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R-56 Polyblock
Part of R-56 Family
R-56 test model
R-56 test model
R-56 dynamic test model
Credit: © Mark Wade
Ukrainian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. One design approach considered for Yangel's R-56 superbooster of the 1960's was a polyblock design limited to rail transport restrictions (4 x 3.8 m diameter stages clustered together). Although a dynamic test model was built and tested at TsNIIMash, Yangel finally reached the conclusion that a monoblock design was clearly superior to polyblock versions. Further work on the polyblock design was abandoned. TsNIIMash exhibits in its small museum the 1:10 structural simulation model of the 3.8 m diameter polyblock design.

AKA: 8K68;R-56. Status: Study 1961. Payload: 35,000 kg (77,000 lb). Thrust: 16,549.00 kN (3,720,363 lbf). Gross mass: 1,165,500 kg (2,569,400 lb). Height: 51.50 m (168.90 ft). Diameter: 7.60 m (24.90 ft).

Payload: 35,000 kg (77,000 lb) to a 16,000 km range.

Stage Data - R-56 Polyblock

  • Stage 1. 4 x R-56 Polyblock Stage A. Gross Mass: 222,000 kg (489,000 lb). Empty Mass: 18,000 kg (39,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 4,410.000 kN (991,400 lbf). Isp: 320 sec. Burn time: 142 sec. Isp(sl): 300 sec. Diameter: 4.00 m (13.10 ft). Span: 4.00 m (13.10 ft). Length: 24.00 m (78.00 ft). Propellants: Nitric acid/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: R-56 Blok A. Status: Development 1961. Comments: Range 16,000 km. Payload 35,000 kg. Tsniimash has 1:10 structural simulation model. Three stage carrier rocket with consecutively divided first and parallel divided second stages. Work began in 1961. Chief designer Yangel. Source: Placard, TsNIIMASH.
  • Stage 2. 4 x R-56 Polyblock Stage B. Gross Mass: 55,500 kg (122,300 lb). Empty Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 784.000 kN (176,250 lbf). Isp: 330 sec. Burn time: 205 sec. Diameter: 4.00 m (13.10 ft). Span: 4.00 m (13.10 ft). Length: 10.00 m (32.00 ft). Propellants: Nitric acid/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: R-56 Blok B. Status: Development 1961.
  • Stage 3. 1 x R-56 Polyblock Stage B. Gross Mass: 55,500 kg (122,300 lb). Empty Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 784.000 kN (176,250 lbf). Isp: 330 sec. Burn time: 205 sec. Diameter: 4.00 m (13.10 ft). Span: 4.00 m (13.10 ft). Length: 10.00 m (32.00 ft). Propellants: Nitric acid/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: R-56 Blok B. Status: Development 1961.



Family: heavy-lift, orbital launch vehicle. Country: Ukraine. Agency: Yuzhnoye.
Photo Gallery

R-56 test modelR-56 test model
R-56 dynamic test model C
Credit: © Mark Wade


R-56 - detail viewR-56 - detail view
R-56 - detail view of interstage of test model of monster rocket
Credit: © Mark Wade


R-56 test modelR-56 test model
R-56 dynamic test model
Credit: © Mark Wade


R-56, R-26, 63S1R-56, R-26, 63S1
From left to right, dynamic test models of: R-56 monster launch vehicle; R-26 ICBM; Kosmos 63S1 launch vehicle
Credit: © Mark Wade



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