In his review of several books on the Apollo space program (Book Review, July 3, 1994), writer Terry Bisson claims, "Neither America nor Russia could (put a man on the moon) today. The blueprints for the F-1 engines are lost . . . " The belief that the blueprints for the Saturn V engines (and the rocket itself) have been lost is nothing more than a continually propagated misconception.
The blueprints for the Saturn V rocket are stored on microfilm at Marshall Space Flight Center, and the Federal Archives in East Point, Ga., also house 2,900 cubic feet of Saturn documents. Rocketdyne has archived dozens of volumes from its Knowledge Retention Program, which was initiated in the late '60s to document every facet of F-1 and J-2 engine production and assist in any future restart.
The main problem in re-creating a Saturn V rocket would not be in locating the blueprints, but in finding vendors who could still supply the hardware. And even if we were to go to the trouble of building another Saturn V, we still wouldn't have any place to launch it from, as all the available launch pads have been converted for use with the Space Shuttle.
DAVID P. MIKKELSON, SAN FERNANDO VALLEY FOLKLORE SOCIETY, CANOGA PARK