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  Space shuttle main engine (SSME) flight history

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Author Topic:   Space shuttle main engine (SSME) flight history
Paul78zephyr
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Posts: 402
From: Hudson, MA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 08-31-2006 09:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've been trying to find out how many space shuttle main engines (SSMEs) were built since the program started in the '70s. Does NASA's website have a page on this? Does anyone have a link to info about this?

Lunar Module 5
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From: Wales, UK
Registered: Dec 2004

posted 09-01-2006 06:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunar Module 5   Click Here to Email Lunar Module 5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Information on which SSMEs flew which mission can be found (in general, i.e. they are not always listed) here.

To find out the total number made perhaps you should contact the contractor!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31138
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-06-2006 03:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pratt & Whitney have a few hand-outs at the KSC Press site, one of which was prepared specifically for STS-115. In the booklet appears the following:
Since the first Space Shuttle launch on April 12, 1981, 42 different SSMEs have successfully demonstrated the performance, safety, and reliability of the world's only reusable liquid-fuel rocket engine.
There is also a chart that shows which mission(s) the 42 engines have flown (for a total of 348 "engine flights").

Paul78zephyr
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Posts: 402
From: Hudson, MA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 09-06-2006 06:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you very much for that info! I honestly would have guessed that many more than 42 total engines were produced. I would love to see that P&W hand-out. I wonder if there is an online version at their website? I will look.

MCroft04
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From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 09-06-2006 06:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know which P&W plant made those engines? I used to live near the P&W Plant in West Palm Beach, Fla., and I recall many nights being awakened by the testing of engines, 15 miles away.

hlbjr
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Posts: 356
From: Delray Beach Florida USA
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 09-07-2006 09:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The SSME's were built by Rocketdyne, which was a North American, then Rockwell, then Boeing unit until bought in the past few years by Pratt & Whitney. I live in Delray Beach and enjoy flying near the Pratt rocket facilities SW of the Beeline near West Palm Beach but the SSME's weren't built down here in our neck of the woods. The new turbopumps for the SSME's over the past 10 or so years were built by Pratt however. I don't know where they were built but I know Pratt did design and build and improved pump.

mjanovec
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From: Midwest, USA
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posted 09-07-2006 11:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
42 engines seems like a reasonable number to me. The plan was to have four orbiters operational at any given time, meaning 16 engines needed to be flight ready at any given time...probably less since not all orbiters are necessarily flight ready at any given time. That leaves plenty of engines as spares or engines that are rotated in and out of orbiters. Of course, six engines were lost in Challenger and Columbia, so maybe the planned number of engines needed to be increased to make up for the losses...or at the very least, had to be built to make up for the Challenger loss and for the introduction of Endeavour (?).

I have to wonder how much of any specific engine remains the same after a few flights. I assume several components are replaced as needed after each flight. So once an engine has flown 5 times, how much of the "original" engine remains?

Also, of the 42 flight engines built, how many are still "active" and how many are retired? Are there still engines from the early Shuttle days still flying?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31138
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-07-2006 12:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MCroft04:
Does anyone know which P&W plant made those engines?
Per the same document cited above:
The SSME is manufactured in Canoga Park, California at the PWR facility.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31138
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-07-2006 12:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
Also, of the 42 flight engines built, how many are still "active" and how many are retired? Are there still engines from the early Shuttle days still flying?
There are 11 engines still active and one remaining to be delivered.

Of those, the earliest flight flown was STS-73 in October 1995.

The STS-115 three engines have the following history:

  • ME-1: STS-89, 88, 99, 106, 98, 105, 111, 113

  • ME-2: STS-95, 92, 102, 110, 112

  • ME-3: STS-91, 96, 99, 106, 98, 104, 109, 112

SpaceDust
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Posts: 104
From: Louisville, Ky USA
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 09-10-2006 03:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceDust     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've been keeping a database for some years and I come up with 47 engines total (if this thing is right). Below is a listing of each engine by what I believe is a serial number with the total number of uses, followed by what missions they were used on. This list does not include the current STS-115 mission.

Space Shuttle Main Engine Use

  • SN-2005 5
    STS-1, STS-2, STS-3, STS-4, STS-5

  • SN-2006 5
    STS-1, STS-2, STS-3, STS-4, STS-5

  • SN-2007 5
    STS-1, STS-2, STS-3, STS-4, STS-5

  • SN-2011 7
    STS-9, STS-51J, STS-61B, STS-33, STS-31, STS-41, STS-50

  • SN-2012 22
    STS-6, STS-7, STS-8, STS-41B, STS-41C, STS-51A, STS-51C, STS-51D, STS-51G, STS-51I, STS-35, STS-43, STS-45, STS-53 STS-60, STS-67, STS-74, STS-79, STS-83, STS-86, STS-90 STS-93

  • SN-2015 9
    STS-6, STS-7, STS-8, STS-41B, STS-61C, STS-40, STS-44, STS-49, STS-52

  • SN-2017 14
    STS-6, STS-7, STS-8, STS-51J, STS-61B, STS-27, STS-49, STS-53, STS-57, STS-61, STS-65, STS-66, STS-70, STS-75

  • SN-2018 12
    STS-9, STS-41D, STS-51A, STS-51C, STS-51D, STS-51G, STS-51I, STS-61C, STS-54, STS-56, STS-58, STS-59

  • SN-2019 19
    STS-9, STS-51J, STS-61B, STS-26, STS-28, STS-36, STS-38, STS-37, STS-48, STS-50, STS-54, STS-57, STS-61, STS-65 STS-70, STS-76, STS-83, STS-86, STS-93

  • SN-2020 6
    STS-41C, STS-41G, STS-51B, STS-51F, STS-61A, STS-51L

  • SN-2021 6
    STS-41D, STS-41G, STS-51B, STS-51F, STS-61A, STS-51L

  • SN-2022 8
    STS-26, STS-29, STS-28, STS-32, STS-38, STS-40, STS-42, STS-47

  • SN-2023 5
    STS-41G, STS-51B, STS-51F, STS-61A, STS-51L

  • SN-2024 7
    STS-32, STS-35, STS-43, STS-45, STS-53, STS-56, STS-58

  • SN-2026 6
    STS-39, STS-42, STS-47, STS-68, STS-74, STS-80

  • SN-2027 7
    STS-30, STS-34, STS-36, STS-38, STS-40, STS-42, STS-46

  • SN-2028 11
    STS-26, STS-29, STS-28, STS-32, STS-35, STS-43, STS-45, STS-59, STS-68, STS-71, STS-72

  • SN-2029 15
    STS-27, STS-30, STS-34, STS-39, STS-44, STS-47, STS-55, STS-51, STS-62, STS-64, STS-63, STS-69, STS-75, STS-80, STS-84

  • SN-2030 10
    STS-27, STS-30, STS-34, STS-36, STS-39, STS-44, STS-49, STS-52, STS-65, STS-66

  • SN-2031 17
    STS-29, STS-33, STS-31, STS-41, STS-37, STS-48, STS-50, STS-55, STS-51, STS-62, STS-64, STS-67, STS-73, STS-79, STS-84, STS-87, STS-93

  • SN-2032 7
    STS-46, STS-60, STS-71, STS-74, STS-80, STS-84, STS-90

  • SN-2033 9
    STS-46, STS-54, STS-56, STS-61, STS-59, STS-68, STS-67, STS-79, STS-94

  • SN-2034 9
    STS-52, STS-57, STS-51, STS-60, STS-66, STS-71, STS-75, STS-81, STS-94

  • SN-2035 3
    STS-63, STS-69, STS-76

  • SN-2036 3
    STS-70, STS-72, STS-78

  • SN-2037 5
    STS-73, STS-77, STS-82, STS-94, STS-87

  • SN-2038 3
    STS-73, STS-77, STS-82

  • SN-2039 4
    STS-72, STS-78, STS-85, STS-87

  • SN-2040 4
    STS-77, STS-82, STS-86, STS-91

  • SN-2041 5
    STS-78, STS-81, STS-85, STS-90, STS-88

  • SN-2042 3
    STS-81, STS-85, STS-91

  • SN-2043 7
    STS-89, STS-95, STS-103, STS-101, STS-97, STS-100, STS-108

  • SN-2044 7
    STS-89, STS-88, STS-99, STS-106, STS-98, STS-105, STS-111

  • SN-2045 8
    STS-89, STS-95, STS-92, STS-102, STS-105, STS-110, STS-113, STS-121

  • SN-2047 6
    STS-91, STS-96, STS-106, STS-98, STS-104, STS-109

  • SN-2048 4
    STS-95, STS-92, STS-110, STS-112

  • SN-2049 7
    STS-96, STS-103, STS-101, STS-97, STS-100, STS-108, STS-107

  • SN-2050 5
    STS-88, STS-99, STS-108, STS-111, STS-113

  • SN-2051 4
    STS-96, STS-104, STS-110, STS-112

  • SN-2052 5
    STS-99, STS-106, STS-98, STS-105, STS-121

  • SN-2053 5
    STS-103, STS-92, STS-102, STS-109, STS-107

  • SN-2054 6
    STS-101, STS-97, STS-100, STS-111, STS-114, STS-121

  • SN-2055 1
    STS-112

  • SN-2056 6
    STS-102, STS-104, STS-109, STS-113, STS-107, STS-114

  • SN-2057 1
    STS-114

  • SN-2107 5
    STS-33, STS-31, STS-41, STS-37, STS-48

  • SN-2109 17
    STS-41B, STS-41C, STS-41D, STS-51A, STS-51C, STS-51D, STS-51G, STS-51I, STS-61C, STS-55, STS-58, STS-62, STS-64, STS-63, STS-69, STS-76, STS-83

mjanovec
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Posts: 3668
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 09-10-2006 05:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SN-2056 6
STS-102, STS-104, STS-109, STS-113, STS-107, STS-114
A typo here perhaps?

Paul78zephyr
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Posts: 402
From: Hudson, MA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 09-10-2006 08:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceDust, Thanks!

I think mjanovec is correct (re: STS-107). How did you collect your database?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31138
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-11-2006 03:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is the Pratt & Whitney usage chart for comparison/reference (click on the image to enlarge):

Harald Kraenzel
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Posts: 288
From: Dinslaken,Germany
Registered: Nov 2005

posted 09-14-2006 01:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harald Kraenzel   Click Here to Email Harald Kraenzel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Do you think you can publish the link where this chart can be downloaded? Just for updated versions for the shuttle missions to come?

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 31138
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-14-2006 07:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As mentioned above, I was unable to find this document online. The above chart was scanned from a hand-out provided at the Kennedy Space Center press site.

Harald Kraenzel
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Posts: 288
From: Dinslaken,Germany
Registered: Nov 2005

posted 05-12-2007 05:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harald Kraenzel   Click Here to Email Harald Kraenzel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I analysed the SSME data as of today and was able to find some interesting facts:

- the following SSMEs powered all five orbiters into orbit at least one time:

  • 2109
  • 2012
  • 2017
  • 2019
  • 2029
  • 2031
  • 2034
Further on the following SSMEs flew in all three positions of an orbiter at least one time:
  • 2012 on OV-103 Discovery
  • 2019 on OV-104 Atlantis
  • 2054 on OV-105 Endeavour

Paul78zephyr
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Posts: 402
From: Hudson, MA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 03-11-2011 08:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone have a final update for the SSME data for all flights through STS-135?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31138
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-11-2011 01:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is the Pratt & Whitney usage chart for STS-133 (post STS-132).

STS-134 will uses main engines 2059, 2061 and 2057. STS-135 will use main engines 2045, 2060 and 2047.

All times are CT (US)

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