NASA fires historic F-1 engine as it researches building the rocket of the future

NASA fires historic F-1 engine as it researches building the rocket of the future

As NASA researches the best (and most cost effective) ways to someday launch humans beyond low-Earth orbit once again, it’s looking back at its storied history for clues. Recently a team of young engineers got the rare opportunity to disassemble the F-1 — NASA’s most powerful rocket engine — analyze its components, and refurbish the engine anew. Despite the fact that it was completed way back in the 1950s, the F-1 remains the most powerful rocket engine ever assembled by the United States. Five F-1 engines propelled NASA’s Saturn V rocket to the skies throughout the Apollo program. The young generation of engineers were also able to reassemble and fire its gas generator, experiencing 31,000 pounds of thrust firsthand.

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NASA fires historic F-1 engine as it researches building the rocket of the future

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