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S-I Model

In the yard sat a 1/4-scale model of a Block I Saturn I S-I stage. The sign incorrectly identifies it as a 1/4-scale model of a Saturn IB first stage.

Seeing this model shortly after I began studying the Saturn hardware put me on the wrong track for quite a while: The idea of the 48 fuel tank pressurization spheres really stuck with me, and they were represented as being on the Saturn IB first stage. It was not until years later that I learned that only the first four Saturn Is (the Block I series) used this method of pressurization.

You will recall that the program that would become known as Saturn (it was originally called "Juno V") was started by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) in 1958, before Marshall Space Flight Center (or even NASA) was formed. The ABMA made a 1/4 scale model of an S-I stage for use in studying handling and assembly fixtures; the model on display at the MSSC bears a striking resemblance to this model.

This model is currently in storage at the Air Zoo. See my Michigan Space & Science Center aerial photos for aerial coverage when it was still at the MSSC.






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