Encyclopedia Astronautica
Saturn MS-II-3B

Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 643,200/53,500 kg. Thrust 12,455.40 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 447 seconds. S-II with 15.5 foot stretch, 1.29 million pounds propellant, 7 x 400,000 lb thrust toroidal engines.

No Engines: 5.

Status: Study 1967.
Gross mass: 643,200 kg (1,418,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 53,500 kg (117,900 lb).
Height: 29.56 m (96.98 ft).
Diameter: 10.06 m (33.00 ft).
Span: 10.06 m (33.00 ft).
Thrust: 12,455.40 kN (2,800,085 lbf).
Specific impulse: 447 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 200 s.
Burn time: 204 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • Toroidal 400k Notional lox/lh2 rocket engine. 1778 kN. Study 1967. Isp=447s. Used on Saturn V-3B launch vehicle. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Saturn V-3B American orbital launch vehicle. Boeing study, 1967. Variation on MSFC 1965 study Saturn MLV-V-3 but with toroidal engines. Saturn IC stretched 240 inches with 5.6 million pounds propellant (but only 4.99 million pounds usable without solid rocket boosters) and 5 F-1A engines; S-II stretched 186 inches with 1.29 million lbs propellant and 5 J-2T-400 engines; S-IVB stretched 198 inches with 350,000 lbs propellant, 1 J-2T-400 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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