Service Structure Concepts for Post-Saturn Rockets

by Merrill E. Crissey,

Serial Information: Journal of the Aero-Space Transport Division, 1967, Vol. 93, Issue 1, Pg. 41-56

Document Type: Journal Paper


Future launch vehicles of the post-Saturn class will be much larger and heavier than the rockets presently in use, thus imposing critical new requirements on the launch facilities for these vehicles. A typical post-Saturn launch vehicle and a proposed launch complex at Kennedy Space Center, to provide for all prelaunch and launch operations associated with this vehicle, are described herein. One of the most important elements of the launch complex is the service structure. The unusual design requirements for a service structure capable of supporting a post-Saturn type vehicle are identified, including the requirement that the vehicle be launched directly from the building. These service structures are therefore referred to as launch buildings. A number of candidate launch building configurations meeting the identified design requirements are described, their features examined and a comparison made between candidates on the basis of cost and operational advantage. The optimum configuration is identified and described.

Subject Headings: Vehicles | Building design | Space exploration | Structural members | Structural design | Comparative studies

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