Encyclopedia Astronautica
Nova 9L-3


Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 363,000/36,000 kg. Thrust 5,334.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 420 seconds. Masses estimated based on total vehicle thrust, performance, and stage volumes.

No Engines: 6.

Status: Study 1960.
Gross mass: 363,000 kg (800,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 36,000 kg (79,000 lb).
Height: 21.30 m (69.80 ft).
Diameter: 10.10 m (33.10 ft).
Span: 10.10 m (33.10 ft).
Thrust: 5,334.00 kN (1,199,130 lbf).
Specific impulse: 420 s.
Burn time: 250 s.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • J-2 Rocketdyne lox/lh2 rocket engine. 1033.1 kN. Study 1961. Isp=421s. Used in Saturn IVB stage in Saturn IB and Saturn V, and Saturn II stage in Saturn V. Gas generator, pump-fed. First flight 1966. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Nova 9L American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. NASA Nova design using clustered small diameter tanks; 9 x F-1 first stage and 4 x F-1 second stage; compared with solid Nova using five six segment solid motors in first stage and four four segment motors in second stage. More...
  • Nova 5S American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. NASA Nova design using segmented solid motors in first and second stages. Five six segment motors in first stage; four four segment motors in second stage, equivalent to 9 x F-1 first stage and 4 x F-1 second stage. 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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