Encyclopedia Astronautica
X-34


Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 21,800/8,200 kg. Thrust 268.93 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 310 seconds. Low cost reusable vehicle technology demonstrator.

Status: Cancelled in 2001.
Gross mass: 21,800 kg (48,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 8,200 kg (18,000 lb).
Height: 17.68 m (58.00 ft).
Span: 8.54 m (28.01 ft).
Thrust: 268.93 kN (60,457 lbf).
Specific impulse: 310 s.
Burn time: 150 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • Fastrac Huntsville Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 269 kN. Development ended 1996. Isp=310s. Used on X-34A launch vehicle. Intended to demonstrate lower cost in a reusable simple turbopump rocket engine. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • X-34 American air-launched orbital launch vehicle. NASA failed to attract industry co-investment to develop the original X-34A air-launched, reusable, low-technology, low-cost orbital launch vehicle concept. So the project was scaled back and NASA contracted with Orbital Sciences on 28 August 1996 to build and fly the X-34 unmanned technology demonstrator. This program in turn developed overruns and was cancelled in 2001 before a test flight was made. 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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