The Lunar Module Ascent Engine was used to lift up the ascent stage of the Lunar Module (LM) from the surface of the Moon and then dock with the Command Module (CM) orbiting the Moon. If necessary, the engine could also be used to slow down the LM's descent. Developed by Bell Aerosystems, the engine generated 3,500 pounds of thrust and used hypergolic (self-igniting) propellant, which eliminated the need for an ignition system and made the engine simpler, reliable, and lighter weight.
During its development by Bell Aerosystems, the engine faced combustion instability problems and involved several major injector redesigns. Rocketdyne designed replacement injectors which were incorporated and the engine became fully qualified. The Ascent Engine was subsequently used in all successful Apollo lunar landings.
The Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell International gave this LM Ascent Engine to the Smithsonian in 1972.
Transferred from the Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell International