Encyclopedia Astronautica
R-12


Nitric acid/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 34,610/4,810 kg. Thrust 625.52 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 235 seconds. Payload 390 kg. Range 1500 km. Maximum altitude 398 km. Time of flight 11.8 minutes. Max velocity at burnout 3530 m/s. Accuracy 6 km in range, 5 km laterally. Source: wall chart, Russian Space Agency HQ, Moscow.

AKA: 8K63.
Status: Retired 1969.
Gross mass: 34,610 kg (76,300 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 4,810 kg (10,600 lb).
Height: 18.00 m (59.00 ft).
Diameter: 1.60 m (5.20 ft).
Span: 1.80 m (5.90 ft).
Thrust: 625.52 kN (140,622 lbf).
Specific impulse: 235 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 210 s.
Burn time: 108 s.
Number: 379 .

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • RD-214 Glushko Nitric acid/Kerosene rocket engine. 730 kN. R-12, Kosmos 11K63 stage 1. Isp=264s. Single turbopump driven by H2O2 gas generator feeding four fixed chambers. Ignition with propellant TG-02. First flight 1957. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • R-12 Ukrainian intermediate range ballistic missile. The R-12 was the first operationally effective intermediate range ballistic missile, the first Soviet missile deployed with a thermonuclear warhead, and the first mass-produced missile in history. 2,300 of the storable propellant rockets were built and deployed in both mobile and silo-based versions for thirty years, from March 1959 to June 1989. It was a primary element in the Soviet deterrent threatening Western Europe and China throughout the Cold War. Deployment of R-12's to Cuba in 1962 precipitated the Cuba Missile Crisis. More...
  • R-12U Ukrainian intermediate range ballistic missile. Universal version of the R-12U, for pad-launch or from the 'Dvina' silo complex. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Nitric acid/Kerosene Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. Rocket propellant RP-1, or its foreign equivalents, is a straight-run kerosene fraction, which is subjected to further treatment, i.e., acid washing, sulphur dioxide extraction. Thus, unsaturated substances which polymerise in storage are removed, as are sulphur-containing hydrocarbons. More...

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