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Rocket Motor, Liquid Fuel, Apollo Service Module Reaction Control System (RCS)


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:

This is an Apollo Reaction Control System (RCS) rocket motor, or thruster. The RCS maintained the attitude of the Apollo Service Module and helped it to maneuver in space, undertake minor midcourse velocity corrections, abort separations, and make emergency attitude maneuvers. It produced 100 pounds of thrust and could be fired in spurts or steady thrusts as needed. RCS thrusters were mounted in groups of four in boxes called "quads."

RCS thrusters were used throughout the Apollo program from 1968 to 1972, on Skylab 1 in 1973, and in the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project mission in 1975. This object was donated to the Smithsonian in 1986 by The Marquardt Corp.

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

Gift of The Marquardt Corporation


Overall, metal, probably steel and aluminum; wires, with plastic insulation


Overall: 1 ft. 2 in. long x 5 5/8 in. diameter, 5 lb. (35.56 x 14.22cm, 2.3kg)

Country of Origin

United States of America


PROPULSION-Rocket Engines

Inventory Number