Saturn V Flight History - John Duncan

SA-501: Apollo 4

Launch vehicle serial numbers: S-IC-1, S-II-1, S-IVB-501, S-IU-501

Spacecraft serial numbers: Apollo CSM-017 (Block 1), LTA-10R (Lunar Module Test Article)

Vehicle Liftoff: 07:00:01 AM, November 9, 1967, Pad 39A ML #1

Crew:None

Mission type: A (Unmanned, testing launch vehicle and CM heatshield)

Flight Duration: 8 hours, 36 minutes, 59 seconds

Comments: First flight of the Saturn V, first "All-Up" testing flight demonstrated capabilities of launch vehicle and CM heatshield at lunar reentry velocities.

Vehicle variation notes:

Stacked in VAB High-bay #1

S-IC/S-II Interstage carried 8 ullage rockets

S-IC had no stage serial numbers

S-IC "USA" script with rounded "S", stage manufactured at Marshall

S-IC had black areas on intertank painted over with white paint, this creates a noticeable difference in tint

S-II carried "Camera Targets" spaced around the forward skirt

Carried Dual Separation Plane camera on S-II Thrust structure

S-IVB Forward skirt fitted with "Flutter Kit" (ring stiffeners)


SA-502: Apollo 6

Launch vehicle serial numbers: S-IC-2, S-II-2, S-IVB-502, S-IU-502

Spacecraft serial numbers: Apollo CM-020, SM-014 (SM-020 destroyed by tank explosion), LTA-2R

Vehicle Liftoff: 07:00:01 AM April 4, 1968, Pad 39A ML #2

Crew: Unmanned Mission type:A (unmanned orbital test)

Flight Duration: 10 hours, 22 minutes, 59 seconds

Comments: Last unmanned Saturn V flight. Severe Pogo effect on this flight caused partial failure of Spacecraft LM Adapter, Pogo solution was to inject Helium into the propellant valves to dampen fuel motion. Problems with J-2 engines on S-II and S-IVB due to vibrations in flexible sections of fuel feed lines causing failure. SPS engine on Service Module used to send CSM on a trajectory which simulated Lunar reentry speeds (S-IVB would not restart after orbit insertion)

Vehicle variation notes

S-IC had no stage serial numbers S-IC "USA" script with rounded "S", stage manufactured at Marshall

S-IC carried TV and cameras on Boattail and Forward skirt

502 and subsequent, beef-up of Dual Plane separation joints on S-IC/S-II interstage

Last flight to carry Dual separation plane cameras on S-IC/S-II interstage

Ullage pressure in S-II reduced to 33psi from 36psi

S-II/S-IVB interstage aft joint strengthened

Last flight to carry R&D instrumentation on the S-IVB

Structural Beef-up of IU/SLA joint


SA-503: Apollo 8

Launch vehicle serial numbers: S-IC-3, S-II-3, S-IVB-503N

 S-IU-503 Spacecraft serial numbers: Apollo CSM-103, LTA-B

Liftoff: 07:51:00 AM December 21, 1968, Pad 39A ML #1

Crew: Frank Borman CDR, Jim Lovell CMP, Bill Anders PLT

Mission type: C'(C-Prime, combination of C and D mission objectives)

Flight Duration: 6 days, 3 hours, 0 minutes, 02 seconds

Comments: First manned Saturn V mission and first manned circumlunar mission.

Vehicle variation notes:

S-IC manufactured at Michoud, LA, all subsequent S-IC's manufactured there

This S-IC and subsequent carried serial numbers (S-IC-3) S-IC "USA" lettering had squared off "S", typical of Michoud stages

CSM had no docking probe or ring (not needed, no LM carried to moon)

S-IC lightweight stucture, reduction of 1230 lbs results in 80 lbs more payload

S-IC engine fairing air scoops removed, base heating lower than expected

Last flight for S-IC boattail and separation TV and film cameras

On the S-II, independent power supply for each Emergency Detection System (EDS) pressure transducer

Last flight for Ring Stiffener kit on S-IVB forward skirt

O2/H2 Burner added to S-IVB for repressurization for Trans-lunar Injection burn

J-2's on S-IVB uprated to 230,000 lbs thrust for this and subsequent vehicles

On the S-IVB, independent power supply for each Emergency Detection System (EDS) pressure transducer

Special instrumentation for S-IVB 503N, replacement for original 503 destroyed on test stand

Last flight for Instrument Unit R&D instrumentation

S-1C impact point 353.462nmi downrange, 30.24N , 74.109W


SA-504: Apollo 9

Launch vehicle serial numbers: S-IC-4, S-II-4, S-IVB-504,S-IU-504

Spacecraft serial numbers: Apollo CSM-104 (Gumdrop), LM-3 (Spider)

Liftoff: 11:00:00 AM March 3, 1969, Pad 39A MLP #2

Crew: Jim McDivitt CDR, Dave Scott CMP, Rusty Schweickart LMP

Mission type: D (Earth Orbital CSM/LM testing)

Flight Duration: 10 days, 1 hour, 54 seconds

Comments: All lunar landing hardware tested on this mission, LM given a thorough shakedown testing all systems.

Vehicle variation notes:

Starting with this mission through Apollo 17 (AS-512) exterior markings remainded identical for all vehicles

LM RCS plume deflectors not installed on descent stage

Lunar contact probe installed on forward footpad, would be deleted later so it would not interfere with astronauts' descent down the ladder

CSM had no VHF Radar Ranging, this would be needed for rendezvous in Lunar orbit

Lengthened standpipe in S-IC for early center engine cut-off (CECO) and reduced residual propellants S-IC low propellant level sensor for CECO

Improved F-1 injector resulting in 3 second specific impulse increase and improved combustion stability (this and subsequent vehicles)

S-II lightweight structure, 4000 lbs lighter, 1330 lbs payload increase (this and subsequent vehicles)

S-II thicker aft LOX bulkhead to carry more LOX (this and subsequent vehicles)

S-II uprated J-2's, 225,000 to 230,000 lbs thrust (this and subsequent vehicles)

S-1C impact point, 346.635nmi downrange, 30.183N 74.238W


SA-505: Apollo 10

Launch vehicle serial numbers: S-IC-5,S-II-5, S-IVB-505, S-IU-505

Spacecraft serial numbers: Apollo CSM-106 (Charlie Brown)/LM-4 (Snoopy)

Vehicle Liftoff: 12:49:00 PM May 18, 1969, Pad 39B ML #3

Crew: Tom Stafford (CDR), John Young (CMP), Gene Cernan (LMP)

Mission type: F (Manned Lunar Orbit test with LM)

Flight Duration: 8 days, 0 hours, 3 minutes, 23 seconds Comments:

Tested LM down to 50,000 feet above the lunar surface, abort modes tested

Vehicle variation notes:

The LM was not capable of landing, as it was too heavy; also it carried only a 63% fuel load in the ascent stage to simulate weight at that altitude after "lifting off" from the moon.

Last flight for S-IC R&D Instrumentation

Last flight for S-II R&D Instrumentation

S-1C impact point, 348.8nmi downrange, 30.188N 74.207W


SA-506: Apollo 11

Launch vehicle serial numbers: S-IC-6, S-II-6, S-IVB-506, S-IU-506

Spacecraft serial numbers: Apollo CSM-107 (Columbia), LM-5 (Eagle)

Vehicle Liftoff: 09:32:00 AM July 16, 1969, Pad 39A ML #1

Crew: Neil Armstrong (CDR), Mike Collins (CMP), Buzz Aldrin (LMP)

Mission type: G (Basic manned lunar landing flight with EASEP experiments

Flight Duration: 8 days, 3 hours, 18 minutes, 35 seconds

Comments: First manned landing on the moon, 46 pounds of sample retrieved during 2.5 hour EVA. Duration of Lunar visit: 21.6 hours.

Vehicle variation notes: S-II spray-on foam insulation on LH2 forward bulkhead

S-II replace 35 Amp-hour batteries with with 25 AH; reduced power requirement

S-1C impact point, 357.1nmi downrange, 30.212N 74.038W


SA-507: Apollo 12

Launch vehicle serial numbers: S-IC-7, S-II-7, S-IVB-507, S-IU-507

Spacecraft serial numbers: Apollo CSM-108 (Yankee Clipper), LM-6 (Intrepid)

Liftoff: 11:22:00 AM November 14, 1969, Pad 39A ML #2

Crew: Pete Conrad (CDR), Dick Gordon (CMP), Al Bean (LMP)

Mission type: H (Manned lunar exploration with ALSEP package)

Flight Duration: 10 days, 4 hours, 36 minutes, 25 seconds

Comments: Saturn V struck by lightning soon after liftoff, knocks spacecraft systems out temporarily. Once in orbit all systems check out as unaffected. EVA's totaling almost 8 hours with 75 pounds of lunar material collected. The Surveyor 3 lander was examined and samples retrieved.

Vehicle variation notes: S-1C impact point, 365.2nmi downrange, 30.273N 73.895W


SA-508: Apollo 13

Launch vehicle serial numbers: S-IC-8, S-II-8, S-IVB-508, S-IU-508

Spacecraft serial numbers: Apollo CSM-109 (Odyssey), LM-7 (Aquarius)

Vehicle Liftoff: 14:13:00 PM April 11, 1970, Pad 39A ML #3

Crew: Jim Lovell (CDR), Ken Mattingly (CMP)**, Fred Haise (LMP)

Mission type: H (Manned Lunar exploration with ALSEP)

Flight Duration: 5 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes, 41 seconds

Comments: Normal launch except for a shutdown of the center J-2 engine on the S-II. Explosion of an oxygen tank while enroute to the moon cripples the CSM, the LM is used as a lifeboat and returns the crew to earth.

Vehicle variation notes:

S-II Spray-on insulation on LH2 exterior tank walls this vehicle and subsequent, replaces helium purged insulation panels.

S-1C impact point, 355.3nmi downrange30.177N 74.065W


SA-509: Apollo 14

Launch vehicle serial numbers: S-IC-9, S-II-9, S-IVB-509, S-IU-509

Spacecraft serial numbers: Apollo CSM-110 (Kitty Hawk), LM-8 (Antares)

Vehicle Liftoff: 16:03:00 PM January 31, 1971, Pad 39A ML #2

Crew: Alan Shepard (CDR), Stu Roosa (CMP), Ed Mitchell (LMP)

Mission type: H (manned lunar exploration with ALSEP)

Flight Duration: 9 days, 0 hours, 57 seconds

Comments: Two EVA's totaling 9.1 hours with 94 pounds of lunar material collected. Total surface stay: 33.5 hours.

Vehicle variation notes: S-1C impact point, 351.7nmi downrange, 29.835N 74.042W


SA-510: Apollo 15

Launch vehicle serial numbers: S-IC-10, S-II-10, S-IVB-510, S-IU-510

Spacecraft serial numbers: Apollo CSM-112 (Endeavour)/LM-10 (Falcon)

Vehicle Liftoff: 08:34:00 AM July 26, 1971, Pad 39A ML #3

Crew: Dave Scott (CDR), Al Worden (CMP), Jim Irwin (LMP)

Mission type: J (Advanced manned lunar landing with use of Lunar Rover Vehicle and ALSEP)

Flight Duration: 12 days, 17 hours, 11 minutes, 53 seconds

Comments: First flight to use Lunar Rover (LRV), total distance traveled: 17 miles, 169 pounds of lunar material collected during 3 EVA's totaling 18.5 hours.

Vehicle variation notes: S-1C impact point 368.8nmi downrange, 29.42N 73.653W


SA-511: Apollo 16

Launch vehicle serial numbers: S-IC-11, S-II-11, S-IVB-511, S-IU-511

Spacecraft serial numbers: Apollo CSM-113 (Casper)/LM-11 (Orion)

Vehicle Liftoff: 12:54:00 PM April 16, 1972, Pad 39A MLP #3

Crew: John Young (CDR), Tom Mattingly (CMP), Charlie Duke (LMP)

Mission type: J (Advanced lunar landing with LRV, ALSEP and UV camera)

Flight Duration: 11 days, 1 hour, 51 minutes, 05 seconds

Comments: Lunar Rover expeditions travel 16.7 miles over three EVA's totaling 20.2 hours with 213 pounds of Lunar material collected.

Vehicle variation notes: S-1C impact point 351.6nmi downrange, 30.207N 74.147W


SA-512: Apollo 17

Launch vehicle serial numbers: S-IC-12, S-II-12, S-IVB-512/S-IU-512

Spacecraft serial numbers: Apollo CSM-114 (America), LM-12 (Challenger)

Liftoff: 00:33:00 EST December 7, 1972, Pad 39A ML #3

Prime Crew: Gene Cernan (CDR), Ron Evans (CMP), Jack Schmitt (LMP)

Mission type: J (Advanced manned lunar landing with LRV and ALSEP)

Flight Duration: 12 days, 13 hours, 51 minutes, 59 seconds

Comments: Last manned lunar landing, EVA's totaling 22.1 hours with 22 miles traveled in the Lunar Rover. 258 pounds of lunar material collected.

Vehicle variation notes: S-1C impact point 356.6nmi downrange, 28.219N 73.878W


SA-513: Skylab 1

Launch vehicle serial numbers: S-IC-13, S-II-13, S-IVB-212 (Skylab), S-IU-513

Spacecraft serial numbers: Skylab Orbital Workshop built from S-IVB-212

Vehicle Liftoff: 13:30:00 PM May 14, 1973, Pad 39A ML #2

Crew: None

Comments: Skylab launch successful except for premature deployment of Micrometeroid shield on station exterior. Shield was ripped off station by aerodynamic forces, taking Solar Array Wing No. 1 with it. After repair by astronauts, three manned periods took place successfully.

Vehicle variation notes:

Sway Targets on S-II/S-IVB interstage deleted

Boost acceleration limit increased to 4.7g from 4.0g

S-IC engine cutoff changed to 1-2-2 from 1-4 to lessen deceleration loads, cutting off all four outboard engines at once would have subjected the Apollo Telescope Mount to excessive dynamic loads

S-II modified to be the terminal stage (last to provide propulsion); engine cutoff by guidance as opposed to fuel depletion; Safeing sequence provided to render stage inert within 1 hour 15 minutes to ensure it remained intact until orbit decayed (unsafed, the S-II might rupture and fill Skylab's orbit with potentially hazardous debris)

Instrument Unit modified to provide payload attitude control signals and events sequencing, control switched to ATM before end of IU's 7.5 hour lifetime

I.U. structural lifetime increased to 8 months through verification of adhesives and materials

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