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NASA Saturn-V Launch Umbilical Tower


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After the successful takeoff of Lego Saturn-V rocket,  Valerie Roche (Whatsuptoday) and Emmanuel Urquieta (Spacemd) present you their new collaborative project: NASA Saturn-V Launch Umbilical Tower, the ideal stand at 1/110 scale to complete your set 21309: NASA Apollo Saturn V!

Every spacecraft needs a launch tower built upon a rocket launch pad. These towers and pads are utilitarian in nature from acting as a support structure, allows “pad rats” (the crew) work on the structure and inject fuel, and is used to allow access for the crew via an elevator. These structures are a complex system of corrosion-resistant painted metal frames, rails, fixed and rotating service arms, and hundreds of wires, cables, and plumbing. The Saturn V launch umbilical tower is held together by bolts that are timed to separate as the rocket leaves the base of the pad.

Three launch umbilical towers were built between July 1963 and March 1965. Throughout their service lives they were continually modified to fit different missions. They were used for 17 launches from the first launch of the Apollo 4 through to the Saturn-1B launch of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Program.

The fueling process for a Saturn V rocket was a very complicated and dangerous process. The first stage of the vehicle used RP-1 fuel (a purified form of kerosene) and liquid Oxygen (LOX) oxidizer at -140 degrees Celsius. The second and third stages also used LOX but also used liquid Hydrogen at -253 Celsius instead of RP-1. Other hypergolic fuels (fuels that chemically ignite on contact) such as Nitrogen tetroxide (Aerozine-50) and Monomethyl hydrazine were also used. The launch umbilical tower was used to fuel the massive Saturn V. In this model you can see that all the pipes and fuel lines have been replicated as technically possible.

After the Apollo and Soyuz missions and with the availability of the Space Shuttle, the three Saturn V launch umbilical towers were dismantled.

Examples of real life structures include the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39 for manned and unmanned rockets including the Apollo missions and Skylab space station. Even SpaceX leases a launch pad to support Falcon Heavy and Dragon launches!

The functions of this set are as follows:

- The yellow control is for the rotation of the crane on its central axis either to the right or to the left

- The red control is for raising or lowering the hook

- The blue control is for the gateways rotation during takeoff: at this time, the upper gateway with the white box, pivots to the right while the other 8 gateways are pivoting to the left.

- The green control is to go up or down with the lift, from level 0 (top of the platform) to the sixteenth floor of the crane, in the platform, there is a mechanism to stretch with two elastics the cable which makes a return trip.

You can manually:

- lift up the Damper (located at the top of the tower) during take-off, and lock or unlock the rocket so that it has maximum stability in a vertical position.

- Also, the three umbilical (located on the base of the platform) can pivot upward to release the rocket during take-off, just like the real one.

You can watch some HD pictures of the first 2017 design of the launch tower that will soon be built in real Lego bricks (The DELUXE model, with a lot of additional details) or the second 2017 design presented at Lego Ideas (The BASIC model) .

The features are:

Total number of Lego bricks & connectors for the "Basic" model:         2998!

Overall height of the set:     143 studs = 1.14 meters = 3,75 feet = 45,03 inches

Platform length:                   56 studs = 0.448 meters = 1.46 feet = 17.63 inches

Platform width:                    46 studs = 0.368 meters = 1.20 feet = 14.49 inches

P.S. Keep looking for Günter Wendt, the most famous pad leader. He is working somewhere inside the launch umbilical tower. Maybe in the elevator? Maybe in the white room where the astronauts prepared to ingress into the capsule? Or perhaps behind the blast shield at the ground level?

Resources: NASA and Spacex

Great thanks to:  Circe Verba

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