Rocket Engines - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences

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The Origins of Modern Engines

Atlas and Delta launch vehicles were originally U.S. Air Force (USAF) rockets developed in the 1950s. To power these missiles, Rocketdyne developed a family of rocket engines that burned kerosene and liquid oxygen (LOX) based on German V-2 rocket technology obtained after World War II. As these rockets were adapted to their new role as launch vehicles in the 1960s, still larger versions of their engines (such as Rocketdyne's 1.5 million-pound thrust F-1) were built for the Saturn rockets that sent Apollo missions to the Moon.

A close-up view of a space shuttle's main engine test firing shows how hot gas is expelled. At a high velocity the expelled gas generates thrust in the opposite direction, enabling liftoff. A close-up view of a space shuttle's main engine test firing shows how hot gas is expelled. At a high velocity the expelled gas generates thrust in the opposite direction, enabling liftoff.

Delta II and III use the 200,000-pound thrust RS-27A, which is an updated descendant of the MB-3 used in the original Delta. The Rocketdyne-built...

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This section contains 1,115 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Rocket Engines Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences
Rocket Engines from Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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