What is Ib: Definition and 117 Discussions

The Saturn IB (pronounced "Saturn one bee", also known as the uprated Saturn I) was an American launch vehicle commissioned by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the Apollo program. It uprated the Saturn I by replacing the S-IV second stage (90,000-pound-force (400,000 N), 43,380,000 lb-sec total impulse), with the S-IVB (200,000-pound-force (890,000 N), 96,000,000 lb-sec total impulse). The S-IB first stage also increased the S-I baseline's thrust from 1,500,000 pounds-force (6,700,000 N) to 1,600,000 pounds-force (7,100,000 N) and propellant load by 3.1%. This increased the Saturn I's low Earth orbit payload capability from 20,000 pounds (9,100 kg) to 46,000 pounds (21,000 kg), enough for early flight tests of a half-fueled Apollo command and service module (CSM) or a fully fueled Apollo Lunar Module (LM), before the larger Saturn V needed for lunar flight was ready.
By sharing the S-IVB upper stage, the Saturn IB and Saturn V provided a common interface to the Apollo spacecraft. The only major difference was that the S-IVB on the Saturn V burned only part of its propellant to achieve Earth orbit, so it could be restarted for trans-lunar injection. The S-IVB on the Saturn IB needed all of its propellant to achieve Earth orbit.
The Saturn IB launched two uncrewed CSM suborbital flights to a height of 162km, one uncrewed LM orbital flight, and the first crewed CSM orbital mission (first planned as Apollo 1, later flown as Apollo 7). It also launched one orbital mission, AS-203, without a payload so the S-IVB would have residual liquid hydrogen fuel. This mission supported the design of the restartable version of the S-IVB used in the Saturn V, by observing the behavior of the liquid hydrogen in weightlessness.
In 1973, the year after the Apollo lunar program ended, three Apollo CSM/Saturn IBs ferried crews to the Skylab space station. In 1975, one last Apollo/Saturn IB launched the Apollo portion of the joint US-USSR Apollo–Soyuz Test Project (ASTP). A backup Apollo CSM/Saturn IB was assembled and made ready for a Skylab rescue mission, but never flown.
The remaining Saturn IBs in NASA's inventory were scrapped after the ASTP mission, as no use could be found for them and all heavy lift needs of the US space program could be serviced by the cheaper and more versatile Titan III family and also the Space Shuttle.

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