Encyclopedia Astronautica
Molniya 8K78-3

Block L rocket stage
Block L Molniya 8K78M
Credit: © Mark Wade
Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 5,100/1,080 kg. Thrust 65.41 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 340 seconds. Stage designed as fourth stage to take R-7 launched payloads into deep space. Adapted from the Luna / Vostok third stage, but with restart capability. The 700 kg BOZ ullage motors and stabilisation platform jettisoned prior to main stage burn. Original version.

Cost $ : 3.000 million.

Status: Retired 1965.
Gross mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 1,080 kg (2,380 lb).
Height: 2.84 m (9.31 ft).
Diameter: 2.56 m (8.39 ft).
Span: 2.56 m (8.39 ft).
Thrust: 65.41 kN (14,705 lbf).
Specific impulse: 340 s.
Burn time: 192 s.
Number: 4 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • RD-108-8D727K Glushko Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 976 kN. Molniya 8K78-3. Out of Production. Isp=316s. More...
  • S1.5400 Korolev Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 66.7 kN for Molniya 8K78 Stage 3. Flew 1960-1965. Isp=340s. Designed by Korolev; passed to Isayev for production. Began a series of engines leading through the 8D726 for GR-1 to the Block D for the N1 and Proton. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Kerosene Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. In January 1953 Rocketdyne commenced the REAP program to develop a number of improvements to the engines being developed for the Navaho and Atlas missiles. Among these was development of a special grade of kerosene suitable for rocket engines. Prior to that any number of rocket propellants derived from petroleum had been used. Goddard had begun with gasoline, and there were experimental engines powered by kerosene, diesel oil, paint thinner, or jet fuel kerosene JP-4 or JP-5. The wide variance in physical properties among fuels of the same class led to the identification of narrow-range petroleum fractions, embodied in 1954 in the standard US kerosene rocket fuel RP-1, covered by Military Specification MIL-R-25576. In Russia, similar specifications were developed for kerosene under the specifications T-1 and RG-1. The Russians also developed a compound of unknown formulation in the 1980's known as 'Sintin', or synthetic kerosene. More...

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