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Rocket Science: The Shuttle's Main Engines, though Old, Are not Forgotten in the New Exploration InitiativeThe Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), developed 30 years ago, remains a strong candidate for use in the new Exploration Initiative as part of a shuttle-derived heavy-lift expendable booster. This is because the Boeing-Rocket- dyne man-rated SSME remains the most highly efficient liquid rocket engine ever developed. There are only enough parts for 12-15 existing SSMEs, however, so one NASA option is to reinitiate SSME production to use it as a throw-away, as opposed to a reusable, powerplant for NASA s new heavy-lift booster.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Covault, Craig
(NASA Kennedy Space Center Cocoa Beach, FL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
July 11, 2005
Publication Information
Publication: Aviation Week and Space Technology
Publisher: Aviation Week and Space Technology
Volume: 163
Issue: 2
ISSN: 0005-2175
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
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