[rescue] Space Shuttle Main Engine

Mark Benson md.benson at gmail.com
Mon Jan 18 15:18:31 CST 2010

On 18 Jan 2010, at 20:42, Carl R. Friend wrote:

> In this case, it looks like they were actually pretty close to
> right.  The SSMEs are remarkably reliable, and even if one quits on
> the way up, the others just get to burn a bit longer.

Yep. It's quite a piece of equipment.

Further more past a certain point it can still reach orbit on one engine,
impressive redundancy :)

I'll refrain from getting too boring, but suffice to say they have never
aborted a mission on ascent (not under their control anyway). They are on
their 130th launch prep at the moment. That's 128 (discounting Challenger)
successful launches and zero SSME complete failures. Suffice to say the next
generation of launch vehicles will likely continue to use the same engines,
and hopefully recover them somehow. They are pretty expensive units and
designed for extensive reuse!

I'll miss that bird when she sets down for the last time :*(

Mark Benson

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"Never send a human to do a machine's job..."

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