SP-4206 Stages to Saturn




[xix] Dr. Rudolph Hermann, Director of the Research Institute of the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH), encouraged much of the early work of the Saturn history project. His successor, Dr. John F. Porter, Jr., and Dr. J. Edwin Rush, Director of Graduate Programs and research at UAH, provided continuing encouragement and support.

Frederick I. Ordway III and David L. Christensen were primarily responsible for acquiring specialized documentation under the UAH contract. With unusual accuracy and efficiency, Mrs. M.L. Childress helped set up the documentary files and their annotated index and typed several early drafts of the history. John Stuart Beltz, one of the original historians on the project, drafted several "working papers" on aspects of the Saturn program that were helpful in preparing the final manuscript. Beltz conducted several interviews and acquired contractor documentation, particularly concerning the S-II stage of the Saturn V. Many long conversations with him helped shape this and other parts of the Saturn narrative. Mitchell R. Sharpe of George C. Marshall Space Flight Center developed working papers and bibliographies on early rocket history and assisted in acquiring materials on Saturn management (chapter 9) and the "all-up" launch of the first Saturn V (chapter 12).

At the MSFC Historical Office, David S. Akens, Leo L. Jones, and A. Ruth Jarrell offered continuous assistance. After the office was abolished, Robert G. Sheppard, Don Lakey, and Betty Davis helped fill requests for additional information and coordinated the distribution of preliminary copies of the manuscript within MSFC for editorial comment. Bonnie Holmes, in the MSFC Director's Office, provided invaluable help during a follow-up research visit to MSFC during the summer of 1975 and helped acquire photographs and drawings.

During the final phases of completing the manuscript, the documents of the Saturn history project were temporarily transferred to the Johnson Space Center (JSC) near the University of Houston/Clear Lake City (UH/CLC) campus. James M. Grimwood, JSC Historian, not only [xx] provided shelf space for these documents but also provided office facilities, access to the coffee pot, encouragement, and advice. My debt to him is considerable. I wish to thank Sally Gates and my other colleagues, also of JSC, at work on NASA histories; Edward and Linda Ezell and David Compton, whose interest and suggestions were unfailingly helpful. At UH/CLC, Dr. Calvin Cannon, Dean of Human Sciences and Humanities, and Dr. Peter Fischer, Director of Programs in Humanities, generously cooperated in arranging teaching duties to benefit research and writing. Special thanks go to Jean Sherwood and Myra Hewitt Young who worked so cheerfully and conscientiously in typing the manuscript.

Dr. Eugene M. Emme, of the History Office at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., organized and guided the NASA historical program and monitored the Apollo-Saturn history effort. Lee Saegesser, archivist in the History Office, invariably turned up needed illustrations and documents. I owe a special debt, however, to Dr. Monte D. Wright, Directory of the History Office, and Dr. Frank W. Anderson, Jr., Publications Manager, for their painstaking and thorough editing of early drafts of the manuscript. I learned much from their criticisms, and the manuscript, I trust, is much the better for their close attention to it. I would like to emphasize here that I have had complete freedom in interpreting the Saturn program in my own way. I was only cautioned at one point not to write in such a way to open myself to the charge of delivering a "company history."

Personnel from NASA and contractors' offices all over the United States diligently and graciously responded to requests for additional illustrations and documentation. Dozens of NASA and contractor personnel (the majority of whom still remain unknown to me) read various drafts of the manuscript and returned copies with suggestions and corrections. Since I cannot possibly identify and list all of them, I can only acknowledge my great obligation to their interest in this history of Saturn. Likewise, I want to acknowledge the cooperation extended by the dozens of NASA and contractor personnel who consented to interviews. As for any remaining errors of fact or interpretation, they are mine.

Portions of this text have appeared elsewhere, and I wish to acknowledge the following publications and editors for cooperation in incorporating revised versions in the present text: "Aircraft for the Space Age: The Guppy Series of Transports," Aerospace Historian (Summer 1974); "From the S-IV to the S-IVB: The Evolution of Rocket Stage for Space Exploration," Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (December 1979); "To make a Giant Leap: Rocket Engines for Manned Lunar Missions," in Kent Newmyer, ed., Historical Essays in Honor of Kenneth R. Rossman (Doane College, Crete, Neb., 1980).

I could never have finished the history of Saturn without the affection and encouragement of my wife Linda and without the heart-warming interest of Paula and Alex in "the rocket book."