Museum of Science & Industry Site Index
RL-10 Engine Gallery


The sign accompanying the RL-10 engine. It reads


Developed for the Centaur spacecraft and used in the Saturn S-IVB stage, this RL-10 rocket engine burned liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to develop a thrust of 67,000 newtons (15,000 lb). Six RL-10 engines in a cluster powered the Saturn S-IVB stage.

On loan from Harold Hahn

Even though there are several things wrong with this sign (the Centaur is a rocket stage, not a "spacecraft;" the RL-10 was used on the Saturn S-IV stage, not the S-IVB stage; and there was a single J-2 rocket engine on the S-IVB stage), but the sign still holds special significance for me: After my first visit to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in 2002, reigniting my passion for the 60s Space Race, the Museum of Science and Industry was the second museum I visited (the first being the former Michigan Space & Science Center). While I didn't know what an RL-10 was at the time, I did know that the S-IVB was powered by a single J-2. When I did an Internet search to find out the rocket using the RL-10, one of the search results was Stages to Saturn, which is a great overview of the Saturn program and which got me even more interested in the Saturn family of rockets.

I contacted the museum regarding the error in the sign (including links to Stages to Saturn, but they never updated the sign. However, when they renovated the gallery and created new signage, they properly referenced the Saturn I as the rocket using the RL-10.

Sign by the RL-10 Engine at the Museum of Science & Industry
Time picture taken Sat Oct 5 11:47:45 2002
Location picture taken Henry Crown Space Center
Museum of Science & Industry
Chicago, IL
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