Encyclopedia Astronautica
Saturn IVB-A

Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 118,800/12,900 kg. Thrust 956.10 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 421 seconds. Douglas Studies, 1965: S-IVB with 215k lbf J-1 (actual final model had 230k J-1)

Status: Study 1965.
Gross mass: 118,800 kg (261,900 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 12,900 kg (28,400 lb).
Height: 17.80 m (58.30 ft).
Diameter: 6.61 m (21.68 ft).
Span: 6.61 m (21.68 ft).
Thrust: 956.10 kN (214,940 lbf).
Specific impulse: 421 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 200 s.
Burn time: 450 s.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • J-2 Rocketdyne lox/lh2 rocket engine. 1033.1 kN. Study 1961. Isp=421s. Used in Saturn IVB stage in Saturn IB and Saturn V, and Saturn II stage in Saturn V. Gas generator, pump-fed. First flight 1966. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Saturn IB-A American orbital launch vehicle. Douglas Studies, 1965: S-IB with 225 k lbf H-1's; S-IVB stretched with 350,000 lbs propellants; Centaur third stage. 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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