Encyclopedia Astronautica
Albatros Raketoplan

Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 320,000/82,000 kg. Thrust 1,960.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 455 seconds. Configuration: delta wing with wingtip vertical stabilizers.

No Engines: 4.

Status: Study 1974.
Gross mass: 320,000 kg (700,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 82,000 kg (180,000 lb).
Height: 49.00 m (160.00 ft).
Diameter: 7.00 m (22.90 ft).
Span: 25.00 m (82.00 ft).
Thrust: 1,960.00 kN (440,620 lbf).
Specific impulse: 455 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 337 s.
Burn time: 270 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Albatros Unique Russian space shuttle design of 1974. Hydrofoil-launched, winged recoverable first and second stages. Hydrofoil would have been propelled to launch speed by the launch vehicles rocket engines, using a 200 tonne fuel store in the hydrofoil. Advantages: launch from the Caspian Sea into a variety of orbital inclinations, variations in launch track possible to meet range safety requirements. Proposal of Alexeyev/Sukhoi OKBs. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/LH2 Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks. The United States mastered hydrogen technology for the highly classified Lockheed CL-400 Suntan reconnaissance aircraft in the mid-1950's. The technology was transferred to the Centaur rocket stage program, and by the mid-1960's the United States was flying the Centaur and Saturn upper stages using the fuel. It was adopted for the core of the space shuttle, and Centaur stages still fly today. More...

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