Encyclopedia Astronautica
Helios A



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Helios
Helios Launch Vehicle
Credit: © Mark Wade
American nuclear-powered orbital launch vehicle.

LEO Payload: 73,400 kg (161,800 lb) to a 556 km orbit. Payload: 42,000 kg (92,000 lb) to a earth escape.

Stage Data - Helios A

  • Stage 1. 1 x Helios A-1. Gross Mass: 200,000 kg (440,000 lb). Empty Mass: 10,000 kg (22,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 6,660.000 kN (1,497,220 lbf). Isp: 400 sec. Burn time: 110 sec. Isp(sl): 340 sec. Diameter: 6.70 m (21.90 ft). Span: 10.10 m (33.10 ft). Length: 8.80 m (28.80 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 4. Engine: Helios Stage 1. Status: Study, Ehricke, 1960. Comments: Booster stage with Lox tanks only to take nuclear second stage to stratosphere.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Helios A-2. Gross Mass: 153,000 kg (337,000 lb). Empty Mass: 26,000 kg (57,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 2,892.000 kN (650,147 lbf). Isp: 830 sec. Burn time: 353 sec. Diameter: 6.70 m (21.90 ft). Span: 10.10 m (33.10 ft). Length: 67.10 m (220.10 ft). Propellants: Nuclear/LH2. No Engines: 1. Engine: Nuclear 12 Gw. Status: Study, Ehricke, 1960. Comments: Nuclear second stage.

Status: Study 1960.
Gross mass: 441,080 kg (972,410 lb).
Payload: 73,400 kg (161,800 lb).
Height: 81.00 m (265.00 ft).
Diameter: 6.70 m (21.90 ft).
Thrust: 5,670.00 kN (1,274,660 lbf).
Apogee: 556 km (345 mi).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • Helios Stage 1 Notional lox/lh2 rocket engine. 1667 kN. Study 1960. Engines for booster stage with Lox tanks only to take nuclear second stage to stratosphere. Isp=400s. Helios A, B, C studies. More...
  • Nuclear 12 Gw Notional nuclear/lh2 rocket engine. 2892 kN. Helios A, Helios C study 1960. Nuclear second stage. Isp=830s. More...

See also
  • Helios Study by Kraft Ehricke of a vehicle where the booster stage contains liquid oxygen tanks only and takes the nuclear second stage to the stratosphere. The nuclear sustainer then takes the payload to orbit or escape trajectory. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Convair American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Convair, USA. More...

Associated Stages
  • Helios A-2 Nuclear/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 153,000/26,000 kg. Thrust 2,892.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 830 seconds. Nuclear second stage More...
  • Helios A-1 Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 200,000/10,000 kg. Thrust 6,660.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 400 seconds. Booster stage with Lox tanks only to take nuclear second stage to stratosphere. More...

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