|Quoting connies4ever (Reply 2):|
It's interesting to see a design philosophy in SpaceX that looks to be copied from the Soviets/Russians: multiple relatively low thrust chambers on each components of Falcon 9/Falcon 9 Heavy. The R-7 has a similar conceptual design. Gives you an engine out capability (or perhaps multiple engine out), and by using lower thrust (and presumably lower chamber pressure) components, I'm thinking reduced mission risk
Only partially. The RD
-107s (and derivatives), are clusters of four combustion chambers and expansion nozzles driven off one set of turbopumps. In general they can't fail independently. The reason for the somewhat odd design is difficulties with combustion instability in a larger combustion chamber (this was a major issue on the F-1). So an R-7 is really a five engine rocket, not the 20 it appears to be. Plus four of those are in the boosters, which drop off while the core stack continues.
The nine Merlin-1s on the Falcon-9 are nine truly independent engines.
The eight H-1s of the S-I and S-1B Saturn stages are probably closer.