Encyclopedia Astronautica
Nova MM 34-1

Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 10,126,000/544,000 kg. Thrust 30,685.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 439 seconds. Operational date would have been June 1976. Sustainer stage (required 4-engine booster stage).

Status: Study 1963.
Gross mass: 10,126,000 kg (22,324,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 544,000 kg (1,199,000 lb).
Height: 84.80 m (278.20 ft).
Diameter: 24.40 m (80.00 ft).
Span: 24.40 m (80.00 ft).
Thrust: 30,685.00 kN (6,898,262 lbf).
Specific impulse: 439 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 382 s.
Burn time: 388 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • L6H Notional lox/lh2 rocket engine. 122,748 kN. Study 1963. Operational date would have been June 1976. Used in booster stage (engines only). Isp=439s. Used on Nova MM 34 launch vehicle. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Nova MM 34 American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. Nova 1 1/2 stage design with 4 new 3 million kgf LH2/Lox engines in the jettisonable booster section and a single 3 million kgf sustainer. Operational date would have been June 1976. 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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