Design of the Saturn V Mobile-Launcher (Paper from the November, 1965 Aero-Space Transport Division Specialty Conference, Cocoa Beach, FL)

by James M. Cunningham,

Serial Information: Journal of the Aero-Space Transport Division, 1966, Vol. 92, Issue 2, Pg. 39-58

Document Type: Journal Paper


The Mobile-Launcher is a component of Complex 39, Cape Kennedy, Florida. The structure is composed of a 380-ft high Umbilical Tower resting on a launch platform 137 ft wide by 160 ft long by 25 ft high. The platform houses two interior floors of mechanical, electrical and instrumentation equipment. The entire unit is mobile, built to carry the Saturn V to a distant pad and support the vehicle launch. Structural design includes stringent requirements for geometry, deflection and vibration of the vehicle during both transport and launch conditions. The Mobile-Launcher is also capable of resisting hurricane winds during the erection stage in an unprotected environment. Special design problems include temperature expansion, acoustic protection, dynamic analysis, and differential deflections at the vehicle hold-down arms. The launcher platform is designed by computer analysis as a system of deep intersecting plate girders enclosed by top and bottom plates. The entire unit is air-and-water tight. Model testing confirms the structural analysis. Supporting Mount-Mechanisms can take either compressive or uplift loads as a single unit, allow expansion-contraction and are adjustable to provide tolerance in mating to the Mobile-Launcher.

Subject Headings: Vehicles | Beaches | Electrical equipment | Dynamic analysis | Computer analysis | System analysis | Plate girders | Residential buildings | Florida | United States

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