Encyclopedia Astronautica

Credit: © Dietrich Haeseler
Yuzhnoye Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 78.4 kN. Zenit stage 2 attitude control engine. In Production. Isp=342s. Four-chamber pump-fed single-run engine operated in a staged combustion scheme with afterburning of the generator gas. Development began in 1976.

The RD-8 was designed from the beginning for high reliability (no less than 0.995%) long service life (more than 4000 seconds); and for installation in the upper stage after a factory firing test without the need for post -test refurbishment. A safe shutdown was commanded upon depletion of any propellant component. The propellants were ignited in the gas generator and chambers by use of a starting fuel. The control units were fed with helium through electropneumatic valves. The engine could stay ready on the pad, filled with propellants, for 24 hours before a launch would need to be scrubbed and the engine purged and recycled. The engine design of the engine allowed for multiple bench firing tests.

Application: Zenit stage 2 attitude control engine.


Chambers: 4. Engine: 380 kg (830 lb). Chamber Pressure: 76.50 bar. Thrust to Weight Ratio: 21.03. Oxidizer to Fuel Ratio: 2.4.

AKA: 11D513.
Status: In Production.
Unfuelled mass: 380 kg (830 lb).
Height: 1.67 m (5.47 ft).
Diameter: 4.00 m (13.10 ft).
Thrust: 78.40 kN (17,625 lbf).
Specific impulse: 342 s.
Burn time: 1,100 s.
First Launch: 1976-85.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Zenit-2 Ukrainian orbital launch vehicle. Two-stage version that continued to be used for launch of Russian military satellites tailored to it after the fall of the Soviet Union. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Yuzhnoye Ukrainian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Yangel Design Bureau, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. More...

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...

  • Shnyakin, V N, Shidkostnye Raketye Dvigateli - Opisanie i Osnovnye Tekhnicheskie Dannye, GKB Yuzhnoe "Yangel", Dnepropetrovsk 1996 via Dietrich Haeseler.
  • Novosti kosmonavtiki, Issue 11, 1997 via Dietrich Haeseler.
  • Yuzhnoye Company Web Site, Web Address when accessed: here.

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