Encyclopedia Astronautica
Superraket Block A


Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 1,150,000/100,000 kg. Thrust 33,656.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 310 seconds. Ancestor of N1 Block A; conical liquid oxygen/kerosene stage using massive cluster of Kuznetsov engines. Gross mass estimated based on 2,000 tonne total vehicle weight; empty mass estimated.

No Engines: 66.

Status: Development ended 1959.
Gross mass: 1,150,000 kg (2,530,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 100,000 kg (220,000 lb).
Height: 27.00 m (88.00 ft).
Diameter: 9.00 m (29.50 ft).
Span: 15.00 m (49.00 ft).
Thrust: 33,656.00 kN (7,566,169 lbf).
Specific impulse: 310 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 270 s.
Burn time: 90 s.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • NK-9 Kuznetsov Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 441.3 kN. R-9, GR-1 stage 1. Isp=327s. Reached phase of stand testing in 1965, but then RD-111 selected. Later planned for 1st Stage of GR-1, but that rocket also cancelled. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Superraket Russian nuclear orbital launch vehicle. The ancestor of the N1 lunar launch vehicle, this was the first heavy lift launch vehicle actively considered in the USSR. The 2,000 tonne liftoff mass was similar to the later N1 design, but the first stage would use a staggering cluster of around 66 Kuznetsov NK-9 engines (as opposed to the modest 24 NK-15's of the first N1 configuration). The real difference was in the second stage, which used the nuclear YaRD engine, giving the launch vehicle nearly double the later N1's payload capacity. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Kerosene 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. In January 1953 Rocketdyne commenced the REAP program to develop a number of improvements to the engines being developed for the Navaho and Atlas missiles. Among these was development of a special grade of kerosene suitable for rocket engines. Prior to that any number of rocket propellants derived from petroleum had been used. Goddard had begun with gasoline, and there were experimental engines powered by kerosene, diesel oil, paint thinner, or jet fuel kerosene JP-4 or JP-5. The wide variance in physical properties among fuels of the same class led to the identification of narrow-range petroleum fractions, embodied in 1954 in the standard US kerosene rocket fuel RP-1, covered by Military Specification MIL-R-25576. In Russia, similar specifications were developed for kerosene under the specifications T-1 and RG-1. The Russians also developed a compound of unknown formulation in the 1980's known as 'Sintin', or synthetic kerosene. More...

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