Encyclopedia Astronautica
STME


Rocketdyne lox/lh2 rocket engine. 2890 kN. Cancelled 1984. Isp=430s. Space Transportation Main Engine. Rocketdyne was teamed with Aerojet and Pratt & Whitney on the STME, which was to have powered the next generation of large launch vehicles.

Life: design life of 10 missions, 99% design reliability and 100% - 99.995% Cat I probability. Dry Mass: 3600 kg. Length: 386 cm. Nozzle Diameter: 231 cm. Engine Cycle: gas generator. Mixture Ratio: 6.0:1. Thrust: step dual thrust 2890 kN at 100%, and 2020 kN at 70% vacuum. Isp: 430.5 sec at 100%, and 429.3 sec at 70%. Expansion Ratio: 45:1. Chamber Pressure: 153.1 atm.

Thrust (sl): 2,450.300 kN (550,849 lbf). Thrust (sl): 249,864 kgf. Engine: 3,600 kg (7,900 lb). Chamber Pressure: 155.10 bar. Area Ratio: 45. Thrust to Weight Ratio: 81.8605515418392. Oxidizer to Fuel Ratio: 6. Coefficient of Thrust vacuum: 2.00247996549448. Coefficient of Thrust sea level: 1.70836231843566.

Status: Study 1984.
Unfuelled mass: 3,600 kg (7,900 lb).
Height: 3.86 m (12.66 ft).
Diameter: 2.31 m (7.57 ft).
Thrust: 2,890.00 kN (649,690 lbf).
Specific impulse: 431 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 365 s.

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Associated Countries
See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Shuttle LRB American winged orbital launch vehicle. Shuttle with Liquid Rocket Boosters in place of Solid Rocket Boosters. More...
  • ALS American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The Advanced Launch System (ALS), was a US Air Force funded effort in 1987-1989 to develop a flexible, modular, heavy-lift, high rate space launch vehicle that could deliver payloads to earth orbit at a tenth the cost of existing boosters. Such a vehicle was seen as essential to supporting the launch of the huge numbers of satellites required for deployment of the ‘Star Wars' ballistic missile defense system. With the end of the Cold War, Star Wars was abandoned. The projected launch rate without the Star Wars requirement could never pay back the $15 billion non recurring cost, and the program was ended. More...
  • NLS American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. New (or National) Launch System (NLS) joint NASA/USAF studies began in 1989, following the demise of the ALS. They proposed development of a family of launch vehicles using a new STME engine to replace the existing ‘high cost' boosters derived from 1950's missile designs. The $12 billion nonrecurring cost was nearly that estimated for ALS, and this cost could not be recouped at projected launch rates. NLS was terminated in 1991. More...
  • NLS HLV American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. NLS Heavy Lift Version. Lower cost expendable launch vehicle studied by NASA/USAF in late 1980's. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Associated Propellants
  • Lox/LH2 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. 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...

Associated Stages
  • ALS Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 780,000/60,000 kg. Thrust 15,477.16 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 435 seconds. More...
  • NLS Semistage Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 36,000/36,000 kg. Thrust 14,310.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 425 seconds. More...
  • NLS HLV Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 833,732/62,757 kg. Thrust 14,310.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 425 seconds. More...
  • NLS Core Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 815,732/44,757 kg. Thrust 7,150.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 430 seconds. More...
  • Shuttle LRB Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 350,000/52,000 kg. Thrust 10,318.11 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 435 seconds. More...

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