Encyclopedia Astronautica
Merlin 1V

SpaceX Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 411.4 kN. Hardware. Isp=342s. Upper stage version of the Merlin developed for the Falcon 9 second stage. Based on the Merlin 1C and using a regeneratively cooled combustion chamber. First flight 2009.

However, the vacuum engine featured a larger exhaust section than the Merlin 1C and a much larger radiatively cooled expansion nozzle, in order to maximize performance in the vacuum of space.

Application: Upper stages.


Propellant Formulation: Lox/RP-1.

Status: Hardware.
Thrust: 411.40 kN (92,486 lbf).
Specific impulse: 342 s.
Burn time: 360 s.
First Launch: 2006-2009.

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Associated Countries
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Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • SpaceX American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. SpaceX, USA. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Kerosene Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. In January 1953 Rocketdyne commenced the REAP program to develop a number of improvements to the engines being developed for the Navaho and Atlas missiles. Among these was development of a special grade of kerosene suitable for rocket engines. Prior to that any number of rocket propellants derived from petroleum had been used. Goddard had begun with gasoline, and there were experimental engines powered by kerosene, diesel oil, paint thinner, or jet fuel kerosene JP-4 or JP-5. The wide variance in physical properties among fuels of the same class led to the identification of narrow-range petroleum fractions, embodied in 1954 in the standard US kerosene rocket fuel RP-1, covered by Military Specification MIL-R-25576. In Russia, similar specifications were developed for kerosene under the specifications T-1 and RG-1. The Russians also developed a compound of unknown formulation in the 1980's known as 'Sintin', or synthetic kerosene. More...

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