Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

J-2 (rocket engine)

J-2 rocket engine
J-2 engine on display in the Rocket Garden at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
An American liquid-propellant rocket engine, manufactured by Rocketdyne, that ranks among the most important in the history of manned spaceflight propulsion. The J-2 was the first manned booster engine that used liquid hydrogen as a fuel and the first large booster engine designed to be restarted multiple times during a mission. It was so versatile that it was used for both the second and third stages of the Saturn V and, in modified form, was used to demonstrate principles that led to the development of the Space Shuttle Main Engine. Capable of providing about one million newtons of thrust, the J-2 featured independently-driven pumps for liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, a gas generator to supply hot gas to two turbines running in series, and pneumatic and electrical control interlocks.

Related category