Similarities between old Saturn 1B and Ares I

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moonmadness

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Coldn't help but notice how much alike (from a laymans POV) the design of the old Saturn 1B second stage and the Ares I upper stage.<br /><br />Are most upper stages following the same basic design or is it just a coincidence?<br /><br />http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e4/Saturn_S-IB_SIV-B.jpg<br /><br />http://www1.nasa.gov/images/content/205918main_Upper_Stage_720x540.jpg <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>I'm not a rocket scientist, but I do play one on the TV in my mind.</p> </div>
 
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webtaz99

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Form follows function. <br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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qso1

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They would be similar. Especially in this case where the engine is actually derived from the Saturn-1B second stage (J-2). In addition, no major advances in propellant technology have occured so the same liquid propellants are utilized to this day.<br /><br />Note the instrument unit calls your attention to the "Modern electronics". This because thats one of the few areas to see major advancment since Apollo, Al/Li (Aluminum lithium) orthogrid structure being another. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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gunsandrockets

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<Are most upper stages following the same basic design or is it just a coincidence?><br /><br />No coincidence. Hydrogen makes an excellent fuel for an upper stage. <br />
 
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vogon13

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And re-inventing the wheel for billions of dollars is a national pastime . . . .<br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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vulture2

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The big difference is in the lower stage. The Saturn I first stage was just thrown together from Jupiter and Thor tanks, but at least it used liquid fuel. We're not even re-inventing the wheel, we're going backward.
 
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windnwar

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They really are alot alike, the main difference being the construction techniques and material advancements. I would assume the new tank can be made lighter for a given volume and with the new engine have a higher thrust to wieght ratio. <br /><br />But then as was said, its basically got the same job, so it makes sense it would be very similar in form. <br /><br />Now we just need something better under it. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font size="2" color="#0000ff">""Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." --Albert Einstein"</font></p> </div>
 
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tomnackid

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They are even more alike than you think since NASA had plans to convert the first stage of the Saturn I to a single solid motor. Sort of a "proto-stick". They got as far as testing one segment of a humongous 260 inch (I think that was the size) solid rocket motor before the project was canceled.<br /><br />And no its not reinventing the wheel. Building an exact duplicate of a Saturn IB--assuming it were even possible--would be extremely wasteful since the parts no longer exist and restarting the manufacturing facilities would completely blow the budget. But the Ares I is conceptually similar to the concepts behind the Saturn I. Us as much existing parts as possible. Make it man-rated from the get go. Both have even suffered similar criticisms for ending ups less "off the shelf" than was originally planned. The Saturn I first stage was originally supposed to be a simple cluster of existing rockets, but it ended up using only existing fuel tanks but completely new plumbing and engine placement.
 
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vulture2

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>>Building an exact duplicate of a Saturn IB--assuming it were even possible--would be extremely wasteful<br /><br />I am not suggesting that. But it seems unlikely the Saturn I would have been built if an existing vehicle of adequate performance had been available, as is now the case.<br /><br /> />>Make it man-rated from the get go.<br /><br />This is just my opinion. I truly respect other viewpoints, and I could very easily be wrong. <br /><br />But I don't recall the Redstone, Atlas, or Titan II killing anyone, and the Soyuz is currently probably the most reliable launch vehicle in the world. All were originally designed as missiles. The best predictor of reliability is the number of launches a system has made, and launch vehicles that are used primarily for unmanned payloads are likely to have made more launches.<br /><br />I appreciate the intent of man-rating, but I think it gives us a false sense of security. It assumes that analysis can find all the possible failure modes and redundancy is the best way of protecting against them. In reality most catastrophic failures are unanticipated and can be eliminated completely by design changes once they become obvious. Man-rating, by focussing so pervasively on "fail-operational, fail-safe", has unfortunately made redundancy more important than reliability. Redundant man-rated O-rings didn't help Challenger. We now have four redundant LH2 MECO sensors in a system that was man-rated from the get-go and it still doesn't work.<br />
 
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thereiwas

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Excellent point. Proven reliability of a simple system over a <i>large</i> number of launches beats arbitrary 'man rating' requirements (which I suspect have more to do with protecting existing suppliers and NASA centers than actual results).<br />
 
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qso1

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vulture2:<br />But I don't recall the Redstone, Atlas, or Titan II killing anyone.<br /><br />Me:<br />Redstone carried humans 2 times.<br /><br />Atlas carried humans 4 times.<br /><br />Titan II carried humans 10 times.<br /><br />Saturn 1B carried humans 5 times.<br /><br />Saturn V carried humans 10 times.<br /><br />Shuttle carried humans at least 115 times.<br /><br />I would have to say in a vehicle or system as complex as any of the above...your bound to have at least 1 fatal accident during that vehicles lifetime. Except for the shuttle, all other U.S. manned launchers did not remain in service long enough for some catastrophic failure to befall them. Chances are, at least 1 type of vehicle might fly 115 or more times without failure but this is highly unlikely.<br /><br />As for man rating, the shuttle flight rate is roughly equal to unmanned launchers such as Delta. Man rating has not made the shuttle any safer on the face of it, but one has to wonder if shuttle would have had as good a flight rate (At least 98% success rate) had it been an unmanned system. <br /><br />Man rating or not, Challenger was a result of ignoring safety requirements such as minimal operating temps for "O" rings. This is a human error factor for which no level of man rating can ever overcome. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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tomnackid

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I don't want to get into a debate about the merits of the Ares I vs. EELV--that has been done to death on other threads and in other forums. Besides I am neither an engineer nor a NASA/contractor insider. The Saturn I, like the Ares I were both conceived of as man-carrying rockets from the beginning rather than converted weapons. You can argue about the merits of that, but in that way both systems were similar, which was my point.<br /><br />It is a common misconception that "man-rating" simply is synonymous with "failure rate". Man rating means much more. It mens that the rocket can fly its mission using a trajectory that can allow for crew escape. It means that vibration and g-force levels remain within a certain parameters. Rockets not designed to carry humans can experience dangerous levels of vibration and spikes of high g-forces during stage separation and attitude adjustments. Unmanned probes can withstand these forces but humans can't . For example even with primitive 1940's electronic technology we were able to fit proximity fuses into anti aircraft shells that had to withstand hundreds of g's of acceleration. Modern, solid-state electronics are even more robust.
 
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