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Part of RD-170 Family
Credit: Lockheed Martin
Glushko LOx/Kerosene rocket engine. Atlas III, Atlas V stage 1. In production. First flight 2000. Two-thrust-chamber derivative of the four-chamber RD-170 used on Zenit.

Status: In production. Date: 1993-99, 1992-. Number: 14 . Thrust: 4,152.00 kN (933,406 lbf). Unfuelled mass: 5,480 kg (12,080 lb). Specific impulse: 339 s. Specific impulse sea level: 313 s. Burn time: 270 s. Height: 3.56 m (11.67 ft). Diameter: 3.15 m (10.33 ft).

The RD-180 was a two-thrust-chamber derivative of the four-chamber RD-170. It packaged the high performance, operability, and reusability features of the RD-170 in a size to meet the propulsion requirements for the Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle. The RD-180 was a total propulsion unit with hydraulics for control valve actuation and thrust vector gimbaling, pneumatics for valve actuation and system purging, and a thrust frame to distribute loads, all self-contained as part of the engine. The engine, employing a LOX lead start, staged combustion cycle, and LOX rich turbine drive, delivered a 10 percent performance increase over then-operational US booster engines and provided clean, reusable operation. Only the main turbo-pump assembly and boost pumps required development and they were scalable from the RD-120 and RD-170 engines. All other components were taken directly from the RD-170. The RD-180 was developed in 42 months at a small fraction of the cost of a typical US new engine development. The engine powered the interim Atlas III and standard Atlas V launch vehicles.

General Description:

  • Staged combustion cycle engine
  • LOX/Kerosene propellants
  • Two thrust chambers (gimbal +8 degrees)
  • One oxygen rich pre-burner
  • High pressure turbopump assembly
  • Two-stage fuel pump
  • Single-stage oxygen pump
  • Single turbine
  • Hypergolic ignition
  • Self-contained hydraulic system (valves, TVC) powered with kerosene from fuel pump
  • Health monitoring and life prediction system
  • Automated flight preparation (after installation on the vehicle, all operations are automated through launch)
  • Minimized interfaces with launch pad and vehicle (pneumatic and hydraulic systems self-contained, electrical panels consolidated, thrust frame to simplify mechanical interface)
  • Environmentally clean operations with staged combustion oxidizer rich pre-burner, and oxidizer start and shutdown modes that eliminate coking and unburned kerosene pollution potential
  • 50 - 100% continuous throttling provided potential for real time trajectory matching and engine checkout on the pad before launch commit
  • 80% RD-170 parts
  • Chamber Pressure: 256.6 bar.
  • Area Ratio: 36.4.
  • Thrust to Weight Ratio: 77.26.
  • Oxidizer to Fuel Ratio: 2.72.

Country: Russia. Launch Vehicles: Timberwind Centaur, Atlas 3A, Atlas 3B. Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. Stages: Atlas CCB, Atlas IIIA. Agency: Glushko bureau. Bibliography: 287, 342, 355, 7504.
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