Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I think Russian rockets are pretty much the coolest of all. The N1 is possibly the most impressive, best looking rocket ever made. The inter-stage open truss design (common in communist rockets) might be a big part of it. Or could it be the conical shape of the thing? Anyway, there is something about the N1 that makes it look larger than any other, even the Saturn V and space shuttle. Larger and better, and maybe in some way what rockets should ideally have become. It looks somewhat slapped together also, like a borg spaceship... Note the spherical fuel tanks... these are less than optimum, but are just a very nice touch. The use of RP1 and LO2 is, as you all may know, about my favorite combination. RP1, Kerosene, Methane... these are ideal fuels for so many reasons. Our use of Liquid hydrogen can, in many ways, hold our rockets back. However as I think about fuels more, I am forced to remember how the cost of organic fuels has gone up a ton recently. Perhaps hydrogen will be more important in the near future as the cost of kerosene will go up even more.
It is sad that the N1 never flew to orbit (or even space?) and that the remaining parts were just tossed around parks. One fuel tank became the roof of a gazebo.