Country of origin Soviet Union
Date 1976-1987
First flight 1987-05-15
Last flight 1988-11-15
Designer OKB-154
Manufacturer Voronezh Mechanical Plant
Application Sustainer engine
Associated L/V Energia
Successor RD-0122
Status Retired
Liquid-fuel engine
Propellant LOX / LH2
Mixture ratio 6.0
Cycle Staged Combustion cycle
Chamber 1
Nozzle ratio 85.70
Thrust (vac.) 1,961.3 kN (440,900 lbf) (106%)
Thrust (SL) 1,526 kN (343,000 lbf) (106%)
Thrust-to-weight ratio 43.95 (Vac)
Chamber pressure 21.9 MPa (3,180 psi)
Isp (vac.) 455 s (4.46 km/s)
Isp (SL) 353.2 s (3.464 km/s)
Burn time 500s
Gimbal range +/- 7°
Length 4,550 mm (179 in)
Diameter 2,420 mm (95 in)
Dry weight 3,450 kg (7,610 lb)
Used in
Energia core stage
References [1][2][3]

The Soviet RD-0120 (also designated 11D122) was the Energia core rocket engine, fueled by LH2/LOX, roughly equivalent to the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME). These were attached to the Energia core rather than the orbiter, so were not recoverable after a flight, but created a more modular design (the Energia core could be used for a variety of missions besides launching the shuttle). Baselined from the more mature American hydrogen–oxygen engine technology, but considerably modified with Russian innovations and methods, the RD-0120 and the SSME have both similarities and differences. The RD-0120 achieved nearly identical specific impulse and combustion chamber pressure with reduced complexity and cost, as compared to the SSME, primarily at the expense of lower thrust-to-weight ratio. It uses fuel-rich staged combustion cycle and a single shaft to drive both the fuel and oxidizer turbopumps. Some of the Russian design features, such as the simpler and cheaper channel wall nozzles, were evaluated by Rocketdyne for possible upgrades to the SSME. It achieved combustion stability without the acoustic resonance chambers that the SSME required.


  • Specifications 1
    • RD-0120 1.1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4



Thrust (vacuum): 1.8639 MN (190 tons), (sealevel): 1.5171 MN
Specific impulse (vacuum): 454 seconds (4.45 km/s), (sealevel): 359 seconds (3.52 km/s)
Burn time: nominal 480–500 s, certified for 1670 s.
Basic engine weight: 3,449 kg.
Length: 4.55 m, Diameter: 2.42 m
Propellants: LOX & LH2
Mixture ratio: 6:1
Contractor: Chemical Automatics Design Bureau (Конструкторское Бюро Химавтоматики)
Vehicle application: Energia core stage.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^

External links

  • Molniya Research & Industrial Corporation's Buran page (english)
  • RD-0120 details (in Russian)
  • Energiya Booster details (in Russian)