NASA’s “world’s most powerful rocket engine” has been test fired

NASA’s engineers have tested the “world’s most powerful rocket engine” ever moved into the air and space, i.e. F-1 that powered the Saturn V rocket. They have tested this engine to work with the heavy lift rocket of the future to go beyond the limits of Apollo-era tests.

The gas generator utilized liquid oxygen and kerosene and worked in the engine powering up the huge turbopump. Gas generator is among the first pieces designed in the new engine as it is most significant part for determining the size of the engine and its power.

A gas generator from an F-1 engine is test fired at the Marshall Space Flight Center (Credit: NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given)

“Our young engineers are getting their hands dirty by working with one of NASA’s most famous engines,” said Tom Williams, Director of the Propulsion Systems Department in Marshall Engineering Directorate. “These tests are only the beginning. As SLS research activities progress, these young NASA engineers will continue work with our industry partners to test and evaluate the benefits of using a powerful propulsion system fueled by liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene, a propellant we haven’t tested with in some time.”

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) will help the astronomers to go and explore beyond the low Earth orbit. “The initial 77-ton (70-metric-ton) SLS configuration will use two 5-segment solid rocket boosters similar to the boosters that helped power the space shuttle to orbit. The evolved 143-ton (130-metric-ton) SLS vehicle will require an advanced booster with more thrust than any existing U.S. liquid- or solid-fueled boosters.”

“It’s important that our workforce get hands on experience on systems like the F-1 gas generator as it helps make them smart buyers, and good stewards of what we procure from industry,” said Chris Crumbly, manager of the SLS Advanced Development Office at the Marshall Center. “As we look to the future advanced boosters for SLS we are eager to see what our partners in industry can provide as far as a more powerful and affordable solution.”

NASA’s trial about the gas generator has been done at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

You can see the video of the trial here:

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=158899711