Encyclopedia Astronautica
Molniya 8K78M-1


Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 100,600/6,798 kg. Thrust 976.70 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 315 seconds.

Cost $ : 13.000 million.

Status: Active.
Gross mass: 100,600 kg (221,700 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 6,798 kg (14,987 lb).
Height: 28.00 m (91.00 ft).
Diameter: 2.99 m (9.80 ft).
Span: 2.60 m (8.50 ft).
Thrust: 976.70 kN (219,571 lbf).
Specific impulse: 315 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 248 s.
Burn time: 291 s.
Number: 1067 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • RD-108-8D727 Glushko Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 977 kN. Molniya 1, Molniya 8K78M-1. OKB Glushko. Used on Molniya 8K78L, 8K78M and 11A57 Stage 1. Propellants kerosene (RG-1 or T-1) / Lox. Diameter is per chamber. Isp=316s. First flight 1964. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Molniya 8K78M Russian orbital launch vehicle. Improved Molniya, in variants with Blocks ML, 2BL, or SO-L third stages according to payload. More...
  • Molniya 8K78M 2BL Russian orbital launch vehicle. Improved Molniya variant with Blok-2BL upper stage for placement of Oko early-warning satellites into Molniya-class orbits with apogees of 38,000 km. More...
  • Molniya 8K78M ML Russian orbital launch vehicle. Improved Molniya variant with Blok-ML upper stage for placement of communications satellites into Molniya-class orbits with apogees of 38,500 km. More...
  • Soyuz 11A511L Russian orbital launch vehicle. 11A511 with reinforced second stage, large fairing for earth orbit test of LK lunar lander. More...
  • Soyuz 11A511M Russian orbital launch vehicle. Development of the Soyuz-M began in 1967 to launch the 6.6 metric ton Soyuz 7K-VI manned military spacecraft into a 65-degree inclination earth orbit. The spacecraft was cancelled, but development continued, and eight were Soyuz-M's were built and used to launch Zenit-4MT reconnaissance satellites in 1971-1976. The differences compared to the Soyuz-U are not known, and what (if anything) differentiated these Zenit-4MT missions from others is also a mystery. More...
  • Soyuz 11A511U Russian standardised man-rated orbital launch vehicle derived from the original R-7 ICBM of 1957. It has been launched in greater numbers than any orbital launch vehicle in history. Not coincidentally, it has been the most reliable as well. After over 40 years service in Russia, ESA built a new launch pad at Kourou which will keep it in service from three launch sites in three countries well into the mid-21st Century. More...
  • Molniya 8K78M SOL Russian orbital launch vehicle. Improved Molniya variant with Blok SO-L upper stage for placement of Prognoz-class satellites in orbits with apogees of 200,000 km. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Kerosene 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. In January 1953 Rocketdyne commenced the REAP program to develop a number of improvements to the engines being developed for the Navaho and Atlas missiles. Among these was development of a special grade of kerosene suitable for rocket engines. Prior to that any number of rocket propellants derived from petroleum had been used. Goddard had begun with gasoline, and there were experimental engines powered by kerosene, diesel oil, paint thinner, or jet fuel kerosene JP-4 or JP-5. The wide variance in physical properties among fuels of the same class led to the identification of narrow-range petroleum fractions, embodied in 1954 in the standard US kerosene rocket fuel RP-1, covered by Military Specification MIL-R-25576. In Russia, similar specifications were developed for kerosene under the specifications T-1 and RG-1. The Russians also developed a compound of unknown formulation in the 1980's known as 'Sintin', or synthetic kerosene. More...

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