Encyclopedia Astronautica
Saturn IC C-5A


Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 2,217,285/131,495 kg. Thrust 38,257.99 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 304 seconds. Final first stage design of Saturn C-5 (November 1961) before selection as Apollo launch vehicle and development in Saturn V.

No Engines: 5.

Status: Study 1961.
Gross mass: 2,217,285 kg (4,888,276 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 131,495 kg (289,896 lb).
Height: 42.87 m (140.64 ft).
Diameter: 10.06 m (33.00 ft).
Span: 19.00 m (62.00 ft).
Thrust: 38,257.99 kN (8,600,738 lbf).
Specific impulse: 304 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 265 s.
Burn time: 160 s.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • F-1 Rocketdyne Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 7740.5 kN. Isp=304s. Largest liquid rocket engine ever developed and flown. Severe combustion stability problems were solved during development and it never failed in flight. First flight 1967. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Saturn C-5 American orbital launch vehicle. Final configuration of Saturn C-5 at the time of selection of this configuration for the Apollo program in December 1961. The actual Saturn V would be derived from this, but with an increased-diameter third stage (6.61 m vs 5.59 m in C-5) and increased propellant load in S-II second stage. More...
  • Saturn C-5N American nuclear orbital launch vehicle. Version of Saturn C-5 considered with small nuclear thermal stage in place of S-IVB oxygen/hydrogen stage. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Kerosene 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. In January 1953 Rocketdyne commenced the REAP program to develop a number of improvements to the engines being developed for the Navaho and Atlas missiles. Among these was development of a special grade of kerosene suitable for rocket engines. Prior to that any number of rocket propellants derived from petroleum had been used. Goddard had begun with gasoline, and there were experimental engines powered by kerosene, diesel oil, paint thinner, or jet fuel kerosene JP-4 or JP-5. The wide variance in physical properties among fuels of the same class led to the identification of narrow-range petroleum fractions, embodied in 1954 in the standard US kerosene rocket fuel RP-1, covered by Military Specification MIL-R-25576. In Russia, similar specifications were developed for kerosene under the specifications T-1 and RG-1. The Russians also developed a compound of unknown formulation in the 1980's known as 'Sintin', or synthetic kerosene. More...

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