Encyclopedia Astronautica
Von Braun 1948-1

Nitric acid/Hydrazine propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 5,500,000/700,000 kg. Thrust 141,286.30 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 257 seconds.

No Engines: 70.

Status: Study 1952.
Gross mass: 5,500,000 kg (12,100,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 700,000 kg (1,540,000 lb).
Height: 29.00 m (95.00 ft).
Diameter: 20.00 m (65.00 ft).
Span: 60.00 m (196.00 ft).
Thrust: 141,286.30 kN (31,762,424 lbf).
Specific impulse: 257 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 217 s.
Burn time: 84 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Von Braun 1948 German winged orbital launch vehicle. Von Braun's 1948 design for a reusable space launcher was remarkable in its tubby design. This was partly driven by the need for large parachute cannisters in the base of the first and second stages, which took up one half of the diameter, with the engines arranged around the periphery. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Nitric acid/Hydrazine 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. Hydrazine (N2H4) found early use as a fuel, but it was quickly replaced by UDMH. It is still used as a monopropellant for satellite station-keeping motors. More...

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