Encyclopedia Astronautica
YaRD ICBM



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YaRD
Credit: © Mark Wade
Single-stage nuclear-powered ICBM designed by OKB-1.

A 30 June 1958 resolution authorised development of this astounding weapon, and the draft project was completed on 30 December 1959. Perhaps coming under the heading of 'inadvisable rocket science', test launches would have been into an artificial reservoir in the target area to limit contamination by having the reactor crash into water at the end of its trajectory.

While reentering nuclear reactors at the end of the ICBM trajectory may have been not considered on great consequence during global thermonuclear war, the consequences of missing the reservoir during peacetime tests were evidently too gruesome to consider. Further development of the engine was discontinued in 1960. Interestingly American spy Penkovskiy reported development of this rocket in 1962, but the story was not believed. Only in 1996 was the program revealed.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Launch Vehicles
  • OKB-456 Russian intercontinental range ballistic missile. Variant using a Glushko nuclear engine heating ammonia as a propellant. More...
  • OKB-670 Russian intercontinental range ballistic missile. Variant using a Bondaryuk nuclear engine heating mixed alcohol and ammonia as a propellant. More...
  • YaRD ICBM Russian intercontinental range ballistic missile. Single-stage nuclear-powered ICBM designed by OKB-1. More...

YaRD ICBM Chronology


1958 June 30 - . LV Family: N1; YaRD ICBM.
  • Development of Soviet nuclear-powered rockets authorised. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Glushko. Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On the Creation of pockets With Engines on the Basis of Nuclear Energy Applications--work on a draft project for rockets with nuclear engines' was issued. Competing engine designs were in development by Glushko’s OKB-456 and Bondaryuk’s OKB-670. Both designs used existing available reactors in cyldindrical housings, with the reactors operating at 3000 degrees K. The propellant was heated in the reactor and exhausted through four expansion nozzles. The Glushko engine operated with ammonia, while the Bondaryuk engine used a mixture of ammonia and alcohol. With such propellants a specific impulse of 430 seconds was achieved.

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