Encyclopedia Astronautica
RO-31


Kosberg nuclear/lh2 rocket engine. 392 kN. UR-700 Third Stage. Study 1967. Engine proposed for UR-700 third stage to achieve 250 tonne payload to low earth orbit. Probably closely related to RD-0411.

Application: UR-700 Third Stage.

Propellant Formulation: Nuclear/LH2/Methane.

Status: Study 1967.
Thrust: 392.00 kN (88,125 lbf).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • UR-700 / RO-31 Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. UR-700 with high energy upper stage consisting of 7 x RO-31 Nuclear A engines using LH2+Methane propellants with a total thrust of 280 tonnes. Usable third stage propellant 196 tonnes, payload increased to 230 to 250 tonnes More...

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
  • Yeteyev, Ivan, Operezhaya vremya, Ocherki, Moscow, 1999..

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