Encyclopedia Astronautica
SLS Stage B


Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 160,000/11,200 kg. Thrust 1,778.65 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 424 seconds. Tranlunar injection stage for Project Lunex. Masses estimated based on optimum apportioning of B+C stage total masses.

No Engines: 2.

Status: Study 1961.
Gross mass: 160,000 kg (350,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 11,200 kg (24,600 lb).
Height: 25.00 m (82.00 ft).
Diameter: 7.62 m (24.99 ft).
Span: 7.62 m (24.99 ft).
Thrust: 1,778.65 kN (399,857 lbf).
Specific impulse: 424 s.
Burn time: 345 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
  • SLS BC-2720 American orbital launch vehicle. The BC-2720 was the member of the SLS family selected to boost the Air Force Lunex lunar lander on a direct lunar trajectory. This would have used four 180 inch solid rocket boosters strapped around an the 'C' Lox/LH2 core vehicle. The core would have required either 12 J-2 engines or 2 M-1 engines. The translunar injection third stage was the 'B', with a single J-2 engine. More...
  • SLS AB-825 American orbital launch vehicle. The AB-825 represented a medium launch vehicle of the USAF 1961 Space Launching System family. The AB-825 would have conducted earth orbit tests of partially-fuelled Lunex lunar lander stages, and also have boosted the Lunex manned glider on circumlunar test flights. It consisted of the 'A' stage and 'B' stages with 180 inch diameter short-length solid fuel booster motors. 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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