Encyclopedia Astronautica

Glushko Lox/Alcohol rocket engine. 428 kN. R-3A. Development ended 1951. Project for R-3A experimental missile. Stopped in favor of RD-103. Isp=235s.

Application: R-3A.

Propellant Formulation: Lox/Alcohol-96%.

AKA: RD-3A; RD-102.
Status: Development ended 1951.
Thrust: 428.00 kN (96,218 lbf).
Specific impulse: 235 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 214 s.
Burn time: 83 s.

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Associated Countries
See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • R-3A Russian intermediate range ballistic missile. So much new technology was involved for the R-3 that it was deemed necessary to build an R-3A intermediate experimental rocket, based on the R-2. This would be flown to test new construction methods, guidance systems, and high energy propellants. The R-3A was specified in 1949 to have a 900 to 1000 km range with a payload of 1530 kg; an unfuelled mass of 4100 kg; 20,500 kg of propellants; and a lift-off thrust of 40 tonnes. The R-3A could also serve as a prototype for a more modest IRBM. Flight tests of the R-3A were scheduled for October 1951. More...

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

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Alcohol 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. Alcohol (C2H5OH) was the fuel used for the German V-2 rocket, and the first derivative rocket engines in the United States, Soviet Union, and China used it as well. Better performance was achieved by increasing the alcohol concentration in the post-war engines. But after better-performance rocket-grade kerosene was developed by Rocketdyne in the REAP program of 1953, use of alcohol was abandoned. More...

  • Vetrov, G S, S. P. Korolev i evo delo, Nauka, Moscow, 1998.

Associated Stages
  • R-3A Lox/Alcohol propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 19,900/3,500 kg. Thrust 434.40 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 235 seconds. Further incremental upgrade of R-2. Payload 500 kg. Range 935 km. Developed from 1949 to October 1951. Cancelled, work combined with 8K14 development. More...

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