Encyclopedia Astronautica
Taepodong 1-2


Nitric acid/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 7,505/1,456 kg. Thrust 144.33 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 255 seconds. Included 100 kg spin table for spin-up of third stage prior to release. Burn time is 33.7 seconds at full thrust, 142.3 seconds at half thrust.

Status: Retired 1998.
Gross mass: 7,505 kg (16,545 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 1,456 kg (3,209 lb).
Height: 12.00 m (39.00 ft).
Diameter: 0.96 m (3.14 ft).
Span: 1.10 m (3.60 ft).
Thrust: 144.33 kN (32,448 lbf).
Specific impulse: 255 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 232 s.
Burn time: 176 s.
Number: 1 .

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • Nodong North Korean Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 144 kN. In production. Isp=255s. Used in North Korean missiles and Taepodong 1 satellite launcher. Derived from Isayev designs developed for Scud missiles and SLBM's of the Makeyev bureau. First flight 1998. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Taepodong 1 North Korean orbital launch vehicle. The third stage for the satellite launch version was probably a small solid rocket engine. It failed to reach orbit in the 1998 launch attempt, and later such tests are believed to have used a different design. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Nitric acid/UDMH Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine ((CH3)2NNH2) became the storable liquid fuel of choice by the mid-1950's. Development of UDMH in the Soviet Union began in 1949. It is used in virtually all storable liquid rocket engines except for some orbital manoeuvring engines in the United States, where MMH has been preferred due to a slightly higher density and performance. More...

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