Flight Experience with Apollo Spacecraft Propulsion Systems 730941

Apollo 17 ended the most successful application of rocket propulsion systems in man's history. A total of 23 developmental and manned operational flights were made. Seven hundred and sixty-three spacecraft rocket engines were flown in the program. Over 6 h of manned rocket flights were logged by the spacecraft propulsion systems and approximately one million rocket engine firings were made. One engine failure was encountered on an early unmanned flight as a result of a failure in the guidance programmer which caused the engine to operate in a manner known to cause failures. Numerous operational problems and malfunctions were observed; however, system and component redundancy prevented loss of mission objectives and never jeopardized crew safety. Performance of all systems was usually nominal and most problems were merely nuisances. This paper will present some highlights of Apollo propulsion performance and will provide a bibliography of all flight results.


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