Encyclopedia Astronautica

Nuclear/Ammonia propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 84,400/8,600 kg. Thrust 1,370.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 470 seconds. Nuclear-propelled ICBM with engines in development by Glushko. Four expansion nozzles fed by single reactor. Payload 2,600 kg to 14,000 km. Empty mass, vehicle length calculated.

Status: Development ended 1960.
Gross mass: 84,400 kg (186,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 8,600 kg (18,900 lb).
Height: 21.00 m (68.00 ft).
Diameter: 3.33 m (10.92 ft).
Span: 3.33 m (10.92 ft).
Thrust: 1,370.00 kN (307,980 lbf).
Specific impulse: 470 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 430 s.
Burn time: 250 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • YaRD OKB-456 Glushko nuclear/ammonia rocket engine. 1373 kN. Development ended 1960. Isp=470s. Used nuclear reactor in cylindrical housing, operating at 3000 deg K. Propellant heated in the reactor and exhausted through four expansion nozzles More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • OKB-456 Russian intercontinental range ballistic missile. Variant using a Glushko nuclear engine heating ammonia as a propellant. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Nuclear/Ammonia Nuclear thermal engines use the heat of a nuclear reactor to heat a propellant. Although early Russian designs used ammonia or an ammonia/alcohol mixture as propellant, the ideal working fluid for space applications is the liquid form of the lightest element, hydrogen. Although successfully ground-tested in both Russia, they have never been flown due primarily to environmental and safety concerns. More...

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