The RD-170 engine is a 4 chamber liquid kerosene/liquid oxygen rocket engine. It was designed during the 1970’s to power the strap-on boosters of the Energia launch vehicle.

RD-170 Rocket Engine Picture - Used Sea Launch

The RD-170 was used for the Energia Launch Vehicle and its cancelled derivative, the Energia-M. The RD-170 is currently in use in the first stage of the Zenit Rocket with is used by Sea Launch.

NPO Energomash markets this engine now.


Mass: 8755 kg

Length: 3.56m

Diameter: 4.0m

Propellants: Kerosene/Liquid Oxygen.

ISP: 336 Vacuum

Thrust: 7903 KN.

Why build the RD-170?

Korolev’s OKB-1 were the developers of the N-1 Moon Rocket of the 1960’s. Korolev died in 1966 and Mishin was his successor. Unfortunately, the N-1 had 4 failures and in 1974, Glushko became his successor. Glushko decided to build his own kerosene/lox engines and did not want to use the N-1’s Nk-33 engines.

Instead Glushko developed the RD-170. This engine is more powerful than the F-1 main engine used in the Saturn 5 Stage 1.

Did You Know?

RD-180 is a 2 chamber version of the RD-170 which is used on the Atlas-V rocket.


Energiya-Buran: The Soviet Space Shuttle by Bart Hendrickx
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Russia in Space: has a wide selection of books.

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