Encyclopedia Astronautica

Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 991,000/89,300 kg. Thrust 15,413.89 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 455 seconds.

No Engines: 7.

Status: Study.
Gross mass: 991,000 kg (2,184,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 89,300 kg (196,800 lb).
Height: 39.70 m (130.20 ft).
Diameter: 39.00 m (127.00 ft).
Span: 39.00 m (127.00 ft).
Thrust: 15,413.89 kN (3,465,180 lbf).
Specific impulse: 455 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 347 s.
Burn time: 900 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • RS-2200 Rocketdyne lox/lh2 rocket engine. 2201 kN. Development cancelled 1999. Isp=455s. Linear Aerospike Engine developed for use on the Lockheed Reusable Launch Vehicle, the production follow-on to the X-33. 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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