As the testing of the F1 evolved, it became clear that harmonic instabilities were causing failures. Of course, these instabilities had always been present in rocket engines. They are caused by acoustic pressures building up unevenly and zinging around inside the engine. In the smaller combustion chambers of engines past, they were not so destructive. But inside the massive F1 combustion chambers, these instabilities could become crippling. Tired of watching their rocket moto
The development of the Saturn V rocket entailed incredible challenges, but perhaps none so daunting as the creation of the F1 rocket engine, the first-stage powerplant for the mighty booster. Approved for development in the 1950's by the US Army (because, if for no other reason, the Soviets were developing big rockets), the F1 project migrated to NASA when the agency was created. The contract went to Rocketdyne in Canoga Park, California, a division of North American Aviation
Reaching Mars is job #1 for NASA in the next 20 years, according to Charlie Bolden. Speaking at a press event last week, the NASA chief discussed both conventional rockets and newer advanced propulsion technologies. The conference was held at the Aerojet Rocketdyne plant in Canoga Park, CA. Appropriate to its heritage as a major part of the space race, the plant’s entryway is adorned with a huge F-1 engine out front, the same unit that powered the Saturn V moon rocket. Bolden
I remember it well... the day I realized that the Martian empire of Percival Lowell, Edgar Rice Burroughs and so many others vanished into the red sands of Mars. It was late July of 1965, I was a tender nine-years of age, and had spent countless hours devouring any and all books about Mars in our meager elementary school library. The jury was still out... was there life? Were there beings there? Was the "Wave of Darkening" really plant life waxing and waning with the seasons?