Encyclopedia Astronautica
Atlas A


Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 81,647/7,230 kg. Thrust 1,517.41 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 282 seconds.

Cost $ : 11.000 million. No Engines: 2.

Status: Out of production.
Gross mass: 81,647 kg (180,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 7,230 kg (15,930 lb).
Height: 23.17 m (76.01 ft).
Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft).
Span: 4.90 m (16.00 ft).
Thrust: 1,517.41 kN (341,128 lbf).
Specific impulse: 282 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 248 s.
Burn time: 133 s.
Number: 55 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • XLR89-1 Rocketdyne Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 758.7 kN. Atlas A, B, C. Out of production. Designed for booster applications. Gas generator, pump-fed. Shared turbopumps for booster engines. Isp=282s. First flight 1957. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Atlas A American test vehicle. First test model of Atlas ICBM. Two booster engines, no sustainer, dummy warhead. 50% reliability in 8 flight tests. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Kerosene 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. In January 1953 Rocketdyne commenced the REAP program to develop a number of improvements to the engines being developed for the Navaho and Atlas missiles. Among these was development of a special grade of kerosene suitable for rocket engines. Prior to that any number of rocket propellants derived from petroleum had been used. Goddard had begun with gasoline, and there were experimental engines powered by kerosene, diesel oil, paint thinner, or jet fuel kerosene JP-4 or JP-5. The wide variance in physical properties among fuels of the same class led to the identification of narrow-range petroleum fractions, embodied in 1954 in the standard US kerosene rocket fuel RP-1, covered by Military Specification MIL-R-25576. In Russia, similar specifications were developed for kerosene under the specifications T-1 and RG-1. The Russians also developed a compound of unknown formulation in the 1980's known as 'Sintin', or synthetic kerosene. More...

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