F-1 and J-2 rocket engines, illustration

F-1 and J-2 rocket engines, illustration

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Credit: CARLOS CLARIVAN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: F-1 and J-2 rocket engines. Illustration showing the F-1 (left) and J-2 (right) engines used to power the Saturn V rocket. The Saturn V was the launch vehicle for NASA's Apollo program of manned missions to the Moon, and one of the most powerful rockets ever made. Five F-1 engines were used in the first stage of the Saturn V rockets, the stage used during take-off. These engines burnt liquid oxygen (LOX) and rocket fuel (RP-1) for less than three minutes, lifting the 3000-tonne rocket to an altitude of 68 kilometres. J-2 engines were used to power the second and third stages of the Saturn V rocket taking it into Earth orbit and on to its trajectory to the Moon. The J-2 engines burned cryogenic liquid hydrogen and LOX propellants.

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