The recent release of the CAIB report has caused both
hearings in Congress as well as lots of speculations,
e.g.:

http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/09/05/1731237&mode=thread&tid=134&tid=160&tid=98&tid=99

Obviously if we had inexpensive heavy lift capacity today, the
entire debate about what to send to Europa (or Pluto) and when
to send it would be very very different.

The most interesting comment I found in the above URL:

"When NASA killed Saturn, they killed more than the vehicle. Rocketyne
engineers did an analysis, and the engines on the Saturn 5 were so
overengineered that they could have been re-used 13 times each without
overhaul before being refurbished! The Saturn 5 system, if built today
with modern technology and some basic return features could be built for
about 100 million each after initial investment! That's 100 TONS of lift
that could be made reusable (imagine putting a giant deoployable para-sail
on the beast) and could lift payloads as wide as 30 ft across. Two of
these launches could have put the entire ISS as it currently is configured
in orbit!"

Does anyone know if this claim is valid and what the source might be?

I have heard that the Saturn 5 blueprints were destroyed -- does anyone
know if this claim is valid or an urban legend?

If these claims are true, does anyone know who is most directly
responsible for the termination of the knowledge of how to build
a Saturn 5 -- and whether they are still alive -- because I'd
certainly like to contact them and give them a piece of my mind.

(A related but slightly different conversation vector is whether or
not Russia still has the ability to build the Energia since it is
the most recently flown rocket that might be considered to have
heavy lift capacity.)

Robert



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