Credit: © Mark Wade
Status: Study 1944. Payload: 10,000 kg (22,000 lb). Thrust: 83,400.00 kN (18,749,000 lbf). Gross mass: 4,100,000 kg (9,000,000 lb). Height: 70.00 m (229.00 ft). Diameter: 11.00 m (36.00 ft). Span: 23.00 m (75.00 ft). Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).
The reconstruction here is purely an estimate, assuming the A12 stage followed the design philosophy of the A11 drawing. Unless development of a new engine was planned, no fewer than 50 A-10 engines would have been required in the first stage, presaging Von Braun's design of 1948/1952.
LEO Payload: 10,000 kg (22,000 lb) to a 300 km orbit at 90.00 degrees.
Stage Data - A9/A10/A11/A12
Von Braun was obsessed by grandiose futuristic fantasies, and Dornberger felt he constantly had to throw cold water on the engineer to keep them in check. But this tendency was easily overshadowed by Von Braun's fantastic ability to solve a technical problem, to throw all the extraneous ballast overboard and concentrate on the solution. In the moment the solution was technically realised, Von Braun no longer had any interest in the issue and dropped it.
There was never any doubt that manned space travel was Von Braun's life goal. The technology needed for manned flight presented many such technical challenges. He realised early on that only multi-staged liquid propelled rockets could achieve his dream. Rockets certainly needed lighter propellant tanks, but there was a practical technical limit to this, and in any case, there still had to be a payload. Von Braun knew that liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen was the ultimate propellant combination, but also that learning how to handle liquid hydrogen would be a long-term affair. A one-year study at the Technische Hochschule in Dresden and Peenemuende showed that other propellant combinations could produce no more than a 20% improvement in specific impulse compared to the existing V-2 technology. Therefore a multistage rocket was the only way to achieve orbital spaceflight.
Using catapults and wings an A9 might nearly achieve 1000 km range, but the only solution for transatlantic missions was the two-stage A9/A10. The A10 boost stage was to have a total mass of 87 tonnes, of which 62 tonnes would be propellant. The stage's 200 tonne thrust motor would burn for 50 to 60 seconds, taking the A9 upper stage to 1200 m/s. Then the A9 would separate and burn its engine, reaching an apogee of 55 km, followed by a long hypersonic glide in the atmosphere. The second stage would be equipped with air brakes for deceleration over the target, followed by a parachute for recovery in the water. The A9/A10 would reach a maximum velocity of 2800 m/s, and have a range of 4100 km, and a total flight time of 35 minutes. Full-scale development was underway, when further significant work on the project was stopped at the end of 1942. Only the Advanced Projects Group, under the direction of Dip-Ing Roth and Ing Palt, continued design of the missile. It was also planned to develop, after the war, a stratospheric rocket that could travel in 40 minutes from Europe to America. After that, the target was orbital spaceships that could reach 8 km/sec and 500 km orbital altitude. Beyond that, space stations and the burial in space of the embalmed bodies of the rocket developers and men of the rocket service. Manned expeditions to the moon were also a popular theme for research. Finally, the use of nuclear energy to achieve interstellar travel was studied by the Advanced Projects Group.
As part of a summary of his work on rockets during World War II, Wernher von Braun speculated on future uses of rocket power. These included an observatory in space, the construction of space stations in earth orbit, a space mirror, and interplanetary travel, beginning with trips to the moon.