Encyclopedia Astronautica

Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 362,812/80,000 kg. Thrust 4,549.05 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 459 seconds. Delta Winged, Cross Range 2,742 km

No Engines: 2.

Status: Study 1967.
Gross mass: 362,812 kg (799,863 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 80,000 kg (176,000 lb).
Height: 48.78 m (160.03 ft).
Diameter: 6.71 m (22.01 ft).
Span: 32.62 m (107.02 ft).
Thrust: 4,549.05 kN (1,022,667 lbf).
Specific impulse: 459 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 359 s.
Burn time: 276 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Spacemaster American winged orbital launch vehicle. Martin-Marrietta shuttle Phase A design. X-24B type lifting body orbiter with unique catamaran-configuration 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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