Space Shuttle Main Engine

The RS-25, otherwise known as the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), is a liquid-fuel cryogenic rocket engine that was used on NASA's Space Shuttle and is planned to be used on its successor, the Space Launch System. Built in the United States of America by Rocketdyne, the RS-25 burns cryogenic liquid hydrogen & liquid oxygen propellants, with each engine producing 1,859 kN (418,000 lbf) of thrust at liftoff. Although the RS-25 can trace its heritage back to the 1960s, concerted development of the engine began in the 1970s, with the first flight, STS-1, occurring on April 12, 1981. The RS-25 has undergone several upgrades over its operational history to improve the engine's reliability, safety and maintenance load.

The engine produces a specific impulse (Isp) of 453 seconds in a vacuum, or 363 seconds at sea level (effective exhaust velocities of 4,440 m/s and 3,560 m/s respectively), consumes 1,340 L (350 US gal) of propellant per second, has a mass of approximately 3.5 tonnes (7,700 pounds) and is capable of throttling between 67% and 111% of its rated power level in one-percent increments. The RS-25 operates at extreme temperatures, with the liquid hydrogen fuel being stored at −250 °C (−418 °F) while the temperature in the combustion chamber reaches 3,315 °C (6,000 °F), higher than the boiling point of iron.

On the Space Shuttle, the RS-25 was used in clusters of three engines mounted in the aft structure of the Orbiter, with fuel being drawn from the external tank. The engines were used for propulsion during the entirety of the spacecraft's ascent, with additional thrust being provided by two solid rocket boosters and the orbiter's two AJ-10-190 Orbital Maneuvering System engines. Following each flight, the engines were removed from the orbiter, inspected and refurbished before being reused on another mission.

On the Space Launch System (SLS), expendable versions of the engines are planned to be used in clusters of three, four or five, and draw their propellant from the rocket's core stage. They provide propulsion during the first stage flight of the SLS, with additional thrust coming from two boosters. Following staging, the engines are discarded along with the rest of the core stage.

Read more about Space Shuttle Main EngineComponents

Other articles related to "shuttle, space shuttle, space shuttle main engine, space, engines":

Abbotsleigh - Motto and Crest
... from Latin as "Time flies faster than the weaver's shuttle" ... As the shuttle flies a pattern is woven the shuttle of time also weaves a pattern of which the threads are people, buildings and events ... Clarke, whose family crest was a weaver's shuttle surrounded by the motto, Tempus fugit radio celerit ...
Inertial Upper Stage - Flights
... have used the IUS rocket, most of them from the Space Shuttle, especially after the Shuttle version of the Centaur upper stage was banned due to an after effect of the Challenger Disaster in 1986. 1 1983-04-04 Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-6) TDRS-1 (TDRS-A) Second stage tumbled due to a control system failure, resulting in incorrect orbit ... Spacecraft manoeuvred itself into final orbit 11 1985-01-24 Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-51-C) USA-8 (Magnum) Classified DoD payload 12 1985-10-03 Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-51-J) USA-11/12 (DS ...
Shuttle - Other
... Shuttle Inc ... the object batted back and forth in badminton River Shuttle, a river of southeast London, England USS Shuttle (SP-3572), a United States navy patrol vessel in commission from 1918 ... Shuttle (Seminconductor Wafer Fabrication), a tray used to contain multiple wafers during production which allows them to be plated ...
Space Shuttle Main Engine - History - After Shuttle - Space Launch System
... Following the retirement of the Space Shuttle, NASA announced on September 14, 2011 that it would be developing a new launch vehicle, known as the Space Launch System (SLS), to ... rocket being installed with between three and five engines ... of the new launch vehicle will make use of flown Block II RS-25D engines, with NASA keeping the remaining such engines in a "purged safe" environment at Stennis Space Center, "along with all of the ground ...
STS-79
... STS-79 was the 17th flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis, and the 79th mission of the Space Shuttle program ... The flight saw Atlantis dock with the Russian space station Mir to deliver equipment, supplies and relief personnel ... It was the first shuttle mission to rendezvous with a fully assembled Mir, and the fourth rendezvous of a shuttle to the space station ...

Famous quotes containing the words engine, main, space and/or shuttle:

    The will is never free—it is always attached to an object, a purpose. It is simply the engine in the car—it can’t steer.
    Joyce Cary (1888–1957)

    The main thing is that everything become simple, easy enough for a child to understand; that each act be ordered, that good and evil be decided arbitrarily, thus clearly.
    Albert Camus (1913–1960)

    The secret ones around a stone
    Their lips withdrawn in meet surprise
    Lie still, being naught but bone
    With naught but space within their eyes....
    Allen Tate (1899–1979)

    And the shuttle never falters, but to draw an encouraging conclusion
    From this would be considerable, too odd. Why not just
    Breathe in with the courage of each day, recognizing yourself as one
    Who must with difficulty get down from high places?
    John Ashbery (b. 1927)