Encyclopedia Astronautica
Delta 104


Nitric acid/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 4,472/590 kg. Thrust 35.10 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 278 seconds.

Cost $ : 1.740 million.

Status: Retired 1962.
Gross mass: 4,472 kg (9,859 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 590 kg (1,300 lb).
Height: 5.88 m (19.29 ft).
Diameter: 1.40 m (4.50 ft).
Span: 1.40 m (4.50 ft).
Thrust: 35.10 kN (7,890 lbf).
Specific impulse: 278 s.
Burn time: 296 s.
Number: 12 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • AJ10-104 Aerojet Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 35.1 kN. Isp=278s. Stainless steel version of the basic Able engine, uprated to increase thrust 34.7 kN to 37.0 kN and to increase the duration 2-1/2 times First flight 1960. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Thor Delta American orbital launch vehicle. Commercial name for the military's Thor-Delta. The name of the Delta second stage eventually was applied to subsequent commercial follow-ons. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Nitric acid/UDMH Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine ((CH3)2NNH2) became the storable liquid fuel of choice by the mid-1950's. Development of UDMH in the Soviet Union began in 1949. It is used in virtually all storable liquid rocket engines except for some orbital manoeuvring engines in the United States, where MMH has been preferred due to a slightly higher density and performance. More...

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