Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 42,630/19,955 kg. Thrust 5,217.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 455 seconds.
Cost $ : 18.000 million. No Engines: 3.
Status: Study 1966.
More... - Chronology...
Gross mass: 42,630 kg (93,980 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 19,955 kg (43,993 lb).
Height: 25.00 m (82.00 ft).
Diameter: 15.85 m (52.00 ft).
Span: 15.85 m (52.00 ft).
Thrust: 5,217.00 kN (1,172,828 lbf).
Specific impulse: 455 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 355 s.
Burn time: 228 s.
SSME Rocketdyne lox/lh2 rocket engine. 2278 kN. In production. Isp=453s. Space Shuttle Main Engines; only high-pressure closed-cycle reusable cryogenic rocket engine ever flown. . Three mounted in the base of the American space shuttle. First flight 1981. More...
Associated Launch Vehicles
Starclipper American winged orbital launch vehicle. Lockheed ILRV design created for the USAF in 1966. X-24B lifting body configuration orbiter with linear aerospike engine and wrap-around drop tank. Related to Lockheed Shuttle LS200 proposal. More...
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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