A concerted, systematic program for design and development of a high reliability booster has been developed by The Boeing Co. for use in the NASA Apollo Manned Space Flight Program. The S-IC program stressed discipline in analysis, testing, and management to insure a consistent and reliable end product.
Evaluation of the operational experience from this program resulted in a complete systems analysis program being established which encompassed single-point failure mode and effect analysis, double-point failure mode and effect analysis, and analysis of potential human-initiated failures. These activities serve to predict stage reliability, identify reliability critical components, and provide a constant feedback to design and management to permit timely hardware redesign, retesting or revision to operating procedures to eliminate or minimize the probability of failure.
Design concepts of the S-IC and other system requirements impose time limitations on all operations performed while the stage is assembled or on the pad. These limitations dictate that for error-free stage test operations, control by a general-purpose, control-applications, digital computer was required. An automatic checkout system, tailored to the needs of the Saturn Program, had to be developed to provide a high degree of confidence that the S-IC stage will perform its intended mission.
As a result of a continuous evaluation of the total S-IC program, the management systems necessary for assurance that our products will perform according to requirements, on schedule, and to customer expectations have been developed. This continual broadening and refining of management systems, and engineering knowledge and experience is the foundation on which the more exacting space boosters of the future will be built.