Encyclopedia Astronautica
Hyperion Booster


Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 394,625/18,144 kg. Thrust 13,700.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 457 seconds.

No Engines: 4.

Status: Study 1959.
Gross mass: 394,625 kg (869,999 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 18,144 kg (40,000 lb).
Height: 12.00 m (39.00 ft).
Diameter: 8.54 m (28.01 ft).
Span: 13.00 m (42.00 ft).
Thrust: 13,700.00 kN (3,079,800 lbf).
Specific impulse: 457 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 365 s.
Burn time: 70 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Hyperion 1958 American nuclear-powered orbital launch vehicle. Hyperion was considered in 1958 as a ca. 1970 Saturn follow-on. It used a small jettisonable chemical booster stage that contained chemical engines and the LOX oxidizer for the conventional engines. 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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