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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:21 PM

Saturn V “moon rocket” engine firing again after 40 years, sort of

Saturn V “moon rocket” engine firing again after 40 years, sort of

NASA continues to push forward with the design of its new heavy lift rocket, the Space Launch System. With the cancellation of the Constellation Program, SLS is NASA's planned heavy launch vehicle at the moment. While commercial entities continue to tackle the problem of moving payloads and crews to low Earth orbit, SLS is intended to replace the Space Shuttle as a heavy lift platform for shifting large cargoes into low Earth orbit and points beyond.

If SLS is ever to actually fly, it will require a tremendously powerful set of engines to get it off the ground. Perennial launch contract winner ATK is sure to get in on the action, supplying solid rocket boosters to the launch stack. But a powerful liquid-fueled engine is required as well. There are many candidates and design options, but NASA is actually turning its gaze a bit toward the past for inspiration.

The largest and most powerful rocket to successfully lift off was the Saturn V, which flew men and equipment to the Moon as part of Project Apollo in the 1960s and 1970s. The rocket's first stage had a lot of lifting to do, so it boasted the largest and most powerful liquid-fueled rocket engines to ever fly: the Rocketdyne F-1. Producing 1,500,000 pounds of thrust at sea level and consuming one ton of refined kerosene (RP-1) and two tons of liquid oxygen per second, the Saturn was propelled skyward on five of these monstrous engines.

http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/01/saturn-v-moon-rocket-engine-firing-again-after-40-years-sort-of/

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