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Country of origin Soviet Union
Date 1976
Designer KBKhA Design Bureau
Manufacturer TsSKB Progress
Application Upper stage booster
Predecessor RD-0124
Status Not in use
Liquid-fuel engine
Propellant LOX / LH2
Cycle Staged Combustion cycle
Chamber 1
Nozzle ratio 85.70
Thrust (vac.) 1,961 kN (441,000 lbf)
Thrust (SL) 1,517.1 kN (341,100 lbf)
Chamber pressure 218 bars (3,160 psi)
Isp (vac.) 455 seconds (4.46 km/s)
Isp (SL) 359 seconds (3.52 km/s)
Length 4.55 m
Diameter 2.42 m
Dry weight 3,450 kg

The Soviet RD-0120 (also designated 11D122) was the Energia Core rocket engine, fueled by LH2/LOX, roughly equivalent to the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME). These were attached to the Energia Core rather than the orbiter, so were not recoverable after a flight, but created a more modular design (the Energia Core could be used for a variety of missions besides launching the shuttle). Baselined from the more mature American hydrogen–oxygen engine technology, but considerably modified with Russian innovations and methods, the RD-0120 and the SSME have both similarities and differences. The RD-0120 achieved nearly identical specific impulse and combustion chamber pressure with reduced complexity and cost, as compared to the SSME, primarily at the expense of lower thrust-to-weight ratio. It uses fuel-rich staged combustion cycle and a single shaft to drive both the fuel and oxidizer turbopumps. Some of the Russian design features, such as the simpler and cheaper channel wall nozzles, were evaluated by Rocketdyne for possible upgrades to the SSME. It achieved combustion stability without the acoustic resonance chambers that the SSME required.



Thrust (vacuum): 1.8639 MN (190 tons), (sealevel): 1.5171 MN
Specific impulse (vacuum): 454 seconds (4.45 km/s), (sealevel): 359 seconds (3.52 km/s)
Burn time: nominal 480–500 s, certified for 1670 s.
Basic engine weight: 3,449 kg.
Length: 4.55 m, Diameter: 2.42 m
Propellants: LOX & LH2
Mixture ratio: 6:1
Contractor: Chemical Automatics Design Bureau (Конструкторское Бюро Химавтоматики)
Vehicle Application: Energia Core stage.

See also[edit]


  • Hendrickx, Bart; Bert, Vis (2007). Energiya-Buran: The Soviet Space Shuttle. Chichester, UK: Praxis Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-0-387-69848-9. 


External links[edit]