Encyclopedia Astronautica
Saturn II

Saturn II stage
Credit: © Mark Wade
Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 490,778/39,048 kg. Thrust 5,165.79 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 421 seconds. Configuration as flown.

Cost $ : 290.000 million. No Engines: 5.

Status: Study 1968.
Gross mass: 490,778 kg (1,081,980 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 39,048 kg (86,086 lb).
Height: 24.84 m (81.49 ft).
Diameter: 10.06 m (33.00 ft).
Span: 10.06 m (33.00 ft).
Thrust: 5,165.79 kN (1,161,316 lbf).
Specific impulse: 421 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 200 s.
Burn time: 390 s.
Number: 24 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • J-2 Rocketdyne lox/lh2 rocket engine. 1033.1 kN. Study 1961. Isp=421s. Used in Saturn IVB stage in Saturn IB and Saturn V, and Saturn II stage in Saturn V. Gas generator, pump-fed. First flight 1966. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Saturn V American orbital launch vehicle. America's booster for the Apollo manned lunar landing. The design was frozen before a landing mode was selected; the Saturn V could be used for either Earth-Orbit-Rendezvous or Lunar-Orbit-Rendezvous methods. The vehicle ended up with the same payload capability as the 'too large' Nova. The basic diameter was dictated by the ceiling height at the Michoud factory selected for first stage manufacture. More...
  • Saturn V 2 American orbital launch vehicle. Two stage version of Saturn V, consisting of 1 x Saturn S-IC + 1 x Saturn S-II, used to launch Skylab. More...
  • Saturn INT-18 North American study, 1966. Saturn variant with Titan UA1205 or 1207 motors as boosters, Saturn II stage as core, and Saturn IVB upper stage. Various combinations of numbers of strap-ons, propellant loading of the two core stages, and sea-level versus altitude ignition were studied. More...
  • Saturn INT-21 American orbital launch vehicle. Saturn variant consisting of S-IC first stage and S-II second stage. This essentially flew once to launch Skylab in 1972, although the IU was located atop the Skylab space station (converted S-IVB stage) rather than atop the S-II as in the INT-21 design. More...
  • Saturn V-D American orbital launch vehicle. MSFC study, 1968. Rehashed the Boeing 1967 studies, covering a variety of stage stretches and 120, 156, or 260 inch solid rocket boosters, but with S-ID stage-and-a-half first stage. More...
  • Saturn V-Centaur American orbital launch vehicle. MSFC study, 1968. S-ID stage-and-a-half first stage and Saturn IVB second stage. Centaur available as third stage for deep space missions. 30% performance improvement over Saturn V-A/Saturn INT-20 with standard Saturn IC first stage. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/LH2 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. Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks. The United States mastered hydrogen technology for the highly classified Lockheed CL-400 Suntan reconnaissance aircraft in the mid-1950's. The technology was transferred to the Centaur rocket stage program, and by the mid-1960's the United States was flying the Centaur and Saturn upper stages using the fuel. It was adopted for the core of the space shuttle, and Centaur stages still fly today. More...

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use