Mi Staff Sergeant
MI.Net Member
Sep 7, 2010
Russian rocket engine RD-253 seen in the Moscow 870 birthday exhibitions 9.09. 2017

Development of RD-253 started in 1961. Preliminary investigations and development of the engine as well as its further production was performed under the guidance of Valentin Glushko and finished in 1963. The RD-253 uses a staged combustion cycle for oxidizer-rich generator gas. It was used for the first time in July 1965 year when six engines powered the first stage of the rocket. Development and production of RD-253 was a qualitative leap forward for rocketry of that time by achieving high levels of thrust, specific impulse and pressure in the combustion chamber. This engine is one of the most reliable engines in the USSR and modern Russia.
As every first stage of Proton-K rockets used six RD-253 engines, the system played a pivotal role in Russian space missions when this rocket was chosen as carrier, including the following programs: "Luna", "Venera", "Mars probe", manned orbital stations "Salyut", "Mir" and it supplied several principal modules for ISS. It is used widely also for heavy satellites launches. The last RD-253 rocket engine was used on Proton-K rocket and launched on March 30, 2012.
Since the original development of the engine, several modifications were designed that weren't used in rockets. One of them was the RD-256 engine for which development stopped on experimental models. It wasn't used in flights and was designed for a cancelled vehicle. The modification marked RD-254 was supplied with extended nozzle for work in vacuum. REF

Turbo Pump unit of the RD-253
turbo pump unit.jpg