Re: SPACE: Beyond Apollo

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Sun Apr 02 2000 - 19:42:37 MDT

> > Though I agree GNR will help make CAtS better, if we just took that old
> > Saturn V design, which, if I'm right, is now unpatented, we could be making
> > disposable launch vehicles that could put huge cargoes in orbit NOW! We'd
> > be using a proven technology.

Ja, however we dont have that design any more. It is folklore in the
space industry which I have been trying to confirm or overturn for
years. According to the legend, after the end of the Saturn V production
run, the drawing package was not only not preserved, it was intentionally
destroyed, so we couldn't build one now even if we wanted to. A reliable
source has told me that at least part of the package still exists in the
archives at Johnson, but he could not confirm that it was all there.

Another source claims that the drawing package was not fully up to date
ever; that skilled craftsmen knew how to make certain parts and that
these tricks were never entered into the drawings back in the go-go
rush of the 1960s, altho this latter part strains the imagination. That
sure wouldnt fly today.

The conspiracy theorist hold that the Saturn V drawings were destroyed
in order to prevent the Saturn V from being considered a competitor
for the space shuttle.

I suspect a more likely explanation is that no one awarded a contract
to preserve the drawings and so North American Rockwell, et. al. didnt.
Anybody know? spike

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:09:00 MDT