Encyclopedia Astronautica

Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 687,503/71,901 kg. Thrust 11,186.09 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 467 seconds.

Cost $ : 20.000 million. No Engines: 3.

Status: Study 1978.
Gross mass: 687,503 kg (1,515,684 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 71,901 kg (158,514 lb).
Height: 58.50 m (191.90 ft).
Diameter: 36.00 m (118.00 ft).
Span: 36.00 m (118.00 ft).
Thrust: 11,186.09 kN (2,514,734 lbf).
Specific impulse: 467 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 385 s.
Burn time: 500 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • SSME Plus Notional lox/lh2 rocket engine. 3728.7 kN. VTOHL studies, 1978. Isp=467s. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • VTOHL 9t American SSTO winged orbital launch vehicle. Vertical Takeoff Horizontal Landing (winged). 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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