Encyclopedia Astronautica

Liquid Air/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 8,000/2,000 kg. Thrust 147.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 1200 seconds.

Cost $ : 10.000 million.

AKA: Liquid Air Cycle Engine.
Status: Design 1999.
Gross mass: 8,000 kg (17,600 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb).
Height: 8.00 m (26.20 ft).
Diameter: 2.40 m (7.80 ft).
Span: 2.40 m (7.80 ft).
Thrust: 147.00 kN (33,046 lbf).
Specific impulse: 1,200 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 1,200 s.
Burn time: 470 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • LACE/LE-5 Mitsubishi air augmented Liquid Air/LH2 rocket engine. 147.1 kN. Design 1999. Isp=1200s. Used on H-2 HIMES launch vehicle. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • H-2 HIMES Japanese orbital launch vehicle. Concept of H-2 augmented with Liquid-Air Cycle Engine boosters and advanced HIMES upper stage. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Liquid Air/LH2 Liquid air has no advantage as a stored propellant, but in a Liquid Air Cycle Engine (LACE) relatively freely available atmospheric air is scooped up, liquefied, and burned with a fuel in a conventional rocket engine. 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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