Encyclopedia Astronautica
G-4


Lox/Alcohol propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 66,600/2,760 kg. Thrust 1,059.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 249 seconds. Residuals 940 kg. Burnout mass with 3400 kg warhead 7100 kg. Cutoff velocity 4500 m/s, maximum altitude 120 km over 3000 km range. With 10 G limiter thrust would be throttled back and burn time would be 156 seconds.

Status: Study 1949.
Gross mass: 66,600 kg (146,800 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 2,760 kg (6,080 lb).
Height: 23.50 m (77.00 ft).
Diameter: 3.73 m (12.23 ft).
Span: 3.73 m (12.23 ft).
Thrust: 1,059.00 kN (238,072 lbf).
Specific impulse: 249 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 233 s.
Burn time: 145 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • G-4 Russian intermediate range ballistic missile. The G-4 was designed by the Groettrup German team in the Soviet Union in competition with Korolev's R-3. Rocket chief Ustinov informed Groettrup of the requirement on 9 April 1949: to deliver a 3000 kg atomic bomb to a 3000 km. This requirement meant a massive improvement over existing V-2 technology. The G-4 was evaluated against Korolev's R-3 on 7 December 1949 - and the G-4 was found to be superior. Neither ended up in production, but the design concepts of the G-4 led directly to Korolev's R-7 ICBM (essentially a cluster of G-4's or R-3A's) and the N1 superbooster. Work on the G-4 continued through 1952. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Alcohol 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. Alcohol (C2H5OH) was the fuel used for the German V-2 rocket, and the first derivative rocket engines in the United States, Soviet Union, and China used it as well. Better performance was achieved by increasing the alcohol concentration in the post-war engines. But after better-performance rocket-grade kerosene was developed by Rocketdyne in the REAP program of 1953, use of alcohol was abandoned. More...

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