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It is also economy of scale when manufacturing. You need smaller tooling to make smaller engines, and because nobody makes rocket engines in quantities that would load the production line 24x7, almost only additional expense is raw materials which is negligibly small.

Also, gas dynamics in a smaller engine is simpler and easier to simulate.

And yes, it gives a lot of redundancy, if the only engine of the stage fails you are toast, if 1 out of 9 fails it's almost okay, as the most recent F-9 flight shown.




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