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There was some thread here on Space Stack-Exchange about RS-25 refurbishment, but I am interested now, how this refurbishment look from the point of material damage of SSME hardware.

In the early years of the shuttle, SSME needed months of refurbishment and turbopumps must be from safety reasons completely disassembled into small parts. In 30 years of Shuttle program, SSME went through 5 mayor redesign/overhauls but even in 2010 they needed detailed inspections after each flight and some parts refurbishment/replacement. (Quote from Daniel Dumbacher, deputy director of the Exploration Launch Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala..)

So my questions are:

  1. How many parts on 2010 version of SSME (latest redesign/overhaul version) needed refurbishment/replacement after each flight and why?
  2. Was there some material damage, some cracks, erosion of the surface inside pre-burner, combustion chamber or rocket nozzle as a result of heat and pressure of combustion process? Or simply cracks as result of mechanical stresses on engines, turbopumps during ascend?
  3. How was this different in 2010 version of SSME versus the older versions?
  4. Did fact that 2010 version of SSME needed much less refurbishment than earlier versions of SSME result in some significant cost savings? Could they fire some employees and limits Shuttle program fixed costs?
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    $\begingroup$ Please try and use the tagging system, so that your question are seen by the appropriate experts. You are also asking too many questions per-posting, which could possibly get some questions closed as "too broad". Just a heads-up. $\endgroup$ Nov 17, 2019 at 13:03
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    $\begingroup$ Your questions are very broad. You should only ask one question per post. You have 6 questions here. $\endgroup$ Nov 17, 2019 at 13:19

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Very broadly information about the Space Shuttle is at: https://gandalf.azureedge.net/shuttle.html (If anybody knows the Docents for Endeavour or Enterprise in NY or LA please give them this link)

Information for the SSME which will answer some of your other questions: https://gandalfddi.z19.web.core.windows.net/Shuttle/SSME_MPS_Info/

So you do ask a big question, the answer is "it depends". I worked on the MPS/SSME system at KSC for many years, no engine processing flow was the same. First off after every launch the SSME's were removed to be taken to the engine shop for many many checks per the OMRSD (Orbiter Maintenance Requirements and Specifications Document). Some of them were "replace 'X' part after 'Y' flights", some were just "inspect ... part" ... But to inspect a specific part you might have to remove a flange, that flange might get scratched during the process which requires more work to fix ... Etc. Anyway, requirements document: https://gandalfddi.z19.web.core.windows.net/Shuttle/SSME_MPS_Info/SSME%20Test%20and%20Checkout%20-%2019980218686.pdf

Pages of checks, starting on page 34: enter image description here

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