This article is from the Space FAQ, by Jon Leech firstname.lastname@example.org and Mark Bradford email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
Despite a widespread belief to the contrary, the Saturn V blueprints
have not been lost. They are kept at Marshall Space Flight Center on
microfilm. The Federal Archives in East Point, GA also has 2900 cubic
feet of Saturn documents. Rocketdyne has in its archives dozens of
volumes from its Knowledge Retention Program. This effort was initiated
in the late '60s to document every facet of F-1 and J-2 engine
production to assist in any future re-start.
The problem in re-creating the Saturn V is not finding the drawings, it
is finding vendors who can supply mid-1960's vintage hardware (like
guidance system components), and the fact that the launch pads and VAB
have been converted to Space Shuttle use, so you have no place to launch
By the time you redesign to accommodate available hardware and re-modify
the launch pads, you may as well have started from scratch with a clean
Several AIAA papers delivered in recent years discuss reviving the
Saturn V. For example, AIAA paper 92-1546, "Launch Vehicles for the
Space Exploration Initiative". This paper concluded that a revived
Saturn V was actually cheaper than the NLS vehicle.
An overview of the infrastructure still available to support production
of a 1990s Saturn V and how that vehicle might be used to support First
Lunar Outpost missions can be found in the December 1993 issue of
"Spaceflight", published by the British Interplanetary Society.