Today in space: the first launch of the Saturn-1B rocket

On February 26, 1966, NASA launched a new rocket Southern-1B He launched himself on his first test flight. Saturn-1B, also known as Saturn-1 Enhanced, for the program Apollo was made

Construction history

In 1959, the National Aeronautics Advisory Committee issued recommendations for the development of the Saturn rocket. When the Apollo program began in 1961 with the goal of landing humans on the moon, NASA Saturn-1 had chosen for the earth orbit test missions.

However, the limitation of Saturn-1’s cargo load of 9100 kg and its altitude up to 162 km made NASA decide to upgrade it and develop another launch vehicle and replace it. Saturn-1B, with the ability to carry at least 16,000 kg and improve the thrust of engines, replaced Saturn-1 for Earth orbit testing. In 1973, when it was used to launch three Skylab missions, the first stage engine was further upgraded, increasing the payload capacity to 21,000 kg.

Southern-1B missions

NASA used the Saturn-1B for flight tests early in the Apollo program, but this type of rocket never launched astronauts to the moon. For that, more powerful than a rocket Saturn-5 they used Saturn-1B’s first flight was unmanned and tested the rocket’s propulsion, guidance and electrical systems.

Sunrise during Saturn rocket launch and countdown.

In 1973, a year after the end of the Apollo lunar program, Saturn-1B carried three passengers to the Skylab space station. Also in 1975, the Apollo section of the Joint Experimentation Project Apollo-Soyuz The United States and the Soviet Union were launched by this rocket.

The remains of this rocket were destroyed in NASA after this mission; Because they had no use, and all the heavy-lift needs of the US space program were met by cheaper and more versatile next-generation rockets. Titan-3 And space shuttle was provided

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