Encyclopedia Astronautica
Shuttle LS A-2


Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 406,344/104,891 kg. Thrust 6,823.56 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 459 seconds. High-fineness lifting-body configuration. Cross Range 2,419 km

No Engines: 3.

Status: Study 1969.
Gross mass: 406,344 kg (895,835 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 104,891 kg (231,245 lb).
Height: 49.70 m (163.00 ft).
Diameter: 8.00 m (26.20 ft).
Span: 28.05 m (92.02 ft).
Thrust: 6,823.56 kN (1,533,997 lbf).
Specific impulse: 459 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 359 s.
Burn time: 196 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Shuttle LS A American winged orbital launch vehicle. Lockheed shuttle proposal phase A of December 1969. X-24B lifting body orbiter with delta-wing 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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