Encyclopedia Astronautica
Saturn I RIFT

Saturn C-2 with RIFT
Saturn C-2 with RIFT (Reactor In-Flight Test) Nuclear upper stage
Credit: © Mark Wade
American nuclear orbital launch vehicle. In the first half of the 1960's it was planned to make suborbital tests of nuclear propulsion for upper stages using a Saturn IB first stage to boost a Rover-reactor powered second stage on a suborbital trajectory. The second stage would impact the Atlantic Ocean down range from Cape Canaveral.

Status: Development ended 1961.
Gross mass: 625,000 kg (1,377,000 lb).
Height: 80.00 m (262.00 ft).
Diameter: 6.52 m (21.39 ft).
Thrust: 6,690.00 kN (1,503,970 lbf).

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • Saturn I Von Braun launch vehicle known as 'Cluster's Last Stand' - 8 Redstone tanks around a Jupiter tank core,powered by eight Jupiter engines. Originally intended as the launch vehicle for Apollo manned circumlunar flights. However it was developed so early, no payloads were available for it. More...
  • Saturn The Saturn launch vehicle was the penultimate expression of the Peenemuende Rocket Team's designs for manned exploration of the moon and Mars. Numerous designs and variants were studied, but in the end only three models - the Saturn I, IB, and V - were built in the 1960's, and then only used to support NASA's Apollo moon landing program. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Von Braun American manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Von Braun, USA. More...

Saturn I RIFT Chronology

1961 March 30 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I RIFT.
  • RIFT flight briefed to contractors. - . Nation: USA. Program: NERVA. Summary: Reactor-in-flight-test system (Rift) study, a part of the NASA-AEC program on nuclear rockets, was briefed by contractors at NASA headquarters..

1961 December 7 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I RIFT.
  • Kiwi B-1A tests completed. - . Nation: USA. Program: NERVA. Power run completed the test series on the Kiwi B-1A reactor system being conducted at the Nevada Test Site by AEC's Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. Fourth in a series of test reactors in the joint AEC-NASA nuclear rocket propulsion program, Kiwi B-1A was disassembled for examination at the conclusion of the test runs.

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