Encyclopedia Astronautica
Plug-Nozzle J-2

Rocketdyne lox/lh2 rocket engine. 6864.6 kN. Study 1993. Plug nozzle version of J-2 proposed for certain Saturn V upgrades in late 1960's. Isp=425s. Used on DC-I launch vehicle.

Thrust (sl): 5,330.100 kN (1,198,254 lbf). Thrust (sl): 543,529 kgf.

Status: Study 1993.
Thrust: 6,864.60 kN (1,543,223 lbf).
Specific impulse: 425 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 330 s.
Burn time: 260 s.

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Associated Propellants
  • Lox/LH2 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. Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks. The United States mastered hydrogen technology for the highly classified Lockheed CL-400 Suntan reconnaissance aircraft in the mid-1950's. The technology was transferred to the Centaur rocket stage program, and by the mid-1960's the United States was flying the Centaur and Saturn upper stages using the fuel. It was adopted for the core of the space shuttle, and Centaur stages still fly today. More...

Associated Stages
  • DC-I Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 470,000/36,000 kg. Thrust 6,860.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 425 seconds. More...

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