Encyclopedia Astronautica
Block L Molniya 8K78M

Block L rocket stage
Block L Molniya 8K78M
Credit: © Mark Wade
Russian space tug. 288 launches, (1964) to (2002). Upper stage / space tug - in production. Launched by Molniya M.

700 kg BOZ ullage motors and stabilization platform jettisoned prior to main stage burn.

Gross mass: 6,660 kg (14,680 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 1,160 kg (2,550 lb).
Height: 3.20 m (10.40 ft).
Diameter: 2.40 m (7.80 ft).
Span: 2.56 m (8.39 ft).
Thrust: 66.60 kN (14,972 lbf).
Specific impulse: 340 s.
Number: 288 .

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Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Kerosene 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. In January 1953 Rocketdyne commenced the REAP program to develop a number of improvements to the engines being developed for the Navaho and Atlas missiles. Among these was development of a special grade of kerosene suitable for rocket engines. Prior to that any number of rocket propellants derived from petroleum had been used. Goddard had begun with gasoline, and there were experimental engines powered by kerosene, diesel oil, paint thinner, or jet fuel kerosene JP-4 or JP-5. The wide variance in physical properties among fuels of the same class led to the identification of narrow-range petroleum fractions, embodied in 1954 in the standard US kerosene rocket fuel RP-1, covered by Military Specification MIL-R-25576. In Russia, similar specifications were developed for kerosene under the specifications T-1 and RG-1. The Russians also developed a compound of unknown formulation in the 1980's known as 'Sintin', or synthetic kerosene. More...

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