Encyclopedia Astronautica
Molniya M-3

Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 4,500/1,050 kg. Thrust 66.60 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 340 seconds.

Cost $ : 3.000 million.

Status: Out of production.
Gross mass: 4,500 kg (9,900 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 1,050 kg (2,310 lb).
Height: 2.64 m (8.66 ft).
Diameter: 2.41 m (7.90 ft).
Span: 2.41 m (7.90 ft).
Thrust: 66.60 kN (14,972 lbf).
Specific impulse: 340 s.
Burn time: 180 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Molniya 8K78M ML Russian orbital launch vehicle. Improved Molniya variant with Blok-ML upper stage for placement of communications satellites into Molniya-class orbits with apogees of 38,500 km. More...

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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