- Hardcover: 176 pages
- Publisher: Haynes Publishing Group (22 July 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0857338285
- ISBN-13: 978-0857338280
- Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 1.6 x 27.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 821 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Nasa Saturn V Owners' Workshop Manual: 1967-1973 (Apollo 4 to Apollo 17 & Skylab) Hardcover – 22 Jul 2016
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About the Author
David Woods turned his boyhood fascination with Apollo into a lifelong passion. He combined his deep interest with an ability to explain complex technical subjects to the layperson, and has written extensively about Apollo and the technical challenges it presented. David curates the Apollo Flight Journal for NASA, detailing the moment-by-moment reality of flying to the Moon. He is the co-author of both the Haynes Lunar Rover and Gemini Manuals.
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In essence, this book is a greatly expanded version of the Saturn V sections of Woods' own How Apollo Flew to the Moon, combined with the familiar Haynes manual format. This isn't a bad thing per se - if it ain't broke, don't fix it! Despite the novelty format, I really enjoyed reading about many of the more obscure features of this historic launch vehicle. We see how helium was introduced into the LOX prevalves of the S-IC to suppress pogo and prevent vaporization and geysering. We learn how an ingenious oxygen/hydrogen burner was used to re-pressurize the S-IVB's propellant tanks prior to TLI. There are detailed technical descriptions of the F-1 and J-2 motors, accompanied by excellent diagrams and close-up photographs. Even the Instrument Unit receives its own chapter, complete with explanations of how its environmental control system, guidance platform, computer, and Emergency Detection System worked.
Visually, this book is a home run. The photographs are numerous, well-chosen, and frequently spectacular. There are images of stages and motors being assembled and tested, close-up views of hardware components, photographs of the Saturn V "in action," and dozens of technical diagrams. Many of the diagrams have been cleaned up, re-annotated, and have had color added to better differentiate components and fluid flows. These diagrams were the highlight for me, going well beyond the basic arrangement of the three stages. We get cross-sections of the F-1 nozzle extension showing how turbine exhaust gas protected the engine bell, a cutaway view showing how hydrogen was routed through the pipework of the J-2's thrust chamber, perspective views of the internal arrangement of the IU, showing the environmental control duct which branched upwards to blow directly on the LM's RTG cask... Seriously, there's a LOT of excellent material here, some of which I wasn't able to glean from the couple times I struggled though "Stages to Saturn."
I WANT to give this five stars, but I feel bad giving it only four. Since I can't give it 4 1/2, I'll explain where it falls a little short. First, there's no index. (Boo!) Second, there's not a whole lot about the mechanical connections between the stages, or what the staging process actually entailed. Some additional details would have helped the section on the Skylab S-II interstage immensely. Finally, there are a couple bits where specific details are missing, mostly relating to temperatures, pressures, and the like.
A couple of gripes aside, this is one of the best "manuals" Haynes has published in some time, and one of the most enjoyable and readable space references I've read in a while. It's not perfect (few Haynes titles are), but it's nonetheless an excellent companion to Haynes' other Apollo manuals.
This volume, by the extremely capable David Woods, is an excellent technical description of the Saturn V's engines, stages, and systems. Any true aficionado of launch vehicles should find it accessible. One of Mr. Woods' strengths is explaining complex systems in a simple way, and he doesn't disappoint here, while at the same time providing enough depth for the more advanced. If there's a weakness, it's in the Haynes format holding the author back from breaking out and exploring details more deeply; but this is one big, complicated, badass rocket, and there's only so much that can fit.
Littered with well-cultivated diagrams and photographs, well written and thoughtfully organized, my own personal disappointment stems from it not offering more for the modeler of the Saturn V, alas this was not its function. Perhaps best of all, there are no mis-labeled photos of SA-500F in awkward places, further proof this author knows what he's talking about.
The book starts with a history that goes from the dawn of American rocketry right up until the creation of the Saturn program (originally as Juno V) in 1959, and how the design of what became the Saturn V changed as the procedure for the moon mission changed. This is followed by detailed chapters dealing individually with the two engines (F-1 & J-2) and the three stages (S-IC, S-II & S-IVB), plus the instrument unit. Another chapter deals with a typical mission, from transport of the rocket to the pad to staging and translunar injection, after which the vehicle has essentially ceased to exist. A final chapter covers the S-V's last act, the Skylab I mission and the issues that resulted.
The book is replete with photos, drawings and tables and does up its subject in almost excruciating detail. I'm an aerospace engineer, but my background is not in rocketry, and frankly, I found much of the book too detailed for my tastes. The one serious flaw is the complete lack of an index, surprising in view of the very good indices found in other such Haynes manuals, and unacceptable considering the high level of detail in the book. I hope Haynes sees fit to create an index and make it available online for owners of the book to print out and insert.
If you are indeed a rocket scientist, this book definitely rates 5 stars. If you are a layman who was looking for primarily the history of the Saturn V program, you'll probably only get 2 stars worth. For those of us who are in-between, an intermediate rating would apply.
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