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How NASA brought the Saturn-V F1 rocket engine back to life

Martin S. (98249) writes | about a year ago

3

Martin S. (98249) writes "How NASA Engineers have reverse engineered the F1 engine of a Saturn V launcher, because: every scrap of documentation produced during Project Apollo, including the design documents for the Saturn V and the F-1 engines, remains on file. If re-creating the F-1 engine were simply a matter of cribbing from some 1960s blueprints, NASA would have already done so. A typical design document for something like the F-1, though, was produced under intense deadline pressure and lacked even the barest forms of computerized design aids. Such a document simply cannot tell the entire story of the hardware. Each F-1 engine was uniquely built by hand, and each has its own undocumented quirks. In addition, the design process used in the 1960s was necessarily iterative: engineers would design a component, fabricate it, test it, and see how it performed. Then they would modify the design, build the new version, and test it again. This would continue until the design was "good enough.""
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3 comments

An original agile development (1)

Martin S. (98249) | about a year ago | (#43450849)

The approach taken be original engine development team is very similar to agile development, essentially iterative, hand built, continuously tested and refactored, retested until "good enough".

Re:An original agile development (1)

TrentTheThief (118302) | about a year ago | (#43451093)

Agile development is an excuse for developers to ignore the basics of documented what they are doing and why they did it in that manner. It make repeatability almost impossible and make reuse of code and processes harder.

Re:An original agile development (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43451387)

It does mean that they can move more quickly to the launcpad though. If they go through a design process which is more methodical and fully documented then that means far more time upfront. Granted you save an incredible amount of time on the back end. This is what you get when it has to be done yesterday at the latest.

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