RD-0410 NTP Engine
RD-0410 Nuclear Thermal Engine
Credit: © Dietrich Haeseler
Kosberg nuclear/lh2 rocket engine. 35.3 kN. Experimental nuclear engine, propellant LH2. Developed 1965-94. Isp=910s. Tested at Semipalatinsk test range in 1980s and was "the only operational nuclear engine in the USSR". First flight 1985.
Application: Experimental nuclear engine.
Engine: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Thrust to Weight Ratio: 1.8.
More... - Chronology...
Status: Developed 1965-94.
Unfuelled mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb).
Height: 3.50 m (11.40 ft).
Diameter: 1.60 m (5.20 ft).
Thrust: 35.30 kN (7,936 lbf).
Specific impulse: 910 s.
Burn time: 3,600 s.
First Launch: 1965-94.
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Kosberg Russian manufacturer of rocket engines. Kosberg Design Bureau, Russia. More...
Nuclear/LH2 Nuclear thermal engines use the heat of a nuclear reactor to heat a propellant. Although early Russian designs used ammonia or alcohol as propellant, the ideal working fluid for space applications is the liquid form of the lightest element, hydrogen. Nuclear engines would have twice the performance of conventional chemical rocket engines. Although successfully ground-tested in both Russia and America, they have never been flown due primarily to environmental and safety concerns. 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...
Suborbital flights listing (internet post),
Golubev, A A, KB KhimAvtomatiki - Straniy Istorii, Vol. 1, Voronezh 1995 via Dietrich Haeseler.
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