Encyclopedia Astronautica
Nova 9L



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Nova NASA 9 F-1
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Nova Concepts - NASA
Credit: © Mark Wade
American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. NASA Nova design using clustered small diameter tanks; 9 x F-1 first stage and 4 x F-1 second stage; compared with solid Nova using five six segment solid motors in first stage and four four segment motors in second stage.

LEO Payload: 176,000 kg (388,000 lb) to a 160 km orbit. Payload: 59,000 kg (130,000 lb) to a translunar trajectory.

Stage Data - Nova 9L

  • Stage 1. 1 x Nova 9L-1. Gross Mass: 2,721,000 kg (5,998,000 lb). Empty Mass: 181,000 kg (399,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 68,048.000 kN (15,297,798 lbf). Isp: 304 sec. Burn time: 110 sec. Isp(sl): 265 sec. Diameter: 15.20 m (49.80 ft). Span: 15.20 m (49.80 ft). Length: 42.70 m (140.00 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 9. Engine: F-1. Status: Study, NASA, 1960. Comments: Masses estimated based on total vehicle thrust, performance, and stage volumes.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Nova 9L-2. Gross Mass: 1,814,000 kg (3,999,000 lb). Empty Mass: 125,000 kg (275,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 30,243.000 kN (6,798,896 lbf). Isp: 304 sec. Burn time: 164 sec. Isp(sl): 265 sec. Diameter: 13.70 m (44.90 ft). Span: 13.70 m (44.90 ft). Length: 35.10 m (115.10 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 4. Engine: F-1. Status: Study, NASA, 1960. Comments: Masses estimated based on total vehicle thrust, performance, and stage volumes.
  • Stage 3. 1 x Nova 9L-3. Gross Mass: 363,000 kg (800,000 lb). Empty Mass: 36,000 kg (79,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 5,334.000 kN (1,199,130 lbf). Isp: 420 sec. Burn time: 250 sec. Diameter: 10.10 m (33.10 ft). Span: 10.10 m (33.10 ft). Length: 21.30 m (69.80 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 6. Engine: J-2. Status: Study, NASA, 1960. Comments: Masses estimated based on total vehicle thrust, performance, and stage volumes.
  • Stage 4. 1 x Nova 9L-4. Gross Mass: 118,000 kg (260,000 lb). Empty Mass: 14,000 kg (30,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 1,775.000 kN (399,035 lbf). Isp: 420 sec. Burn time: 235 sec. Diameter: 6.70 m (21.90 ft). Span: 6.70 m (21.90 ft). Length: 20.70 m (67.90 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 2. Engine: J-2. Status: Study, NASA, 1960. Comments: Masses estimated based on total vehicle thrust, performance, and stage volumes.

Status: Study 1960.
Gross mass: 5,227,200 kg (11,524,000 lb).
Payload: 176,000 kg (388,000 lb).
Height: 144.00 m (472.00 ft).
Diameter: 15.20 m (49.80 ft).
Thrust: 59,318.00 kN (13,335,216 lbf).
Apogee: 160 km (90 mi).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • F-1 Rocketdyne Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 7740.5 kN. Isp=304s. Largest liquid rocket engine ever developed and flown. Severe combustion stability problems were solved during development and it never failed in flight. First flight 1967. More...
  • J-2 Rocketdyne lox/lh2 rocket engine. 1033.1 kN. Study 1961. Isp=421s. Used in Saturn IVB stage in Saturn IB and Saturn V, and Saturn II stage in Saturn V. Gas generator, pump-fed. First flight 1966. More...

See also
  • Nova Nova was NASA's ultimate launch vehicle, studied intently from 1959 to 1962. Originally conceived to allow a direct manned landing on the moon, in its final iteration it was to put a million-pound payload into low earth orbit to support manned Mars expeditions. It was abandoned in NASA advanced mission planning thereafter in favor of growth versions of the Saturn V. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...

Associated Stages
  • Nova 9L-1 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 2,721,000/181,000 kg. Thrust 68,048.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 304 seconds. Masses estimated based on total vehicle thrust, performance, and stage volumes. More...
  • Nova 9L-2 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 1,814,000/125,000 kg. Thrust 30,243.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 304 seconds. Masses estimated based on total vehicle thrust, performance, and stage volumes. More...
  • Nova 9L-3 Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 363,000/36,000 kg. Thrust 5,334.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 420 seconds. Masses estimated based on total vehicle thrust, performance, and stage volumes. More...
  • Nova 9L-4 Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 118,000/14,000 kg. Thrust 1,775.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 420 seconds. Masses estimated based on total vehicle thrust, performance, and stage volumes. More...

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