Encyclopedia Astronautica
M56


Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 5,170/466 kg. Thrust 228.40 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 297 seconds. Second stage of Minuteman I. Used as first stage of Aries sounding rocket and various SDI targets in 1980's.

Status: Retired 1993.
Gross mass: 5,170 kg (11,390 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 466 kg (1,027 lb).
Height: 3.96 m (12.99 ft).
Diameter: 1.13 m (3.70 ft).
Span: 1.13 m (3.70 ft).
Thrust: 228.40 kN (51,346 lbf).
Specific impulse: 297 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 270 s.
Burn time: 60 s.
Number: 386 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • M56A-1 Aerojet solid rocket engine. 228.5 kN. Out of Production. Used in Aries. Isp=297s. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Minuteman 1A American intercontinental ballistic missile. Initial production version, 3 stage vehicle. The Minuteman IA used exclusively the Mk.5 RV with the W59 (1 MT) warhead. More...
  • Minuteman 1B American intercontinental ballistic missile. Full production version. Minuteman IB used the Mk.5 RV with the W59 (1 MT), the Mk.11 with the W56 (1.2 MT) and the Mk.11A with the W56 as well. More...
  • Aries American target missile. Space Vector Corporation developed and flew the Aries test vehicle (based on the Minuteman 1 second stage) for Strategic Defence Initiative payloads. More...
  • HOE American anti-ballistic missile. Two stage vehicle used to test the Homing Overlay Experiment anti-ballistic missile kill vehicle. More...
  • HPB American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Talos + 1 x M56A1 More...
  • ERIS American anti-ballistic missile. Flight test vehicle for Exoatmospheric Re-Entry Interceptor Subsystem, an anti-ballistic missile hit-to-kill interceptor warhead. The ERIS vehicle itself consisted of surplus Minuteman ICBM second and third stages. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Solid Solid propellants have the fuel and oxidiser embedded in a rubbery matrix. They were developed to a high degree of perfection in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. In Russia, development was slower, due to a lack of technical leadership in the area and rail handling problems. Solid propellants have the fuel and oxidiser embedded in a rubbery matrix. They were developed to a high degree of perfection in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. In Russia, development was slower, due to a lack of technical leadership in the area and rail handling problems. More...

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