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Saturn C-3BN
Part of Saturn V Family
Saturn C-3N  Nov 61
Saturn C-3N Nov 61
Saturn C-3N Nov 1961
Credit: © Mark Wade
American nuclear orbital launch vehicle. Version of Saturn C-3 considered with small nuclear thermal stage in place of S-IVB oxygen/hydrogen stage.

Status: Study 1961. Payload: 94,000 kg (207,000 lb). Thrust: 20,010.00 kN (4,498,420 lbf). Gross mass: 1,690,110 kg (3,726,050 lb). Height: 87.00 m (285.00 ft). Diameter: 10.06 m (33.00 ft). Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).

LEO Payload: 94,000 kg (207,000 lb) to a 185 km orbit at 28.00 degrees. Payload: 38,000 kg (83,000 lb) to a translunar trajectory.

Stage Data - Saturn C-3BN

  • Stage 1. 1 x Saturn IC C-3B. Gross Mass: 1,160,787 kg (2,559,097 lb). Empty Mass: 72,549 kg (159,943 lb). Thrust (vac): 22,954.798 kN (5,160,444 lbf). Isp: 304 sec. Burn time: 140 sec. Isp(sl): 265 sec. Diameter: 10.06 m (33.00 ft). Span: 19.00 m (62.00 ft). Length: 34.41 m (112.89 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 5. Engine: F-1. Status: Study 1961. Comments: Final first stage design of Saturn C-3 (November 1961).
  • Stage 2. 1 x Saturn II C-5A. Gross Mass: 384,057 kg (846,700 lb). Empty Mass: 31,740 kg (69,970 lb). Thrust (vac): 4,446.648 kN (999,646 lbf). Isp: 420 sec. Burn time: 320 sec. Isp(sl): 200 sec. Diameter: 10.06 m (33.00 ft). Span: 10.06 m (33.00 ft). Length: 21.39 m (70.17 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 5. Engine: J-2. Status: Study 1961. Comments: Final common second stage design for Saturn C-3, C-4 and C-5 (November 1961). Developed into Saturn V second stage.
  • Stage 3. 1 x Saturn S-N C-3BN. Gross Mass: 32,470 kg (71,580 lb). Empty Mass: 7,708 kg (16,993 lb). Thrust (vac): 266.799 kN (59,979 lbf). Isp: 800 sec. Burn time: 720 sec. Diameter: 10.06 m (33.00 ft). Span: 10.06 m (33.00 ft). Length: 16.56 m (54.33 ft). Propellants: Nuclear/LH2. No Engines: 1. Engine: Nerva. Status: Study 1961. Comments: Nuclear upper stage considered in lieu of S-IVB in final Saturn C-3B study in November 1961.



Family: nuclear-powered, orbital launch vehicle. People: von Braun. Country: USA. Engines: Nerva-1, F-1, J-2. Stages: Saturn IC C-3B, Saturn II C-5A, Saturn S-N C-3BN.
Photo Gallery

Saturn A-1 to C-5Saturn A-1 to C-5
Credit: © Mark Wade



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