Encyclopedia Astronautica
Superraket



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Superraket
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Superraket
Russian nuclear orbital launch vehicle. The ancestor of the N1 lunar launch vehicle, this was the first heavy lift launch vehicle actively considered in the USSR. The 2,000 tonne liftoff mass was similar to the later N1 design, but the first stage would use a staggering cluster of around 66 Kuznetsov NK-9 engines (as opposed to the modest 24 NK-15's of the first N1 configuration). The real difference was in the second stage, which used the nuclear YaRD engine, giving the launch vehicle nearly double the later N1's payload capacity.

LEO Payload: 150,000 kg (330,000 lb) to a 185 km orbit.

Stage Data - Superraket

  • Stage 1. 1 x Superraket Block A. Gross Mass: 1,150,000 kg (2,530,000 lb). Empty Mass: 100,000 kg (220,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 33,656.000 kN (7,566,169 lbf). Isp: 310 sec. Burn time: 90 sec. Isp(sl): 270 sec. Diameter: 9.00 m (29.50 ft). Span: 15.00 m (49.00 ft). Length: 27.00 m (88.00 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 66. Engine: NK-9. Status: Study 1959. Comments: Ancestor of N1 Block A; conical liquid oxygen/kerosene stage using massive cluster of Kuznetsov engines. Gross mass estimated based on 2,000 tonne total vehicle weight; empty mass estimated.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Superraket Block B. Gross Mass: 700,000 kg (1,540,000 lb). Empty Mass: 75,000 kg (165,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 8,330.000 kN (1,872,650 lbf). Isp: 550 sec. Burn time: 400 sec. Isp(sl): 500 sec. Diameter: 9.00 m (29.50 ft). Span: 9.00 m (29.50 ft). Length: 26.00 m (85.00 ft). Propellants: Nuclear/Ammonia. No Engines: 2. Engine: YaRD OKB-456. Status: Study 1959. Comments: Nuclear engine operating at 3500 deg K. Mass estimated; empty mass calculated.

Status: Development ended 1959.
Gross mass: 2,030,000 kg (4,470,000 lb).
Payload: 150,000 kg (330,000 lb).
Height: 64.00 m (209.00 ft).
Diameter: 9.00 m (29.50 ft).
Thrust: 29,313.60 kN (6,589,959 lbf).
Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • NK-9 Kuznetsov Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 441.3 kN. R-9, GR-1 stage 1. Isp=327s. Reached phase of stand testing in 1965, but then RD-111 selected. Later planned for 1st Stage of GR-1, but that rocket also cancelled. More...
  • YaRD OKB-456 Glushko nuclear/ammonia rocket engine. 1373 kN. Development ended 1960. Isp=470s. Used nuclear reactor in cylindrical housing, operating at 3000 deg K. Propellant heated in the reactor and exhausted through four expansion nozzles More...

See also
  • N1 The N1 launch vehicle, developed by Russia in the 1960's, was to be the Soviet Union's counterpart to the Saturn V. The largest of a family of launch vehicles that were to replace the ICBM-derived launchers then in use, the N series was to launch Soviet cosmonauts to the moon, Mars, and huge space stations into orbit. In comparison to Saturn, the project was started late, starved of funds and priority, and dogged by political and technical struggles between the chief designers Korolev, Glushko, and Chelomei. The end result was four launch failures and cancellation of the project five years after Apollo landed on the moon. Not only did a Soviet cosmonaut never land on the moon, but the Soviet Union even denied that the huge project ever existed. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...

Associated Stages
  • Superraket Block A Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 1,150,000/100,000 kg. Thrust 33,656.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 310 seconds. Ancestor of N1 Block A; conical liquid oxygen/kerosene stage using massive cluster of Kuznetsov engines. Gross mass estimated based on 2,000 tonne total vehicle weight; empty mass estimated. More...
  • Superraket Block B Nuclear/Ammonia propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 700,000/75,000 kg. Thrust 8,330.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 550 seconds. Nuclear engine operating at 3500 deg K. Mass estimated; empty mass calculated. More...

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