This magnificent F-1 rocket engine is on display in front of the Infinity Science Center in Hancock County, Mississippi. Infinity is located across the highway from NASA Stennis Space Center, where they tested these beasts during the Apollo days. Beside the enormous F-1 stands an H-1 engine, which produced eight times less thrust (shown in final photo).
During testing, five F-1 engines, each producing 1.5 million pounds of thrust, roared to life, liquefying the ground with its acoustic shock wave surrounding the B-2 test stand at Stennis. Eventually, five of these engines would carry the Saturn V rocket (shown in a previous post, click here to view) for the first 150 seconds of its journey, guzzling fifteen tons of fuel per second. I once heard that these engines got an average fuel mileage of two inches per gallon.
The F-1 uses an RP-1 (refined kerosene, similar to jet fuel) as its fuel, and a LOX (liquid oxygen) oxidizer. It is currently the most powerful liquid fuel rocket engine in existence. There have been more powerful solid fuel engines, and liquid fuel engine clusters.
The engine was designed by Rocketdyne, first for the Air Force, who wanted a large engine such as this. Later, the Air Force dropped the program after a testing phase, but NASA restarted the F-1 development for use with their space program.
Incredible problems were overcome during the development of this engine. Notably, a condition called combustion instability. During combustion instability, the gasses in the combustion chamber began to spin at an incredible two thousand cycles per second, creating hot spots in the chamber structure, which eventually cause the engine to fail catastrophically, (e.g. explode). The problem was overcome, after months of research and thousands of man hours, by redesigning the injector plate (shown in the third photo) numerous times, until the problem mostly went away.
F♯ A♯ ∞ LP (Three different front cover: Train, Water tower, Highway Lights)
by godspeed you black emperor!
F# A# ∞ was recorded at the original Hotel2Tango in spring 1997 on a rented 16-track tape deck and supplemented with various field recordings. In the preceding year, the band had taken shape as a quasi-orchestral outfit involving most of the players that would go on to make three more records and tour the world many times. This is the first recorded document of Godspeed as a large band and is soaring, fragile, awkward, heartbreaking stuff. Constellation released a vinyl-only pressing of 500 copies in August 1997, with LP jackets hand made by the label, the band, and various local artisans. It has since gone through dozens of re-presses, with virtually all of the original packaging elements preserved. The opening monologue on Side One (“Dead Flag Blues”) is taken from Incomplete Movie About Jail, an unfinished film by Efrim.
Release date: 14 August 1997
Running time: 34:00
LP jacket made from 80lb. burgundy textured uncoated cardstock with blind embossed front cover text. Three different front cover images (train, water tower, highway lights) are hand-glued on the front cover (original first run of 500 featured black and white darkroom prints; subsequent editions are offset printed). Back covers are individually hand-drawn with illuminated cross icon and catalogue number and are hand-stamped with Constellation logo; all in silver ink. Inserts include a penny crushed on Montreal railroad tracks, blueprint album graphic and notes, credit sheet and reproduction of an early GY!BE show handbill - all placed inside a plain manila envelope (original first run of 500 featured acetone transfers hand-printed on each envelope). Additional 8”x8” insert card of train locomotive image silkscreened in various colours on various recycled papers over the years.
1. SIDE A: nervous, sad, poor
2. SIDE B: bleak, uncertain, beautiful
Aidan (drums), Bruce (drums), Christophe (violin), David (guitar), Efrim (guitar), Mauro (bass), Moya (guitar, banjo), Norsola (cello), Thea (french horn), Thierry (bass).
Recorded and mixed on 16-track reel-to-reel at thee mighty Hotel2Tango in Montreal by the band along with Don and Ian, May 1997.