Encyclopedia Astronautica
Nova GD-E-2

Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 4,535,000/363,000 kg. Thrust 26,683.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 428 seconds. Massed estimated based on tank volumes, total thrust, and first stage burnout conditions.

No Engines: 4.

Status: Study 1963.
Gross mass: 4,535,000 kg (9,997,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 363,000 kg (800,000 lb).
Height: 47.90 m (157.10 ft).
Diameter: 20.60 m (67.50 ft).
Span: 20.60 m (67.50 ft).
Thrust: 26,683.00 kN (5,998,577 lbf).
Specific impulse: 428 s.
Burn time: 646 s.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • M-1 Aerojet lox/lh2 rocket engine. 5335.9 kN. Study 1961. Isp=428s. Engine developed 1962-1966 for Uprated Saturn and Nova million-pound payload boosters to support manned Mars missions. Reached component test stage before cancellation. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Nova GD-E American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. General Dynamics Nova design using 325 inch solid motors as first stage, M-1 engines in second stage. Recoverable solid motors, separation at 1,972 m/s at 53,000 m altitude; splashdown using retrorockets under 3 61 m diameter parachutes 610 km downrange. Recovery of solid motors forshadowed same approach on shuttle 15 years later. Masses estimated based on tank volumes, total thrust, and first stage burnout conditions. 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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