Encyclopedia Astronautica
Nova 59-4-2


Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 590,000/45,000 kg. Thrust 7,560.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 310 seconds. Empty Mass Estimated

Status: Study 1959.
Gross mass: 590,000 kg (1,300,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 45,000 kg (99,000 lb).
Height: 16.20 m (53.10 ft).
Diameter: 5.20 m (17.00 ft).
Span: 5.20 m (17.00 ft).
Thrust: 7,560.00 kN (1,699,550 lbf).
Specific impulse: 310 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 265 s.
Burn time: 215 s.
Number: 1 .

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • F-1 Rocketdyne Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 7740.5 kN. Isp=304s. Largest liquid rocket engine ever developed and flown. Severe combustion stability problems were solved during development and it never failed in flight. First flight 1967. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Nova 4L American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. Earliest NASA Nova design, using only 4 F-1's, capability less than later Saturn designs. 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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