Bill Lites

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 65 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

5 Responses to “Bill Lites”

  1. Eric Skidmore July 12, 2017 at 5:29 pm #

    And if I may add one follow on question Mr. Lites, my question on my previous comment that I posted, I am also trying to uncover the same answer but this time as it applies to the top of the Interstage structure where the S-II rests on top of the Interstange. In the famous separation video from Apollo 4 that you described, you can see the upper edge of the Interstage as it falls away, and it appears to have paper-thin walls that don’t look like they could support the enormous weight of the upper stages of the rocket. And by the way, my brother-in-law lives down on Merritt Island south of 520 and is contracting with NASA on some small components of the SLS launch system. Thank you again sir.


  2. Eric Skidmore July 12, 2017 at 5:16 pm #

    Mr. Lites, it was a delight to read your description of the separation plane pyrotechnics used on the Saturn V and the testing you were involved with. I have been a student of the Saturn V and all of the marvelous engineering effort that created it since my childhood in the 1960s. I have poured over all the books, blueprints and videos I can locate but there is still a question I have regarding this separation process between the S-IC, the Interstage, and the S-II, that eludes me. It has to do with how the weight of all of the upper stages of the Saturn V was transferred to, or rested upon the top of the S-IC stage. All that I can find are references to the tension straps, but I cannot locate any description or photos of any sort of circumferencial ring, or plate at the top of the S-IC which bore the weight of the S-II and all the upper stages. It appears as if the only manner of contact there was between the S-IC and the S-II were the 216 tension straps. Is this true? Or can you shed some light on this for me. Thank you sir, God bless your family, and thank you for being a part of such a life changing experience for a young Texas boy who, like so many other kids from that era, grew up reaching for the stars! Kindly yours, Eric Skidmore, Cumming, Georgia.


    • Bill August 7, 2017 at 12:00 pm #


      Sorry for the delay in answering your question about the Saturn V but I was gone on a 2-week road trip and then when I got home I started having trouble with my computer. Anyway, the entire Saturn V launch vehicle structure was designed to carry the total fueled load of the vehicle, including the thrust from the engines. As for the S-IC/S-II separation system, the S-IC forward skirt, S-II Interstage, and S-II aft skirt were all stiffened with the 216 hat-shaped doublers that were connected together with the 216 tension strap across each separation joint. The stages had separation rings that were fitted together and aligned with alignment pins during the stacking of the stages on each other. The tension straps just held the stages together until separation when they were cut with an explosive charge. You can click on URL ( or just Google Saturn V Launch Vehicle Design for a complete detail of the entire Saturn V vehicle.
      Hope this answers your question.

      Bill Lites


  3. Louise Gib son September 11, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    What a delightfully interesting couple you and DiVoran are, Bill. And you are both so talented. God bless you both.



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    […] Bill Lites […]


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