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F-1 Nozzle Extension F-6045

Marshall recalled F-1 engine F-6049 from the Udvar-Hazy Center circa May 2012 in preparation for test-firing the engine's gas generator.

When I visited in July 2012, F-6049 was being stored in Bldg. 4205, in the same room as the thrust chamber from F-6090, the F-1 engine which had been disassembled by a MSFC research team.

Although I had a limited time to photograph the disassembled engine, I did take several photos of the nozzle extension (the only other nozzle extension of which I am aware which is not attached to an F-1 is at the New Mexico Museum of Space History). I especially wanted to get pictures straight down the interior, as I didn't get any such photos when I photographed the nozzle extension currently displayed with F-4023 a few years earlier.

Our host was kind enough to get a ladder to facilitate these photos (he jokingly informed us that the "physical activity" section of his job description listed only "occasional walking" and made no mention of carrying ladders). Due to the taper of the nozzle extension, even with the ladder it was necessary to hold the camera out at arm's length and "shoot blind."

By the time of my visit in September 2013, the nozzle extension had been moved outside, to the south end of Building 4205. Since there were the remains of a tarp on it, I assume that it had been outdoors for some time.

An F-1 nozzle extension by itself is about 65.5 inches tall (5' 5.5"), and its G4080 nozzle extension handling fixture adds another 4 or 6 inches, so again, all of the photos of the interior involve raising the camera over my head and shooting blind.

This particular nozzle extension was actually intended for engine F-6045, the F-1 engine displayed in the U.S. Space & Rocket Center's Davidson Center. I assume that the Smithsonian pulled rank, taking a mis-matched nozzle extension so that it could exhibit a "complete" F-1.

Since F-6049 as no longer displayed at the Smithsonian (who presumably "pulled rank" in order to get another engine's nozzle extension), I thought that it would be interesting if this nozzle extension could be exhibited with F-6049 at the USSRC, but both F-6049 and nozzle extension F-6045 were transferred to Seattle's Museum of Flight in March 2017, preventing any such reunion.

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