Encyclopedia Astronautica

GE exoticLF2/LH2 rocket engine. 334 kN. Developed 1960's. Very high energy engine developed in early 1960's for future large upper stages. Not flown due to toxicity of propellants.

Status: Developed 1960's.
Thrust: 334.00 kN (75,086 lbf).

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Associated Countries
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Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • GE American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. General Electric Corporation, USA. More...

Associated Propellants
  • LF2/LH2 Liquid Fluorine is the highest performance oxidiser and in the early 1960's it seemed in both American and Russia that a new generation of higher performance engines would emerge. However although test engines were built, fluorine was found to be just too toxic and reactive to be safely used as a propellant. Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks. The United States mastered hydrogen technology for the highly classified Lockheed CL-400 Suntan reconnaissance aircraft in the mid-1950's. The technology was transferred to the Centaur rocket stage program, and by the mid-1960's the United States was flying the Centaur and Saturn upper stages using the fuel. It was adopted for the core of the space shuttle, and Centaur stages still fly today. More...

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