Encyclopedia Astronautica

Block L rocket stage
Block L Molniya 8K78M
Credit: © Mark Wade
Korolev Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 66.7 kN for Molniya 8K78 Stage 3. Flew 1960-1965. Isp=340s. Designed by Korolev; passed to Isayev for production. Began a series of engines leading through the 8D726 for GR-1 to the Block D for the N1 and Proton.

Earliest versions with 6380 kgf and 338.5 sec specific impulse.

Application: Molniya 8K78-3.


Engine: 153 kg (337 lb). Chamber Pressure: 53.50 bar. Thrust to Weight Ratio: 43.59.

AKA: S1.5400; 11D33.
Unfuelled mass: 153 kg (337 lb).
Thrust: 66.70 kN (14,995 lbf).
Specific impulse: 340 s.
Burn time: 207 s.
First Launch: 1958-60.
Number: 26 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Block L Molniya 8K78 Russian space tug. 27 launches, (1960) to (1970). Upper stage / space tug - out of production. Launched by Molniya. More...

See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Molniya 8K78 Russian orbital launch vehicle. Four stage derivative of the R-7 ICBM developed on a crash-program basis in 1960 for Soviet lunar and planetary deep space probe missions. The third stage found later use in the Voskhod and Soyuz launchers. By the 1970's mature versions of the launch vehicle were used almost entirely for launch of Molniya communications satellites and Oko missile early warning spacecraft into elliptical, 12-hour earth orbits. More...

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

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Kerosene 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. In January 1953 Rocketdyne commenced the REAP program to develop a number of improvements to the engines being developed for the Navaho and Atlas missiles. Among these was development of a special grade of kerosene suitable for rocket engines. Prior to that any number of rocket propellants derived from petroleum had been used. Goddard had begun with gasoline, and there were experimental engines powered by kerosene, diesel oil, paint thinner, or jet fuel kerosene JP-4 or JP-5. The wide variance in physical properties among fuels of the same class led to the identification of narrow-range petroleum fractions, embodied in 1954 in the standard US kerosene rocket fuel RP-1, covered by Military Specification MIL-R-25576. In Russia, similar specifications were developed for kerosene under the specifications T-1 and RG-1. The Russians also developed a compound of unknown formulation in the 1980's known as 'Sintin', or synthetic kerosene. More...

Associated Stages
  • Blok SO-L Lox/Kerosene rocket stage. 66.70 kN (14,995 lbf) thrust. Mass 6,200 kg (13,669 lb). More...
  • Molniya 8K78-3 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 5,100/1,080 kg. Thrust 65.41 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 340 seconds. Stage designed as fourth stage to take R-7 launched payloads into deep space. Adapted from the Luna / Vostok third stage, but with restart capability. The 700 kg BOZ ullage motors and stabilisation platform jettisoned prior to main stage burn. Original version. More...

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