Encyclopedia Astronautica
R-56 Block O

R- 56 Stage 3
N2O4/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 32,000/2,000 kg. Thrust 544.20 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 327 seconds. Empty mass estimated (rounded figures given in source material indicates impossible 31 tonnes gross with 30 tonnes propellant).

AKA: Orbital Block.
Status: Study 1961.
Gross mass: 32,000 kg (70,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb).
Height: 7.00 m (22.90 ft).
Diameter: 4.00 m (13.10 ft).
Span: 4.00 m (13.10 ft).
Thrust: 544.20 kN (122,341 lbf).
Specific impulse: 327 s.
Burn time: 190 s.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • RD-0213 Kosberg N2O4/UDMH rocket engine. 582.1 kN. Proton stage 3. Design 1962. Version of RD-0210. Staged combustion cycle (Oxidizer pre-burner gas routed to main chamber after driving turbine). Main engine for Proton Stage 3 in system RD-0212. Isp=326s. 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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