Encyclopedia Astronautica

Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 97,976/6,668 kg. Thrust 1,558.10 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 464 seconds. Recoverable S-IVB with plug nozzle engine. 36 x plug-nozzle engines (102 atm chamber pressure, 6:1 mixture ratio)

Cost $ : 16.100 million. Propellant Formulation: Lox/Slush LH2.

AKA: Saturn Applications Single Stage to Orbit.
Status: Study 1967.
Gross mass: 97,976 kg (216,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 6,668 kg (14,700 lb).
Height: 18.80 m (61.60 ft).
Diameter: 6.60 m (21.60 ft).
Span: 6.60 m (21.60 ft).
Thrust: 1,558.10 kN (350,275 lbf).
Specific impulse: 464 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 367 s.
Burn time: 300 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • SASSTO American SSTO VTOVL orbital launch vehicle. Bono proposal for first step toward VTOVL SSTO vehicle - heavily modified Saturn IVB with plug nozzle engine. 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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