Encyclopedia Astronautica

Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 2,000,000/200,000 kg. Thrust 11,700.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 455 seconds. Total mass, length, estimated based on empty mass, total vehicle mass. Engine specific impulse estimated based on performance requirements.

No Engines: 6.

Status: Design 1972.
Gross mass: 2,000,000 kg (4,400,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 200,000 kg (440,000 lb).
Height: 16.00 m (52.00 ft).
Diameter: 12.50 m (41.00 ft).
Span: 12.50 m (41.00 ft).
Thrust: 11,700.00 kN (2,630,200 lbf).
Specific impulse: 455 s.
Burn time: 670 s.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • NK-15VM Kuznetsov lox/lh2 rocket engine. 1960 kN. N-1 stage 2 (block B) replacement. Design 1972. Derivative of NK-15 with kerosene replaced by hydrogen. Canceled before hot-tests. More...
  • NK-35 Kuznetsov lox/lh2 rocket engine. 1960 kN. Design 1972. Derivative of the NK-15 with kerosene replaced by hydrogen. The engine was canceled before hot-tests. Proposed for the UR-700M Mars booster in 1972, but this was not approved either. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • UR-700M Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. In 1969 the Soviet Union began project Aelita, studying the best method to beat the Americans in landing a man on Mars. Chelomei's team reached the conclusion that a Mars expedition would best be launched by an immense vehicle would allow their MK-700 Mars spacecraft to be orbited in two launches. The proposed UR-700M launch vehicle had a gross lift-off mass of 16,000 metric tons and could deliver 750 metric tons to orbit. By 1972 the Nixon administration had cancelled NASA's plans for manned Mars missions. Perhaps not coincidentally, a Soviet expert commission the same year concluded that the Mars project - and the UR-700M booster - were beyond the technical and economical capabilities of the Soviet Union and should be shelved indefinitely. 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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