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NPO Energomash

engines, soviet, rocket, NPO Energomash, Glushko, RD-107, RD-108, RD-111 (1962), RD-119 (1963), RD-120, RD-120K, RD-161 (1988), RD-161P, RD-170, RD-171, RD-180, RD-214 (1957), RD-216 (1960), RD-218 (1961), RD-219, RD-253 (1965), RD-301, Family RD-700, RD-701, RD-704, РД-107, РД-108, РД-111 (1962), РД-119 (1963), РД-120, РД-120K, РД-161 (1988), РД-161P, РД-170, РД-171, РД-180, РД-214 (1957), РД-216 (1960), РД-218 (1961), РД-219, РД-253 (1965), РД-301, Family РД-700, РД-701, РД-704, Energomash, USSR

"Academician V.P. Glushko Research and Production Association" (NPO ENERGOMASH) is a leading Russian company which develops powerful liquid-propellant rocket engines. The engines developed by NPO ENERGOMASH ensure reliable injection into orbit of all almost Russian space objects from the first artificial satellite "Sputnik" and the first manned spacecraft to the MIR Space Station.

In 1933 Energomash developed the first Russian rocket engine, designated (ORM-1), with a maximum thrust of 196N. NPO Energomash designers added chemical and pyrotechnic propellant ignition system, centrifugal injectors, jet nozzles with spiral ribbed walls cooled by propellant and combustion chamber film to the original design. During these early years Energomash developed more than 70 liquid propellant rocket engines, including the ORM-1, ORM-70, ORM-101, and the ORM-102. The first rocket engine appropriate for human application, the ORM-65, was developed in 1936 and originally intended for use on the RP-318 rocket glider and the RP-212 winged rocket.

Between 1947 and 1953 a series of oxygen/alcohol engines, the RD-100, RD-101, and RD-103, became the first Russian-developed liquid propellant rocket engines to be used in launch vehicles. Between 1954 and 1957 the RD-107 and RD-108 four-chamber oxygen/alcohol engines were developed for use in first and second stages of the Vostok launch vehicle, which was used to launch the Earth's first artificial satellite and place the first human into orbit. RD-107 and RD-108 powered launch vehicles have successfully put satellites into both earth and lunar orbits as well as sent spacecraft on interplanetary missions.

NPO Energomash has a logical numbering system where in the type of engine can be distinguished by its first digit. A "1", such as in RD-170, indicates the oxidizer is liquid oxygen. The designation "2" indicates the oxidizer is a nitrogen-based compound, such as nitrogen tetroxide. The number "3" was originally reserved for the new tripropellant engine currently under development, but the first digit of these engines is a "7", as in the RD-701, indicating a developmental status. The second and third digits are essentially numerical in order and apparently have no design significance.

NPO Energomash attributes the high reliability and impressive performance parameters of its current engines to the use of oxidizing gas in the after-burning cycle. The RD-253, the first engine using this process to enter serial production, powers the first stage of the Proton rocket. Since 1969 there have been no failures of and RD-253 engine on Proton first stages. Building on this work, in 1985 Energomash developed the RD-120 single-chamber engine with a turbo-pump propellant feed system and a staged combustion sequence. This engine powers the second stage of the Zenith launch vehicle.

The RD-170 and RD-171 engines used in the first stage of the Energia launch vehicle and on the Zenit booster are Energomash's most powerful engines. The RD-170 four-chamber liquid propellant rocket engine has the highest performance parameters in its class. The RD-170 burns liquid oxygen and kerosene and may be reused up to ten times.

NPO Energomash continues to research and explore new engine concepts, such as the tripropellant, bi-modal engines of the RD-700 family (RD-701 and RD-704). This unique engine is designed to operate in two different modes. At launch the engine burns three propellants: liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen, and kerosene. In the upper atmosphere the engine burns only two propellants: liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. This design produces high efficiency at both atmospheric and vacuum conditions, and thus may be particularly suitable for single-stage-to-orbit vehicles. The RD-701, with two combustion chambers, was originally intended for the Russian MAKS aerospace plane concept developed by NPO Molniya. A single-chamber version, the RD-704, was proposed for use in reusable launch systems requiring less thrust.

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