Encyclopedia Astronautica
Initial UR-500



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UR-500 First Design
Initial design of the UR-500 Global Rocket was a straightforward cluster of UR-200 ICBM's. This was soon abandoned in favour of a more efficient design.
Credit: © Mark Wade
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UR-100 and UR-500
UR-100 and UR-500 Dynamic test models
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Universal Rockets
Chelomei's Universal Rocket Family. From left to right: UR-100 (three variants) and UR-100N (three variants). UR-200. Original UR-500 configuration, composed of clustered UR-200's. Conventional UR-500 monoblock configuration. Selected UR-500 polyblock configuration. UR-500 two-stage configuration - ICBM version and as flown. UR-500K configuration with LK-1; with Block D upper stage and L1; with Block D upper stage for satellite launch. UR-700.
Credit: © Mark Wade
Russian orbital launch vehicle. While Chelomei's OKB was still preparing the UR-200 draft project, it was proposed to use this as the basis for the UR-500 heavy universal rocket, with five times the payload capacity. These initial 1961 studies consisted of 4 two-stage UR-200 rockets lashed together, the first and second stages working in parallel in clusters. A third stage would be modified from the UR-200 second stage. However analysis indicated that the payload capacity could not meet the military's requirements.

The design was in response to the military GR-2 global rocket requirement for a booster that could orbit six multiple nuclear warheads. A subscale dynamic test article of the design was preserved in the Tsniimash museum. An echo of this configuration in the final Proton design was in the upper stage engines, which were direct descendants of those on the UR-200. The payload was said to be 10,000 kg as opposed to the 12,000 kg for the selected UR-500 polyblock configuration.

LEO Payload: 10,000 kg (22,000 lb) to a 200 km orbit.

Stage Data - Initial UR-500

  • Stage 1. 4 x UR-200 Stage 1. Gross Mass: 107,500 kg (236,900 lb). Empty Mass: 6,600 kg (14,500 lb). Thrust (vac): 2,235.000 kN (502,447 lbf). Isp: 311 sec. Burn time: 135 sec. Isp(sl): 278 sec. Diameter: 3.00 m (9.80 ft). Span: 3.00 m (9.80 ft). Length: 20.00 m (65.00 ft). Propellants: N2O4/UDMH. No Engines: 1. Engine: RD-0202. Other designations: 8K81 Stage 1. Status: Out of production. Comments: Tsniimash has 1:10 structural simulation model. Developed 1960-1965. Orevo has sectioned hardware. All data accurate except empty mass prorated between first and second stages.
  • Stage 2. 4 x UR-200 Stage 2. Gross Mass: 25,810 kg (56,900 lb). Empty Mass: 2,400 kg (5,200 lb). Thrust (vac): 612.900 kN (137,785 lbf). Isp: 322 sec. Burn time: 113 sec. Diameter: 2.20 m (7.20 ft). Span: 2.20 m (7.20 ft). Length: 10.00 m (32.00 ft). Propellants: N2O4/UDMH. No Engines: 1. Engine: RD-0205. Other designations: 8K81 Stage 2. Status: Out of production. Comments: Tsniimash has 1:10 structural simulation model. Developed 1960-1965. Orevo has sectioned hardware. All data accurate except empty mass prorated between first and second stages.
  • Stage 3. 1 x UR-200 Stage 2. Gross Mass: 25,810 kg (56,900 lb). Empty Mass: 2,400 kg (5,200 lb). Thrust (vac): 612.900 kN (137,785 lbf). Isp: 322 sec. Burn time: 113 sec. Diameter: 2.20 m (7.20 ft). Span: 2.20 m (7.20 ft). Length: 10.00 m (32.00 ft). Propellants: N2O4/UDMH. No Engines: 1. Engine: RD-0205. Other designations: 8K81 Stage 2. Status: Out of production. Comments: Tsniimash has 1:10 structural simulation model. Developed 1960-1965. Orevo has sectioned hardware. All data accurate except empty mass prorated between first and second stages.

Status: Design 1962.
Gross mass: 571,050 kg (1,258,940 lb).
Payload: 10,000 kg (22,000 lb).
Height: 48.00 m (157.00 ft).
Diameter: 3.00 m (9.80 ft).
Thrust: 7,994.70 kN (1,797,280 lbf).
Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • RD-0202 Kosberg N2O4/UDMH rocket engine. 2236 kN. UR-200 stage 1. Engine unit (DU - dvigatelnaya ustanovka) consisting of 1 RD-0204 for tank pressurization and three RD-0203. Isp=311s. First flight 1963. More...
  • RD-0205 Kosberg N2O4/UDMH rocket engine. 606.4 kN. UR-200 stage 2. Engine unit consisting of 1 RD-0206 maine engine and 4 RD-0207 vernier/steering engines. Version of 8D44 and 8D45 with extended nozzle. Developed 1961. Isp=322s. First flight 1963. More...

See also
  • Proton The Proton launch vehicle has been the medium-lift workhorse of the Soviet and Russian space programs for over forty years. Although constantly criticized within Russia for its use of toxic and ecologically-damaging storable liquid propellants, it has out-lasted all challengers, and no replacement is in sight. More...

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

Associated Stages
  • UR-200-1 N2O4/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 107,500/6,600 kg. Thrust 2,235.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 311 seconds. Tsniimash has 1:10 structural simulation model. Developed 1960-1965. Orevo has sectioned hardware. All data accurate except empty mass prorated between first and second stages. More...
  • UR-200-2 N2O4/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 25,810/2,400 kg. Thrust 612.90 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 322 seconds. Tsniimash has 1:10 structural simulation model. Developed 1960-1965. Orevo has sectioned hardware. All data accurate except empty mass prorated between first and second stages. More...

Initial UR-500 Chronology


1961 During the Year - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Initial UR-500.
  • Initial UR-500 studies for the GR-2 requirement - . Nation: USSR. Summary: The initial design consisted simply of 4 two-stage UR-200 rockets lashed together, the first and second stages working in parallel in clusters. A third stage would be modified from the UR-200 second stage..

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