Country of Origin: United States of America
Overall: 8 ft. 4 in. long x 2 ft. 9 in. diameter (254 x 83.82cm)
Combustion chamber and injectors, 4130 steel; propellant lines, pumps, impellers, and valves, aluminum alloys.
The Redstone engine is one of the most historic developments in U.S. rocket technology. As the powerplant for the Redstone missile, it was this country's first large-scale operational rocket engine. It went on to power the Jupiter-C, a modification of the Redstone missile that placed the U.S.'s first artificial satellite, Explorer 1, in 1958. In 1961, another modified Redestone, the Mercury-Redstone 3, launched the first American into space, Alan B. Shepard. The thrust of the engine as used in the Redstone missile was 78,000 lbs. As modified for use as a booster for Shepard's Mercury spacecraft, it produced 83,000 lbs of thrust. The engine shown here appears to have been an earlier experimental model of the A-7 version. It was donated to the Smithsonian in 1970 by the Rocketdyne Division of North American Aviation, Inc.