Encyclopedia Astronautica
RD-0411


Kosberg nuclear/lh2 rocket engine. 392 kN. Full-size nuclear thermal engine. Design concept 1965-94. Planned full-size nuclear thermal engine for Mars expeditions. Never progressed beyond study stage. Isp=900s.

Application: Full-size nuclear thermal engine.

Status: Design concept 1965-94.
Thrust: 392.00 kN (88,125 lbf).
Specific impulse: 900 s.
First Launch: 1965-94.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Kosberg Russian manufacturer of rocket engines. Kosberg Design Bureau, Russia. More...

Associated Propellants
  • 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...

Bibliography
  • Burya article, Lavochkin web site.
  • Haeseler, Dietrich, Visit to the museum of Chemical Automatics Design Bureau, Voronezh 1992 via Dietrich Haeseler.

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