Encyclopedia Astronautica
Saturn V/4-260


American orbital launch vehicle. Boeing study, 1967-1968. Use of full length 260 inch solid rocket boosters with stretched Saturn IC stages presented problems, since the top of the motors came about half way up the liquid oxygen tank of the stage, making transmission of loads from the motors to the core vehicle complex and adding a great deal of weight to the S-IC. Boeing's solution was to retain the standard length Saturn IC, with the 260 inch motors ending half way up the S-IC/S-II interstage, but to provide additional propellant for the S-IC by putting propellant tanks above the 260 inch boosters. These would be drained first and jettisoned with the boosters. This added to the plumbing complexity but solved the loads problem.

LEO Payload: 362,700 kg (799,600 lb) to a 185 km orbit at 28.00 degrees in 1985 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 446.600 million.

Stage Data - Saturn V/4-260

  • Stage 0. 4 x 260 inch solid FL. Gross Mass: 1,648,355 kg (3,634,000 lb). Empty Mass: 156,126 kg (344,198 lb). Thrust (vac): 35,391.395 kN (7,956,302 lbf). Isp: 263 sec. Burn time: 114 sec. Isp(sl): 238 sec. Diameter: 6.60 m (21.60 ft). Span: 6.60 m (21.60 ft). Length: 30.48 m (99.99 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: AJ-260X. Status: Study 1968. Comments: 260 inch solid booster - full length. These would have been the flight configuration motors, replacing the Saturn V first stage or being used as booster motors in various Uprated Saturn and Nova configurations.
  • Stage 1. 1 x Saturn MS-IC/260. Gross Mass: 2,721,600 kg (6,000,100 lb). Empty Mass: 181,400 kg (399,900 lb). Thrust (vac): 38,717.600 kN (8,704,063 lbf). Isp: 304 sec. Burn time: 192 sec. Isp(sl): 265 sec. Diameter: 10.06 m (33.00 ft). Span: 19.00 m (62.00 ft). Length: 42.05 m (137.95 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 5. Engine: F-1. Status: Study Boeing 1968. Comments: Standard length S-IC but with feed of propellant from fuel and propellant tanks housed above strap-on solid rocket motors.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Saturn MS-II-2. Gross Mass: 600,788 kg (1,324,510 lb). Empty Mass: 59,844 kg (131,933 lb). Thrust (vac): 7,003.477 kN (1,574,444 lbf). Isp: 451 sec. Burn time: 324 sec. Isp(sl): 280 sec. Diameter: 10.06 m (33.00 ft). Span: 10.06 m (33.00 ft). Length: 29.59 m (97.08 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 5. Engine: HG-3. Status: Study NASA 1966. Comments: Basic Saturn II with 187 inch stretch of propellant tanks and high chamber pressure SSME-type engines with 65% increase in thrust and 26 second improvement in specific impulse.

Status: Study 1967.
Gross mass: 10,351,050 kg (22,820,150 lb).
Payload: 362,700 kg (799,600 lb).
Height: 86.00 m (282.00 ft).
Diameter: 10.06 m (33.00 ft).
Thrust: 161,859.30 kN (36,387,418 lbf).
Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • AJ-260X Aerojet solid rocket engine. 35,390.7 kN. Study 1967. Full length version of 260 inch motor tested in 1960's. Proposed for use in various Saturn and Nova configurations. Isp=263s. More...
  • HG-3 Rocketdyne lox/lh2 rocket engine. 1400.7 kN. Study 1967. Isp=451s. High-performance high-pressure chamber engine developed from J-2. Considered for upgrades to Saturn V launch vehicle upper stages. Technology led to Space Shuttle Main Engines. More...

See also
  • 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...
  • Saturn V America's booster for the Apollo manned lunar landing. The design was frozen before a landing mode was selected; the Saturn V could be used for either Earth-Orbit-Rendezvous or Lunar-Orbit-Rendezvous methods. The vehicle ended up with the same payload capability as the 'too large' Nova. The basic diameter was dictated by the ceiling height at the Michoud factory selected for first stage manufacture. Despite the study of innumerable variants, production was ended after only 12 were built and America spent the next fifty years in a pointless slow-motion withdrawal from manned space exploration. More...

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

Associated Stages
  • 260 inch solid FL Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 1,648,355/156,126 kg. Thrust 35,391.40 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 263 seconds. 260 inch solid booster - full length. These would have been the flight configuration motors, replacing the Saturn V first stage or being used as booster motors in various Uprated Saturn and Nova configurations. More...
  • Saturn MS-IC/260 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 2,721,600/181,400 kg. Thrust 38,717.60 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 304 seconds. Standard length S-IC but with feed of propellant from fuel and propellant tanks housed above strap-on solid rocket motors More...
  • Saturn MS-II-2 Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 600,788/59,844 kg. Thrust 7,003.48 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 451 seconds. Basic Saturn II with 187 inch stretch of propellant tanks and high chamber pressure SSME-type engines with 65% increase in thrust and 26 second improvement in specific impulse. More...

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