Encyclopedia Astronautica

Glushko nuclear/lh2 rocket engine. 1960 kN. Isp=2000s. Gas core nuclear engine worked developed 1962-1970 for use in second stage of two-stage interplanetary rockets.

Gas core nuclear engine worked on by Glushko 1962-1970. For use in second stage of two-stage interplanetary rockets. This gas phase nuclear reactor was designed by Energomash for a Venus station/Mars flight. It would be launched from orbit. Work stopped in the USSR (and in the US) but it would have worked well in principle. This was one of the 'B' category engines developed by OKB-456 Filial 1 because it was too dangerous to test at Khimki.

Application: interplanetary launchers stage 2.

Status: Developed 1962-70.
Thrust: 1,960.00 kN (440,620 lbf).
Specific impulse: 2,000 s.
First Launch: 1962-70.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Glushko Russian manufacturer of rocket engines and rockets. Glushko 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...

  • Vetrov, G S, S. P. Korolev i evo delo, Nauka, Moscow, 1998.
  • Salmon, Andrew, The Story Of Russian Rocket Engines - Energomash Museum, Commentary by the guide at the Energomash rocket engine museum in Khimki, April 1998 at YSC98..

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