Encyclopedia Astronautica
Nova GD-E



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Nova Model E
Nova General Dynamics Model E
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Nova Model E Cutaway
Nova General Dynamics Model E Cutaway
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Nova - GD
Nova Concepts - General Dynamics
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Nova GD Advanced
General Dynamics advanced Nova designs
Credit: Lockheed Martin
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Nova B and E
Cutaway view of General Dynamics Nova B and E concepts.
Credit: Lockheed Martin
American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. General Dynamics Nova design using 325 inch solid motors as first stage, M-1 engines in second stage. Recoverable solid motors, separation at 1,972 m/s at 53,000 m altitude; splashdown using retrorockets under 3 61 m diameter parachutes 610 km downrange. Recovery of solid motors forshadowed same approach on shuttle 15 years later. Masses estimated based on tank volumes, total thrust, and first stage burnout conditions.

LEO Payload: 458,000 kg (1,009,000 lb) to a 185 km orbit.

Stage Data - Nova GD-E

  • Stage 1. 4 x Nova GD-E-1. Gross Mass: 3,628,000 kg (7,998,000 lb). Empty Mass: 454,000 kg (1,000,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 69,048.000 kN (15,522,607 lbf). Isp: 263 sec. Burn time: 116 sec. Isp(sl): 238 sec. Diameter: 8.30 m (27.20 ft). Span: 8.30 m (27.20 ft). Length: 60.40 m (198.10 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: 325 in solid. Status: Study General Dynamics 1963. Comments: Massed estimated based on tank volumes, total thrust, and first stage burnout conditions. Recoverable stage; separation at 1,972 m/s at 53,000 m altitude; splashdown using retrorockets under 3 61 m diameter parachutes 610 km downrange.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Nova GD-E-2. Gross Mass: 4,535,000 kg (9,997,000 lb). Empty Mass: 363,000 kg (800,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 26,683.000 kN (5,998,577 lbf). Isp: 428 sec. Burn time: 646 sec. Diameter: 20.60 m (67.50 ft). Span: 20.60 m (67.50 ft). Length: 47.90 m (157.10 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 4. Engine: M-1. Status: Study General Dynamics 1963. Comments: Massed estimated based on tank volumes, total thrust, and first stage burnout conditions.

Status: Study 1963.
Gross mass: 19,596,600 kg (43,203,100 lb).
Payload: 458,000 kg (1,009,000 lb).
Height: 72.00 m (236.00 ft).
Diameter: 8.30 m (27.20 ft).
Thrust: 249,940.20 kN (56,188,792 lbf).
Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • 325 in solid Notional solid rocket engine in GD Nova studies. 69,047 kN. Study 1963. Isp=263s. Recoverable motors; separation at 1,972 m/s at 53,000 m altitude; splashdown using retrorockets under 3 61 m diameter parachutes 610 km downrange. More...
  • M-1 Aerojet lox/lh2 rocket engine. 5335.9 kN. Study 1961. Isp=428s. Engine developed 1962-1966 for Uprated Saturn and Nova million-pound payload boosters to support manned Mars missions. Reached component test stage before cancellation. 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
  • Convair American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Convair, USA. More...

Associated Stages
  • Nova GD-E-2 Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 4,535,000/363,000 kg. Thrust 26,683.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 428 seconds. Massed estimated based on tank volumes, total thrust, and first stage burnout conditions. More...
  • Nova GD-S Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 3,628,000/454,000 kg. Thrust 69,048.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 263 seconds. Massed estimated based on tank volumes, total thrust, and first stage burnout conditions. Recoverable stage; separation at 1,972 m/s at 53,000 m altitude; splashdown using retrorockets under 3 61 m diameter parachutes 610 km downrange. More...

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