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Titan 1 Rocket Engine


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Rockets and Missiles exhibition at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

The XLR-87 rocket engine powered the first stage of the two-stage Titan I intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). It consists of two side-by-side rocket chambers; the missile's second stage was a one-chamber engine. Both first-and second-stage engines used liquid oxygen and kerosene. This engine produced about 150,000 pounds of thrust from each chamber, or 300,000 pounds total, and was built by the Aerojet General Corporation.

Developed from 1954 as a backup to the Atlas ICBM, the Titan I was intended to help close the "missile gap" with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It was later replaced by the improved Titan II, that had storable fuels and could be prepared for launch faster. The Titan II also launched the two-man Project Gemini spacecraft. This object was donated to the Smithsonian in 1972 by the U.S. Air Force.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Credit Line

Transferred from U.S. Air Force


Overall, stainless steel, steel, and inconel (nickel, chromium and iron alloy); feed line wrapped with metal tape


Overall: 12 ft. wide x 12 ft. long, 4200 lb. (365.76 x 365.76cm, 1905.1kg)

Country of Origin

United States of America


PROPULSION-Rocket Engines

Inventory Number