Encyclopedia Astronautica
GEM 46


Hercules solid rocket engine. 608.1 kN. Air-ignited versions have nozzle ratio of 24.8:1, specific impulse of 284 sec. Isp=274s. First flight 1998.

Thrust (sl): 538.000 kN (120,947 lbf). Thrust (sl): 54,860 kgf. Chamber Pressure: 105.00 bar. Area Ratio: 14. Propellant Formulation: HTPB.

Gross mass: 19,290 kg (42,520 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 2,280 kg (5,020 lb).
Height: 14.70 m (48.20 ft).
Diameter: 1.17 m (3.83 ft).
Thrust: 608.10 kN (136,706 lbf).
Specific impulse: 274 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 242 s.
Burn time: 75 s.
Number: 54 .

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Associated Countries
See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Delta 3 American orbital launch vehicle. Delta 3 was an attempt by the manufacturer to provide the ultimate development of the original Delta booster. The core vehicle was beefed-up to accomodate much larger solid rocket boosters and a new cryogenic upper stage. However problems were incurred during development, resulting in the first two launches being failures. Meanwhile the satellite launch market crashed and the new vehicle was left without customers. The venerable Delta 7925 soldiered on for NASA, and the new Delta 4 series captured the USAF EELV requirement. More...
  • Delta IV Medium+ (4.2) American orbital launch vehicle. As Delta 4 medium but with 2 x GEM-60 solid rocket boosters and a 4 m diameter payload fairing. More...
  • Delta IV Medium+ (5.2) American orbital launch vehicle. As Delta 4 medium but with 2 x GEM-60 solid rocket boosters and a 5 m diameter payload fairing. More...
  • Delta IV Medium+ (5.4) American orbital launch vehicle. As Delta 4 medium but with 4 x GEM-60 solid rocket boosters and a 5 m diameter payload fairing. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Hercules American manufacturer of rocket engines and rockets. Hercules, Wilmington, Delaware, USA. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Solid Solid propellants have the fuel and oxidiser embedded in a rubbery matrix. They were developed to a high degree of perfection in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. In Russia, development was slower, due to a lack of technical leadership in the area and rail handling problems. Solid propellants have the fuel and oxidiser embedded in a rubbery matrix. They were developed to a high degree of perfection in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. In Russia, development was slower, due to a lack of technical leadership in the area and rail handling problems. More...

Bibliography
  • Isakowitz, Steven J, Hopkins, Joshua B, and Hopkins, Joseph P, International Reference to Space Launch Systems, AIAA, Washington DC, 2004.

Associated Stages
  • GEM 46 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 19,327/2,282 kg. Thrust 628.31 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 278 seconds. Nine 1168-mm (46 in.) diameter Alliant graphite epoxy motors (GEM LDXLs) (strap-on solid rocket motors - SSRMs) augment the first-stage performance of the Delta III and were a direct evolution from the GEMs used on Delta II. More...

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