Centaur - A NASA Workhorse
Centaur - A NASA Workhorse

Workers at the Propulsion Systems Laboratory at Lewis Research Center, now John H. Glenn Research Center, develop the Centaur upper stage rocket. The Centaur was an ambitious rocket using liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. It was the first rocket to ever use hydrogen as a propulsion fuel and underwent a difficult development period. It later became a highly successful upper stage used for hundreds of NASA, commercial and military payloads.

On Nov. 27, 1963, NASA had a successful launch of the first Atlas/Centaur. No payload was carried, but the powerful rocket scored a significant milestone: first in-flight burn of a liquid-hydrogen/liquid-oxygen engine. Major successes followed rapidly.

Image Credit: NASA

Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator