New F-1B rocket engine upgrades Apollo-era design with 1.8M lbs of thrust
Dynetics and Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne rebuild the F-1 for the "Pyrios" booster.
LEE HUTCHINSON - 4/14/2013, 9:00 PM
NASA has spent a lot of time and money resurrecting the F-1 rocket engine that powered the Saturn V back in the 1960s and 1970s, and Ars recently spent a week at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, to get the inside scoop on how the effort came to be. But there's a very practical reason why NASA is putting old rocket parts up on a test stand and firing them off: its latest launch vehicle might be powered by engines that look, sound, and work a whole lot like the legendary F-1.
This new launch vehicle, known as the Space Launch System, or SLS, is currently taking shape on NASA drawing boards. However, as is its mandate, NASA won't be building the rocket itself—it will allow private industry to bid for the rights to build various components. One potential design wrinkle in SLS is that instead of using Space Shuttle-style solid rocket boosters, SLS could instead use liquid-fueled rocket motors, which would make it the United States' first human-rated rocket in more than 30 years not to use solid-fuel boosters.
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