Encyclopedia Astronautica
Hermes A-3B-1

Nitric acid/Tonka propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 5,300/2,000 kg. Thrust 100.00 kN.

Status: Retired 1954.
Gross mass: 5,300 kg (11,600 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb).
Height: 10.10 m (33.10 ft).
Diameter: 1.19 m (3.90 ft).
Thrust: 100.00 kN (22,480 lbf).
Number: 6 .

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
Associated Launch Vehicles
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • GE American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. General Electric Corporation, USA. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Nitric acid/Amine 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. Early storable rocket systems sought to improve ignition characteristics and perforamance by eliminating the kerosene portion of the fuel. An amine is an organic compound produced when one or more hydrogen atoms of ammonia is replaced with organic groups. Mixed amine fuels were first developed by the Germans in World War II. TONKA-250, developed for the Wasserfall rocket, was used by the Russians after the war in various engines under the specification TG-02. More...

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