; launch vehicle and payload integration and interface considerations; checkout, launch, and flight operations, including equipment, facilities, procedures, time, and organization; and post-flight activities.
The paper concludes with a discussion on problem resolution, feedback, and flight accomplishments.