This is a 1:12 scale model of the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME). The full-sized SSME powers the U.S.'s Space Shuttle and is the highest performing and first reusable large-scale liquid fuel rocket engine in the world. Each Shuttle is powered by a cluster of three SSME's, plus two large Solid Fuel Rocket Boosters.
One outstanding feature fo the SSME is its computer, an attached electronic controller that constantly monitors and regulates all engine functions and keeps a record of its operational history. The engine has a thrust of 417,300 pounds and uses liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. The Space Shuttle became operational in 1981. This model was donated to the Smithsonian by Rocketdyne in 1988.
Gift of Rockwell International, Rocketdyne Division