Encyclopedia Astronautica
R-56 Polyblock



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R-56 test model
R-56 dynamic test model
Credit: © Mark Wade
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R-56 test model
R-56 dynamic test model C
Credit: © Mark Wade
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R-56 - detail view
R-56 - detail view of interstage of test model of monster rocket
Credit: © Mark Wade
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R-56 test model
R-56 dynamic test model
Credit: © Mark Wade
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R-56, R-26, 63S1
From left to right, dynamic test models of: R-56 monster launch vehicle; R-26 ICBM; Kosmos 63S1 launch vehicle
Credit: © Mark Wade
Ukrainian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. One design approach considered for Yangel's R-56 superbooster of the 1960's was a polyblock design limited to rail transport restrictions (4 x 3.8 m diameter stages clustered together). Although a dynamic test model was built and tested at Tsniimash, Yangel finally reached the conclusion that a monoblock design was clearly superior to polyblock versions. Further work on the polyblock design was abandoned. Tsniimash exhibits in its small museum the 1:10 structural simulation model of the 3.8 m diameter polyblock design.

Payload: 35,000 kg (77,000 lb) to a 16,000 km range.

Stage Data - R-56 Polyblock

  • Stage 1. 4 x R-56 Polyblock Stage A. Gross Mass: 222,000 kg (489,000 lb). Empty Mass: 18,000 kg (39,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 4,410.000 kN (991,400 lbf). Isp: 320 sec. Burn time: 142 sec. Isp(sl): 300 sec. Diameter: 4.00 m (13.10 ft). Span: 4.00 m (13.10 ft). Length: 24.00 m (78.00 ft). Propellants: Nitric acid/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: R-56 Blok A. Status: Development 1961. Comments: Range 16,000 km. Payload 35,000 kg. Tsniimash has 1:10 structural simulation model. Three stage carrier rocket with consecutiveively divided first and paraell divided second stages. Work began in 1961. Chief designer Yangel. Source: Placard, TsNIIMASH.
  • Stage 2. 4 x R-56 Polyblock Stage B. Gross Mass: 55,500 kg (122,300 lb). Empty Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 784.000 kN (176,250 lbf). Isp: 330 sec. Burn time: 205 sec. Diameter: 4.00 m (13.10 ft). Span: 4.00 m (13.10 ft). Length: 10.00 m (32.00 ft). Propellants: Nitric acid/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: R-56 Blok B. Status: Development 1961.
  • Stage 3. 1 x R-56 Polyblock Stage B. Gross Mass: 55,500 kg (122,300 lb). Empty Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 784.000 kN (176,250 lbf). Isp: 330 sec. Burn time: 205 sec. Diameter: 4.00 m (13.10 ft). Span: 4.00 m (13.10 ft). Length: 10.00 m (32.00 ft). Propellants: Nitric acid/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: R-56 Blok B. Status: Development 1961.

AKA: 8K68.
Status: Study 1961.
Gross mass: 1,165,500 kg (2,569,400 lb).
Payload: 35,000 kg (77,000 lb).
Height: 51.50 m (168.90 ft).
Diameter: 7.60 m (24.90 ft).
Thrust: 16,549.00 kN (3,720,363 lbf).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • R-56 The R-56 was Yangel's ultimate superbooster design. Trade studies begun in 1962 resulted in a conventional tandem stage design capable of being transported on the Soviet canal system from the factory to the launch site, while still placing 40 metric tons into low earth orbit. However various Soviet government factions favored the much larger (and less practical) Korolev N1 or Chelomei UR-700 designs. Yangel made one last attempt to convince the government to sponsor a common approach to the lunar program, with different design bureaus concentrating on just one part of the mission, as the American's were doing. But his practical solutions obtained no traction, and further work on the R-56 was abandoned. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Yuzhnoye Ukrainian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Yangel Design Bureau, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. More...

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