Encyclopedia Astronautica
Von Braun 1952-3


Nitric acid/Hydrazine propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 105,000/22,000 kg. Thrust 2,033.80 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 296 seconds.

No Engines: 5.

Status: Study 1952.
Gross mass: 105,000 kg (231,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 22,000 kg (48,000 lb).
Height: 23.40 m (76.70 ft).
Diameter: 5.80 m (19.00 ft).
Span: 48.00 m (157.00 ft).
Thrust: 2,033.80 kN (457,216 lbf).
Specific impulse: 296 s.
Burn time: 105 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • Von Braun-3 Notional Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 392.3 kN. Study 1952. Isp=286s. Used on Von Braun launch vehicle. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Von Braun 1952 German winged orbital launch vehicle. Von Braun's 1952 design for a reusable space launcher used the same mass and performance calculations done in 1948. However the large parachute cannisters were replaced by deployable drag skirts. This allowed the design to be substantially less squat and more elegant than the 1948 version -- but still fatter than the sleek paintings that appeared in print! 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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