Re: NASA and the future of space exploration

From: Doug Jones (
Date: Sat Mar 17 2001 - 16:48:24 MST

Adrian Tymes wrote:
> "Michael M. Butler" wrote:
> > Spike Jones wrote:
> > > the shuttle
> > > designers used the main engines already developed for the
> > > Saturn V first stage.
> >
> > What? Wow, that's the first time I ever heard that. I would have thought
> > that the engineering for hydrogen fuel would have necessitated so much
> > redesign that it'd count as a different engine. But you're the
> > authority. :)
> >From what I've heard, it was designed as a different engine. The
> Saturn V's were likely one of the baslines that the space shuttle main
> engines evolved from, though. (Among other differences: SSMEs tilt to
> give on-orbit rotational thrust, while Saturn V first stage is straight
> out the back only.)

All three SSME's on the shuttle are gimbaled in two axes; the four outer
engines on the Saturn V were two axis gimbaled while the center engine
was fixed.

Other than being designed and built by the same company, the F-1 and the
SSME had very little in common- the propellants, turbomachinery cycles,
thrust levels, fabrication techniques, and chamber pressures were vastly

Doug Jones, Rocket Engineer

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