Encyclopedia Astronautica
Rombus Tank

Lox/LH2 propellant rocket drop tank. Loaded/empty mass 107,501/18,143 kg. Vacuum specific impulse 455 seconds. Eight of these liquid hydrogen tanks would be mounted around the core of Rombus and stage in pairs at 130 seconds, 196 seconds, and 300 seconds after launch.

Cost $ : 4.000 million. No Engines: 0.

Status: Study 1964.
Gross mass: 107,501 kg (236,999 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 18,143 kg (39,998 lb).
Height: 30.49 m (100.03 ft).
Diameter: 7.62 m (24.99 ft).
Span: 7.62 m (24.99 ft).
Specific impulse: 455 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 359 s.
Burn time: 130 s.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • None Indicates that the stage shown is a propellant tank. The engine on another stage is drawing propellants from this tank. Performance shown is for that of the engine on the other stage. First flight 1964. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Rombus American SSTO VTOVL orbital launch vehicle. Bono original design for ballistic single-stage-to-orbit (not quite - it dropped liquid hydrogen tanks on the way up) heavy lift launch vehicle. The recoverable vehicle would re-enter, using its actively-cooled plug nozzle as a heat shield. 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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