Encyclopedia Astronautica
NK-33



nk33.jpg
NK-33
Credit: Karl Dodenhoff
Kuznetsov Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 1638 kN. N-1F, Kistler stage 1, Taurus II stage 1. Isp=331s. Modified version of original engine with multiple ignition capability. Never flown and mothballed in 1975 after the cancellation of the N1. Resurrected for Kistler, then for Taurus.

After initial failures of N1 modified engines with multiple ignition capability and increased life were developed. NK-33 was tested at thrust of up to 204 t, variations of components ratio up to 20% and total burning time up to 1200 sec. Mothballed, never flown until selected by Kistler for their commercial launch vehicle in 1996. This in turn was cancelled and it was selected for the Taurus II with first flight in 2012 - 37 years after fabrication.

Application: N-1F stage 1 (block A).

Characteristics

Thrust (sl): 1,510.200 kN (339,506 lbf). Thrust (sl): 154,000 kgf. Engine: 1,222 kg (2,694 lb). Chamber Pressure: 145.70 bar. Area Ratio: 27. Thrust to Weight Ratio: 136.66. Oxidizer to Fuel Ratio: 2.8.

AKA: 11D111; AJ26-62.
Status: Mothballed 1975.
Unfuelled mass: 1,222 kg (2,694 lb).
Height: 3.71 m (12.17 ft).
Diameter: 1.50 m (4.90 ft).
Thrust: 1,638.00 kN (368,237 lbf).
Specific impulse: 331 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 297 s.
Burn time: 600 s.
First Launch: 1970-74.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • N1F Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The N1F would have been the definitive flight version of the N1, incorporating all changes resulting from the four flight tests of the vehicle, including the new Kuznetsov engines and 10% greater liftoff mass by using superchilled propellants in all stages. N1 8L would have been the first N1F configuration flight, with launch planned in the third quarter of 1975 at the time the project was cancelled. More...
  • N1F Sr Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The final more modest version of the N1F replaced the fourth and fifth stages of the N1 with the single liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen Block Sr stage. Development of the Sr stage was from May 1971 until cancellation of the N1 project in May 1974. More...
  • N1F-L3M Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The N1M was found to be too ambitious. The N1F of 1968 was instead pencilled in to be the first Soviet launch vehicle to use liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen high energy cyrogenic propellants. The N1F would have only used the Block S and Block R fourth and fifth stages in place of the N1's Block G and Block D. More...
  • Kistler K-1 American low-cost orbital launch vehicle. The Kistler K-1 was a reusable two-stage launch vehicle developed by a prestigious team of ex-Apollo managers, designed originally for launch of Iridium-class communications satellites to medium altitude earth orbit. Kistler began development but had to file for Chapter 11 protection before detailed hardware fabrication was completed. It emerged from bankruptcy in 2005, and merged with suborbital startup Rocketplane to form Rocketplane Kistler. On 8 November 2006, it was announced that Alliant Techsystems, as lead contractor, would complete the K-1 launch vehicle, with Rocketplane Kistler as a subcontractor, under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. More...
  • Taurus II American orbital launch vehicle. Pad-launched launch vehicle using Pegasus upper stages and a first stage combining a Ukrainian Zenit lower stage fitted with 30-year old surplus Russian N1 moon program rocket engines. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Kuznetsov Russian manufacturer of rocket engines. Kuznetsov Design Bureau, Russia. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Kerosene Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. In January 1953 Rocketdyne commenced the REAP program to develop a number of improvements to the engines being developed for the Navaho and Atlas missiles. Among these was development of a special grade of kerosene suitable for rocket engines. Prior to that any number of rocket propellants derived from petroleum had been used. Goddard had begun with gasoline, and there were experimental engines powered by kerosene, diesel oil, paint thinner, or jet fuel kerosene JP-4 or JP-5. The wide variance in physical properties among fuels of the same class led to the identification of narrow-range petroleum fractions, embodied in 1954 in the standard US kerosene rocket fuel RP-1, covered by Military Specification MIL-R-25576. In Russia, similar specifications were developed for kerosene under the specifications T-1 and RG-1. The Russians also developed a compound of unknown formulation in the 1980's known as 'Sintin', or synthetic kerosene. More...

Bibliography
  • Semenov, Yuri P Editor, Raketno-kosmicheskaya korporatsiya 'Energia' imeni S P Koroleva, Moscow, Russia, 1996.
  • Data sheets NPO Trud via Dietrich Haeseler.

Associated Stages
  • Kistler Stage 1 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 250,000/20,500 kg. Thrust 5,049.40 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 331 seconds. Stage burns for 35 seconds to place itself on return-to-launch-site trajectory for recovery. Therefore to calculate performance 12,400 kg propellants for flight back to launch site should be added to empty mass. Empty mass also includes six parachutes, landing bags, and is calculated, based by apportioning total vehicle empty mass. More...
  • N1F Block A Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 2,070,000/126,230 kg. Thrust 49,675.50 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 331 seconds. Includes 14,000 kg for Stage 1-2 interstage. More...
  • UR-500MK-1 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 137,000/9,300 kg. Thrust 1,637.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 331 seconds. Empty mass estimated based on overall vehicle mass fraction. Length estimated based on total mass. More...

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