Huntsville, AL, United States (4E) – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has test-fired the gas generator on the F-1 Thursday at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
According to reports, the F-1 is an engine that powered the Saturn V rocket and NASA engineers hope the test would help engineers develop a heavy lift rocket for missions to the moon and beyond.
It was originally meant to launch Apollo 11 into orbit and to the moon in 1969, but some problems during a test in Mississippi grounded the engine and it was never used again. The engine has been stored the Smithsonian Institution for years.
Reports stated the particular F-1 was retrieved by engineers from the Smithsonian in order to start a study about building a more modern, yet less expensive version for NASA’s huge deep space rocket.
According to Red Orbit, the engineers used modern instruments to measure the performance and combustion properties of the engine during the test, garnering a starting point for creating a new, affordable, advanced propulsion system.
NASA’s Chris Crumbly said Marshall engineers have already conducted 11 tests on the engine to help them understand how it works.