The massive BA-810 rocket engine thrust chamber barely fits
underneath the 14-foot ceiling of the Space Flight Gallery.

The scale model of the Beal Aerospace BA-2 launch vehicle rises
over 23 feet above the floor of the Museum.


The Frontiers of Flight Museum’s Space Flight Gallery incorporates two major artifacts from Texas-based Beal Aerospace—a pioneer company in the field of privately-funded space exploration.  Founded in Frisco, Texas entirely with private funding in 1997, the company developed and successfully test-fired the second most powerful liquid-fuel rocket engine ever produced in the United States.  At 810,000 pounds of static thrust, the Beal BA-810 engine’s power was exceeded only by the F-1 rocket engine developed in the 1960s for the Saturn V rocket used to carry astronauts to the Moon.  The engine’s reliability was achieved through the simplicity of its design, and the massive thrust chamber of the BA-810 on display in the Museum gives visitors an idea of the engine’s size.

Also on display in the Space Flight Gallery is a 1/10 scale model of the proposed BA-2 heavy lift rocket, which would have employed the BA-810 engine.  The BA-2 was designed to carry large payloads (over 37,000 pounds) into earth orbit at a much lower cost per pound than existing launch vehicles.  At 236 feet, it would have stood taller on the launch pad than the Space Shuttle assembly with its large external tank. 


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