Encyclopedia Astronautica
Shuttle H33-2

Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 474,199/100,153 kg. Thrust 7,079.45 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 459 seconds. Delta wing configuration with drop tanks - Cross Range 1,774 km

No Engines: 3.

Status: Study 1971.
Gross mass: 474,199 kg (1,045,429 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 100,153 kg (220,799 lb).
Height: 47.87 m (157.05 ft).
Diameter: 8.07 m (26.47 ft).
Span: 29.57 m (97.01 ft).
Thrust: 7,079.45 kN (1,591,524 lbf).
Specific impulse: 459 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 359 s.
Burn time: 234 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Shuttle H33 American winged orbital launch vehicle. Grumman/Boeing alternate shuttle proposal of July 1971. Shuttle orbiter with drop tanks, delta booster. 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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