>>10596470>These are baseless claims
They are not. The N1 is a perfect example why relying on huge clusters is a development nightmare that should be avoided.>Quite the opposite, large number of small engines is beneficial because it leads to multiple engine-out capability even during landing burns.
It also increases plumbing complexity and increases the chance of individual engine failures>Small engine exploding will not necessarily take out the whole rocket.
No-one's saying that.>It also has other minor advantages such as being lighter (propulsion system mass scales with rocket bottom area instead of volume when you have so many small engines)
That's really doubtful. Are you factoring in the weight of the extra nozzles, turbopumps, control machinery, and plumbing? It adds up.>having better coverage of the rocket ass end by nozzles
Coverage? What advantage does coverage give you?>quickly ramping up thousands of individual engine burns leading to great reliability
That doesn't follow, and I'm honestly not sure what you're trying to say with this.>mass producing many small engines is cheaper than few big ones...
Again: doubtful. The engines themselves might be cheaper, but any cost advantage is going to get devoured in developing and testing the fuel lines, control systems, and whatnot.
I'm not saying it's impossible to develop a rocket with 20 engines on the first stage or whatever, I'm saying it's not wise. There are more disadvantages to advantages.
Notice how the Russians move away from clusters with their new rocket designs. The Soyuz has got like 20 nozzles, but its proposed replacement has 3-5.