Encyclopedia Astronautica
R-56 Polyblock Stage A


Nitric acid/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 222,000/18,000 kg. Thrust 4,410.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 320 seconds. Range 16,000 km. Payload 35,000 kg. Tsniimash has 1:10 structural simulation model. Three stage carrier rocket with consecutiveively divided first and paraell divided second stages. Work began in 1961. Chief designer Yangel. Source: Placard, TsNIIMASH.

Gross mass: 222,000 kg (489,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 18,000 kg (39,000 lb).
Height: 24.00 m (78.00 ft).
Diameter: 4.00 m (13.10 ft).
Span: 4.00 m (13.10 ft).
Thrust: 4,410.00 kN (991,400 lbf).
Specific impulse: 320 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 300 s.
Burn time: 142 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...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • R-56 Polyblock ICBM Ukrainian intercontinental ballistic missile. Tsniimash has 1:10 structural simulation model. Three stage carrier rocket with consecutive first and parallel second stages. Range indicated on placard; possibly considered as monster ICBM in competition with UR-500. Work began in 1961. 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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