Friday, April 19, 2013

Bringing the Mighty Saturn F-1 Engine Back to Life

Interesting article over here.

Never thought I'd see the F-1 roar again.....



  1. I moved into the KSC area in '82, after the first few shuttle flights. With a few exceptions, I've seen every launch since then. I've always wished I'd lived here for the Saturn V launches.

    I've heard stories from guys who were on the Cape for a couple of them and the power they talk about will blow your mind.

  2. I had a friend who worked there during the Apollo days.

    The acoustic noise was enough to kill you if you were within half a mile!

    He said after every launch they had a special detail that went out and picked up all the dead birds and gators.

    1. On the north side of the KSC area, there's an access road that leads to a public beach Playalinda beach, naturally enough called Playalinda beach road. The south end of Playalinda is close enough to the pads there that the sound would kill you so it's closed down for anything using that pad complex (39A or B). Like most roads there, it was put through on high spots in the marsh, and made higher by digging little canals and piling up the fill, leaving canals alongside the road.

      One of my favorite stories was from a guy who went down that road toward the beach, with a bunch of other cars. Of course they were stopped before they got inside the danger zone, but he said during the first 30 seconds or so (Saturn V took a long time to clear the tower), the water in the canal was jumping into the air in peaks every few feet. Spaced at whatever the wavelengths of the sounds present were. It would have been awesome to see the water jumping into the air under sound pressure.

  3. Glad to the the F-1 getting reverse engineered.

  4. Finding out how stout the freaking fuel pump is was fascinating in and of itself.

  5. "Stout" is a pretty good word to describe it, Jeff.

    I liked the part where the author watched the test firing of the gas generator. One thing he said was exactly the same thins *I* thought until I watched my first live rocket liftoff.

    When you hear it on TV, you notice the sound has a loud "crackle-crackle-crackle" nature to it. I, too, thought it was the microphones overloading and "clipping" due to the extreme loudness of the noise.

    It's not.

    What you're really hearing is the fact that a rocket engine firing is really one verrrry long controlled explosion, and each one of the individual "crackles" represents that.

    I've been at and watched 24 "live" rocket launches now, and that unearthly sound is just one of those intoxicating things you never get used to, or tired of!

    Kind of like watching a Top Fuel car leave the line, you feel it as much as your hear it.

  6. One hellva piece of work right there, in SO many ways!!!


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