s ivb

Apollo 9 Completes First Docking of a Lunar Module (3 March 1969) — The Lunar Module (LM) “Spider”, still attached to the Saturn V third (S-IVB) stage, is photographed from the Command and Service Modules (CSM) “Gumdrop” on the first day of the Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission. This picture was taken following CSM/LM-S-IVB separation and prior to LM extraction from the S-IVB. The Spacecraft Lunar Module Adapter (SLA) panels have already been jettisoned. Inside the Command Module were astronauts James A. McDivitt, commander; David R. Scott, command module pilot; and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot.


Apollo 7 Completes Transposition & Docking Procedures (11 Oct. 1968) — The expended Saturn S-IVB stage as photographed from the Apollo 7 spacecraft during transposition and docking maneuvers at an approximate altitude of 125 nautical miles, at ground elapsed time of three hours and 16 minutes (beginning of third revolution). This view is over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Cape Kennedy, Florida. The Florida coastline from Flagler Beach southward to Vero Beach is clearly visible in picture. Much of the Florida peninsula can be seen. Behind the open panels is the Gulf of Mexico. Distance between the Apollo 7 spacecraft and the S-IVB is approximately 100 feet. The round, white disc inside the open panels of the S-IVB is a simulated docking target similar to that used on the Lunar Module (LM) for docking during lunar missions.

The Apollo 7 spacecraft and Spacecraft launch adapter are seen being lowered on to the S-IVB stage of their Saturn IB rocket. This unique photo shows the forward bulkhead of the liquid Hydrogen tank and the attach points on the forward skirt.

Assembly of the Saturn IB vehicle - including that of Apollo 7 - occurred on the launch pad itself. Cranes and service platforms were located in a massive, inverted U-shaped structure known as the Mobile Service Structure.

Once assembly was complete, the MSS would roll back from the launch mount, exposing the fixed service structure and the vehicle ready for launch.

Apollo-Saturn 201 (AS-201), the first Saturn IB launch vehicle developed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 11:12 a.m. on Feb. 26, 1966. The AS-201 mission was an unmanned suborbital flight to test the Saturn 1B launch vehicle and the Apollo Command and Service Modules. This was the first flight of the S-IB and S-IVB stages, including the first flight test of the liquid-hydrogen/liquid oxygen-propelled J-2 engine in the S-IVB stage. During the thirty-seven minute flight, the vehicle reached an altitude of 303 miles and traveled 5,264 miles downrange.


Johnson Space Center has one of three remaining flight-worthy Saturn V rockets in the world. Of those three, Johnson’s display is the only one that consists of flight-worthy stages. Displays at Kennedy and Marshall consist of a mix between flight-worthy and test stages.

Its first stage is S-IC-14, second is S-II-15, and third S-IVB-13. The first and second stage of Saturn V-13, S-IC-13 and S-II-13 lofted the Skylab space station to orbit. Since the orbiting workshop took place of the vehicle’s third stage, S-IVB-13 remained on the ground.

Boilerplate 115A represents the Apollo spacecraft, and was an unused test vehicle.

January 8, 2016.

The AS-204 spacecraft and its Spacecraft Launch Adapter is mated to the S-IVB stage of its Saturn 1B booster. AS-204 was the official designation of the Apollo 1 mission.

The Saturn 1B rocket was, like all rockets from Cape Canaveral at the time, assembled on the launch pad itself. A Mobile Service Structure would roll to the launch mount, where cranes would then hoist the vehicle to a vertical position. The process would be repeated until the vehicle was assembled. This process is still undertaken by the Delta IV vehicles today.

Saturn V rockets (and Skylab Saturn 1B’s) were assembled vertically in the Vehicle Assembly Building and then rolled out to LC-39 on the crawler transporter. AS-204 would be the second to last assembly of a planned crewed launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral, followed only by AS-205, Apollo 7.

This is a photograph taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft looking back at the Saturn V third (S-IVB) stage from which the spacecraft had just separated following trans-lunar injection. Attached to the S-IVB is the Lunar Module Test Article (LTA) which simulated the mass of a Lunar Module (LM) on the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. The 29-feet panels of the Spacecraft LM Adapter which enclosed the LTA during launch have already been jettisoned and are out of view. Sunlight reflected from small particles shows the “firefly” phenomenon which was reported by astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. during the first Earth-orbital flight, Mercury-Atlas 6 (MA-6) of the Mercury Program.