Encyclopedia Astronautica
Shuttle NAR A-1


Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 1,641,723/273,469 kg. Thrust 28,130.19 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 442 seconds. Faget Straight Wing Configuration

No Engines: 11.

Status: Study 1969.
Gross mass: 1,641,723 kg (3,619,379 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 273,469 kg (602,895 lb).
Height: 85.37 m (280.08 ft).
Diameter: 9.88 m (32.41 ft).
Span: 74.39 m (244.06 ft).
Thrust: 28,130.19 kN (6,323,918 lbf).
Specific impulse: 442 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 392 s.
Burn time: 208 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Shuttle NAR A North American's Phase A shuttle design was completed under contract NAS9-9205 in December 1969. North American had learned that the way to win a NASA design competition was to adhere to the design favoured by Max Faget, so they proposed a two-stage-to-orbit vehicle, with both booster and orbiter being of Faget's straight-wing, low cross-range configuration. 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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