Encyclopedia Astronautica
Kosmos A-1


Nitric acid/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 39,515/3,150 kg. Thrust 730.50 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 264 seconds.

Cost $ : 4.500 million.

AKA: Sandal; SS-4; 8K63; R-12; 63; 11K63.
Status: Out of production.
Gross mass: 39,515 kg (87,115 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 3,150 kg (6,940 lb).
Height: 18.00 m (59.00 ft).
Diameter: 1.60 m (5.20 ft).
Span: 1.80 m (5.90 ft).
Thrust: 730.50 kN (164,223 lbf).
Specific impulse: 264 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 230 s.
Burn time: 125 s.
Number: 169 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • RD-214 Glushko Nitric acid/Kerosene rocket engine. 730 kN. R-12, Kosmos 11K63 stage 1. Isp=264s. Single turbopump driven by H2O2 gas generator feeding four fixed chambers. Ignition with propellant TG-02. First flight 1957. More...
  • RD-215 Glushko Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 864 kN. R-14, Kosmos 11K63 stage 1. Out of Production. Original intended use unknown. Two RD-215 clustered to make RD-216. Isp=291s. First flight 1966. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Kosmos 63S1 Ukrainian orbital launch vehicle. The 63S1 initial production version was used through May 1966 for a total of 40 launches, of which 12 were failures. It was succeeded by the 63S1M prototype for the 11K63 production space launcher. More...
  • Kosmos 11K63 Ukrainian orbital launch vehicle. Series production version of satellite launcher based on Yangel R-12 IRBM. Succeeded 63S1M prototype from 1965, using same 'Dvina' launch complex. From March 16, 1967 orbital launches from Plesetsk were from the purpose-built 'Raduga' launch complex LC133. Total of 123 launches, of which 8 were failures. More...
  • Kosmos 63S1M Ukrainian orbital launch vehicle. Modernized version of 63S1 initial configuration of the first Kosmos launcher and the prototype for the production 11K63 launch vehicle. Suborbital launches from Plesetsk from 1965 at from the modified R-12 silo 'Dvina'. Flown only a few times in 1965-1967. Succeeded by the 11K63 production model launched from the 'Raduga' complex. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Nitric acid/Kerosene 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. Rocket propellant RP-1, or its foreign equivalents, is a straight-run kerosene fraction, which is subjected to further treatment, i.e., acid washing, sulphur dioxide extraction. Thus, unsaturated substances which polymerise in storage are removed, as are sulphur-containing hydrocarbons. More...

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