Encyclopedia Astronautica
Saturn MS-II-2

Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 600,788/59,844 kg. Thrust 7,003.48 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 451 seconds. Basic Saturn II with 187 inch stretch of propellant tanks and high chamber pressure SSME-type engines with 65% increase in thrust and 26 second improvement in specific impulse.

No Engines: 5.

Status: Study 1966.
Gross mass: 600,788 kg (1,324,510 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 59,844 kg (131,933 lb).
Height: 29.59 m (97.08 ft).
Diameter: 10.06 m (33.00 ft).
Span: 10.06 m (33.00 ft).
Thrust: 7,003.48 kN (1,574,444 lbf).
Specific impulse: 451 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 280 s.
Burn time: 324 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • HG-3 Rocketdyne lox/lh2 rocket engine. 1400.7 kN. Study 1967. Isp=451s. High-performance high-pressure chamber engine developed from J-2. Considered for upgrades to Saturn V launch vehicle upper stages. Technology led to Space Shuttle Main Engines. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Saturn MLV-V-3 American orbital launch vehicle. MSFC study, 1965. Ultimate core for improved Saturn V configurations studied under contract NAS8-11359. Saturn IC stretched 240 inches with 5.6 million pounds propellant and 5 F-1A engines; S-II stretched 156 inches with 1.2 million pounds propellant and 5 HG-3 engines; S-IVB stretched 198 inches with 350,000 lbs propellant, 1 HG-3 engine. More...
  • Saturn V/4-260 American orbital launch vehicle. Boeing study, 1967-1968. Use of full length 260 inch solid rocket boosters with stretched Saturn IC stages presented problems, since the top of the motors came about half way up the liquid oxygen tank of the stage, making transmission of loads from the motors to the core vehicle complex and adding a great deal of weight to the S-IC. Boeing's solution was to retain the standard length Saturn IC, with the 260 inch motors ending half way up the S-IC/S-II interstage, but to provide additional propellant for the S-IC by putting propellant tanks above the 260 inch boosters. These would be drained first and jettisoned with the boosters. This added to the plumbing complexity but solved the loads problem. 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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