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Model of RD-0120
Country of originSoviet Union
First flight1987-05-15
Last flight1988-11-15
ManufacturerVoronezh Mechanical Plant
ApplicationSustainer engine
Associated L/VEnergia
Liquid-fuel engine
PropellantLOX / LH2
Mixture ratio6.0
CycleStaged сombustion cycle
Nozzle ratio85.70
Thrust (vac.)1,961.3 kN (440,900 lbf) (106%)
Thrust (SL)1,526 kN (343,000 lbf) (106%)
Thrust-to-weight ratio57.93 (Vac, 106% thrust)
Chamber pressure21.9 MPa (3,180 psi)
Isp (vac.)455 s (4.46 km/s)
Isp (SL)353.2 s (3.464 km/s)
Burn time500s
Gimbal range±7°
Length4,550 mm (179 in)
Diameter2,420 mm (95 in)
Dry weight3,450 kg (7,610 lb)
Used in
Energia core stage

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). The RD-0120 and the SSME have both similarities and differences. The RD-0120 achieved a slightly higher specific impulse and combustion chamber pressure with reduced complexity and cost, as compared to the SSME. 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.
  1. ^ "RD-0120". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on December 3, 2007. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  2. ^ "ЖРД РД-0120 (11Д122)" [RD-0120 (11D122)] (in Russian). Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  3. ^ "Liquid Rocket Engine". Voronezh Mechanical Plant. Retrieved May 29, 2015.

External links[edit]