Douglas S-IV Test Stand Advertisement

In the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s, many aerospace companies took out advertisements in magazines, including many non-industry magazines such as Time and National Geographic. Back then, the public took an interest in the space program, and the companies producing the hardware took the opportunity to engender good will.

In this advertisement from the November 30, 1962 issue of Time magazine, Douglas tells the story of using an altitude simulation test stand to static-fire their S-IV, the second stage of the Saturn I rocket. This date puts it about 14 months before the first flight of the S-IV stage, which took place with the January 29, 1964 flight of SA-5, the first Saturn I launch featuring a live second stage.

Douglas Saturn S-IV second stage test stand ad

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Scan by Alan Lawrie.
Clean-up and composite by heroicrelics.

Douglas builds chunk of Outer Space

to speed interplanetary travel!

In the U.S. effort to place a man on the moon, the scientific pathway will be paved by NASA's big Saturn rocket. The first-stage of this 20-story giant has already been successfully test launched.

The second stage, now being built by Douglas for the Marshall Space Flight Center, poses a different testing problem. It is made to fire only outside the earth's atmosphere, in the cold near-vacuum of space. Since you can't hoist these 50-ton cylinders miles high in the sky, Douglas has re-created a chunk of Outer Space down here on earth.

In this giant test stand, vast quantities of steam drain air from tubes into which the engines fire, creating a tremendous vacuum in seconds. In it, rocket engines are proved under space conditions long before their flight mission.

Helping the U.S. cross new aerospace frontiers is a Douglas specialty. Witness the superb record of THOR, which has launched more satellites than all other boosters combined ... the dependability of DELTA as it places new man-moons into precise orbits ... the great strides made in the development of two defense firsts, the SKYBOLT airborne IRBM and ZEUS anti-missile rocket.

"Outer Space" test of Saturn S-IV at Douglas Sacramento site incorporates largest cluster of liquid hydrogen engines ever fired.

See also this ad for the RL-10 rocket engine used by the S-IV stage.

For additional information on this test stand, see Altitude Simulation in Saturn S-IV Stage Testing [direct link to 9.4 meg PDF] at the USSRC archive at the University of Alabama, Huntsville

I've also prepared a 4.9 megabyte PDF of this ad.