Encyclopedia Astronautica
Nova 5S



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Nova NASA 5 Solids
Nova NASA 5 Solid Motors
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Nova Concepts - NASA
Credit: © Mark Wade
American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. NASA Nova design using segmented solid motors in first and second stages. Five six segment motors in first stage; four four segment motors in second stage, equivalent to 9 x F-1 first stage and 4 x F-1 second stage.

LEO Payload: 176,000 kg (388,000 lb) to a 160 km orbit. Payload: 59,000 kg (130,000 lb) to a translunar trajectory.

Stage Data - Nova 5S

  • Stage 1. 5 x Nova Solid 6. Gross Mass: 1,224,000 kg (2,698,000 lb). Empty Mass: 153,000 kg (337,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 28,017.000 kN (6,298,472 lbf). Isp: 263 sec. Burn time: 97 sec. Isp(sl): 238 sec. Diameter: 5.20 m (17.00 ft). Span: 5.20 m (17.00 ft). Length: 45.70 m (149.90 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: 200 inch solid segment x 6. Status: Study, NASA, 1960. Comments: 5 used as first stage of solid Nova design. Masses estimated based on total vehicle thrust, performance, and stage volumes.
  • Stage 2. 4 x Nova Solid 4. Gross Mass: 816,000 kg (1,798,000 lb). Empty Mass: 102,000 kg (224,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 11,120.000 kN (2,499,870 lbf). Isp: 285 sec. Burn time: 175 sec. Diameter: 5.20 m (17.00 ft). Span: 5.20 m (17.00 ft). Length: 35.10 m (115.10 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: 200 inch solid segment x 4. Status: Study, NASA, 1960. Comments: 4 used as first stage of solid Nova design. Extended high-expansion nozzles. Masses estimated based on total vehicle thrust, performance, and stage volumes.
  • Stage 3. 1 x Nova 9L-3. Gross Mass: 363,000 kg (800,000 lb). Empty Mass: 36,000 kg (79,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 5,334.000 kN (1,199,130 lbf). Isp: 420 sec. Burn time: 250 sec. Diameter: 10.10 m (33.10 ft). Span: 10.10 m (33.10 ft). Length: 21.30 m (69.80 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 6. Engine: J-2. Status: Study, NASA, 1960. Comments: Masses estimated based on total vehicle thrust, performance, and stage volumes.
  • Stage 4. 1 x Nova 9L-4. Gross Mass: 118,000 kg (260,000 lb). Empty Mass: 14,000 kg (30,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 1,775.000 kN (399,035 lbf). Isp: 420 sec. Burn time: 235 sec. Diameter: 6.70 m (21.90 ft). Span: 6.70 m (21.90 ft). Length: 20.70 m (67.90 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 2. Engine: J-2. Status: Study, NASA, 1960. Comments: Masses estimated based on total vehicle thrust, performance, and stage volumes.

Status: Study 1960.
Gross mass: 10,076,200 kg (22,214,200 lb).
Payload: 176,000 kg (388,000 lb).
Height: 147.00 m (482.00 ft).
Diameter: 10.10 m (33.10 ft).
Thrust: 126,772.00 kN (28,499,479 lbf).
Apogee: 160 km (90 mi).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • 200 inch solid segment x 4 Notional solid rocket engine. 11,120 kN. Study 1960. Isp=285s. 4 used as first stage of NASA all-solid Nova design. Extended high-expansion nozzles. More...
  • J-2 Rocketdyne lox/lh2 rocket engine. 1033.1 kN. Study 1961. Isp=421s. Used in Saturn IVB stage in Saturn IB and Saturn V, and Saturn II stage in Saturn V. Gas generator, pump-fed. First flight 1966. More...

See also
  • Nova Nova was NASA's ultimate launch vehicle, studied intently from 1959 to 1962. Originally conceived to allow a direct manned landing on the moon, in its final iteration it was to put a million-pound payload into low earth orbit to support manned Mars expeditions. It was abandoned in NASA advanced mission planning thereafter in favor of growth versions of the Saturn V. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...

Associated Stages
  • Nova 9L-4 Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 118,000/14,000 kg. Thrust 1,775.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 420 seconds. Masses estimated based on total vehicle thrust, performance, and stage volumes. More...
  • Nova Solid 4 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 816,000/102,000 kg. Thrust 11,120.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 285 seconds. Conceptual motor to be used as first stage of a solid Nova design. 4 used as first stage of solid Nova design. Extended high-expansion nozzles. Masses estimated based on total vehicle thrust, performance, and stage volumes. More...
  • Nova 9L-3 Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 363,000/36,000 kg. Thrust 5,334.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 420 seconds. Masses estimated based on total vehicle thrust, performance, and stage volumes. More...
  • Nova Solid 6 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 1,224,000/153,000 kg. Thrust 28,017.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 263 seconds. 5 used as first stage of solid Nova design. Masses estimated based on total vehicle thrust, performance, and stage volumes. More...

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