Encyclopedia Astronautica
Nova NASA-3

Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 227,000/21,000 kg. Thrust 2,667.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 420 seconds.

No Engines: 4.

Status: Study 1959.
Gross mass: 227,000 kg (500,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 21,000 kg (46,000 lb).
Height: 11.00 m (36.00 ft).
Diameter: 9.80 m (32.10 ft).
Span: 9.80 m (32.10 ft).
Thrust: 2,667.00 kN (599,565 lbf).
Specific impulse: 420 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 150 s.
Burn time: 313 s.

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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 NASA American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The Nova vehicle most often illustrated in the popular press and histories. As in other early concepts, this NASA design of 1959/1960 used F-1 engine in both first and second stages. Resulting performance and total liftoff mass was equivalent to later Saturn V. 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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