1 The Very Heart of the Rocket

The Very Heart of the Rocket

Posted on May 26, 2013 by team

Many Soviet children used to dream about becoming cosmonauts. Or to be somehow related to cosmonautics. But today it’s seldom like this. Nevertheless different new projects are still being worked on and people are simply unaware of them.

Here is one of such projects. RD-861K rocket engine has been developed based on RD-861 which was used for early modifications of the carrier rocket “Cyclone”.

Fire tests have been conducted since 2007. The engine is planned to be used for the third stage of “Cyclone-4″.

Development design office 586 was developing a lunar module. On the photo above is an engine of “E” unit of the Soviet Lunar Program. There have been preserved only three engines like this, two of them are located here.

The engine has unique propulsion performance, its runtime, and multiple strat capability in vacuum.

The lunar ship represented the construction that consisted of a pressurized cabin, a section with attitude engines, a docking unit, an instrument module, a lunar module descent engine and a rocket pack “E”.

During the tests they never reached a failure: the engine was working during 10 000 sec. at the required 470 sec.

“E” unit had to provide braking of the lunar ship, landing on the Moon surface. Time of being on the Moon – from six to twenty four hours. Then the ship had to take off and accelerate by means of “I” unit.

One of the two turbo pipes of the engine’s “E” unit.

Turbo pipe of rocket UR-100N (15A15).

Engine of the lunar unit “E”.


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One Response to “The Very Heart of the Rocket”

  1. George Johnson says:

    Insanely complicated device for such a simple principle.

    In the early years at NASA, the giant F-1 engines from the Saturn V rocket, liked to blow themselves to smithereens.

    Turns out the fuel injector plates at the top of the combustion chamber (like those shown here) would set up osculations, and just shake until something gave, and the whole engine blew up. That almost prevented NASA from building those engines, if they couldn’t figure out that problem.

    Just finding the reason for it was amazing.

    Just look at those things, how do you decide, one tiny little pipe needs to go from here, to some place way over there on the other side of the engine?

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