Collection Item Summary:
The V-2 rocket-engine turbopump drew the propellants--liquid oxygen and water alcohol--from the missile's tanks and injected them under pressure into the combustion chamber. The V-2 motor was not only the world's first large liquid-propellant rocket engine, it was also the first large rocket engine to use a turbopump, following on earlier experiments by the German Army rocket group under Wernher von Braun. This pump moved nearly 9,000 kg (20,000 lb) of alcohol and liquid oxygen from the tanks to the combustion chamber during the 60-second burning time. Driving the turbine wheels in the center of the pump were exhaust gases from a steam generator, which catalyzed hydrogen peroxide into superheated steam and oxygen. The turbine wheels in turn powered the pump impellers for the two propellants.
This artifact is cutaway to show its internal mechanisms. NASA Marshall Space Flight Center transferred it to the Smithsonian in 1975.