Encyclopedia Astronautica
Energia Core


Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 905,000/85,000 kg. Thrust 7,848.12 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 453 seconds.

Cost $ : 600.000 million. No Engines: 4.

Status: Retired 1988.
Gross mass: 905,000 kg (1,995,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 85,000 kg (187,000 lb).
Height: 58.77 m (192.80 ft).
Diameter: 7.75 m (25.42 ft).
Span: 7.75 m (25.42 ft).
Thrust: 7,848.12 kN (1,764,328 lbf).
Specific impulse: 453 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 354 s.
Burn time: 480 s.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • RD-0120 Kosberg lox/lh2 rocket engine. 1961 kN. Energia core stage. Design 1987. Isp=455s. First operational Russian cryogenic engine system, built to the same overall performance specifications as America's SSME, but using superior Russian technology. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Energia The Energia-Buran Reusable Space System (MKS) began development in 1976 as a Soviet booster that would exceed the capabilities of the US shuttle system. Following extended development, Energia made two successful flights in 1987-1988. But the Soviet Union was crumbling, and the ambitious plans to build an orbiting defense shield, to renew the ozone layer, dispose of nuclear waste, illuminate polar cities, colonize the moon and Mars, were not to be. Funding dried up and the Energia-Buran program completely disappeared from the government's budget after 1993. More...
  • Groza Variant of the Energia launch vehicle with two strap-on boosters instead of four. This would have fullfilled the 50 tonne payload requirement had the third generation booster plan been fully implemented. More...
  • Energia/Buran Design version of Energia, with the reusable Buran manned spaceplane mounted to the side of the core. 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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