Encyclopedia Astronautica
Superraket Block B

Nuclear/Ammonia propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 700,000/75,000 kg. Thrust 8,330.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 550 seconds. Nuclear engine operating at 3500 deg K. Mass estimated; empty mass calculated.

No Engines: 2.

Status: Development ended 1959.
Gross mass: 700,000 kg (1,540,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 75,000 kg (165,000 lb).
Height: 26.00 m (85.00 ft).
Diameter: 9.00 m (29.50 ft).
Span: 9.00 m (29.50 ft).
Thrust: 8,330.00 kN (1,872,650 lbf).
Specific impulse: 550 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 500 s.
Burn time: 400 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • YaRD OKB-456 Glushko nuclear/ammonia rocket engine. 1373 kN. Development ended 1960. Isp=470s. Used nuclear reactor in cylindrical housing, operating at 3000 deg K. Propellant heated in the reactor and exhausted through four expansion nozzles 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
  • Nuclear/Ammonia Nuclear thermal engines use the heat of a nuclear reactor to heat a propellant. Although early Russian designs used ammonia or an ammonia/alcohol mixture as propellant, the ideal working fluid for space applications is the liquid form of the lightest element, hydrogen. Although successfully ground-tested in both Russia, they have never been flown due primarily to environmental and safety concerns. More...

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