Encyclopedia Astronautica
R-56 Block A

R- 56 Stage 1
N2O4/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 1,162,000/162,000 kg. Thrust 1,608.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 316 seconds.

No Engines: 16.

Status: Study 1961.
Gross mass: 1,162,000 kg (2,561,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 162,000 kg (357,000 lb).
Height: 36.00 m (118.00 ft).
Diameter: 6.50 m (21.30 ft).
Span: 8.20 m (26.90 ft).
Thrust: 1,608.00 kN (361,492 lbf).
Specific impulse: 316 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 285 s.
Burn time: 120 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • R-56 Blok A Notional Nitric acid/Kerosene rocket engine. 4412 kN. R-56 Blok A. Notional engines for polyblock R-56, immense booster/ICBM; planned range 16,000 km. payload 35,000 kg. Tsniimash has 1:10 structural simulation model. Isp=320s. More...
  • RD-253-11D48 Glushko N2O4/UDMH rocket engine. 1635 kN. Isp=316s. Six gimballed single chamber RD-253s provide the first stage power for the UR-500 Proton launch vehicle. First flown in 1965. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • R-56 Ukrainian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The R-56 was Yangel's ultimate superbooster design. Trade studies begun in 1962 resulted in a conventional tandem stage design capable of being transported on the Soviet canal system from the factory to the launch site, while still placing 40 metric tons into low earth orbit. However various Soviet government factions favored the much larger (and less practical) Korolev N1 or Chelomei UR-700 designs. Yangel made one last attempt to convince the government to sponsor a common approach to the lunar program, with different design bureaus concentrating on just one part of the mission, as the American's were doing. But his practical solutions obtained no traction, and further work on the R-56 was abandoned. More...

Associated Propellants
  • N2O4/UDMH Nitrogen tetroxide became the storable liquid propellant of choice from the late 1950's. Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine ((CH3)2NNH2) became the storable liquid fuel of choice by the mid-1950's. Development of UDMH in the Soviet Union began in 1949. It is used in virtually all storable liquid rocket engines except for some orbital manoeuvring engines in the United States, where MMH has been preferred due to a slightly higher density and performance. More...

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