Encyclopedia Astronautica
Energia M


Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 272,000/28,000 kg. Thrust 1,960.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 455 seconds.

Status: Development ended 1993.
Gross mass: 272,000 kg (599,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 28,000 kg (61,000 lb).
Height: 20.00 m (65.00 ft).
Diameter: 7.70 m (25.20 ft).
Span: 7.70 m (25.20 ft).
Thrust: 1,960.00 kN (440,620 lbf).
Specific impulse: 455 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 352 s.
Burn time: 550 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • RD-0120M Kosberg lox/lh2 rocket engine. 1961 kN. Energia-M core stage. Development ended 1993. Isp=455s. From 1987 KBKhA worked on upgrading the 11D122 (RD-0120) engine for Energia-M launcher, including the possibility to throttle the engine down to 28% thrust. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Energia M Launch vehicle originally designed in the 1980's to fullfill the third generation 20-30 tonnes to orbit launcher requirement. It was an adaptation of the Energia launch vehicle, using two strap-on booster units instead of four, and a reduced-diameter core using a single RD-0120 engine instead of four. In the 1990's a structural test article was built and it was proposed that several Energia-M's be launched for commercial customers using surplus Energia components. No buyers came forward for the untested design. 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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