Thursday, March 31, 2011

Big a$$$$$ rocket of the day - JPL Solid Propellant NOVA vehicle

The NOVA was a series of conceptual vehicles which would have competed with the Saturn V using all solid propulsion. YORF user luke strawwalker has provided a flood of info on the NOVA, starting with excerpts from a 1962 JPL study entitled "The Applicability of Solid Propellants for a NOVA class Injection Vehicle and Comparison with a Liquid Vehicle of Comparable Capability."  He provides a text file summarizing the 109 page document as well as a bunch of diagrams showing the vehicle options.  I grabbed only the first one as a teaser.  This beast would weigh 30 million pounds (about five times what a Saturn V weighed) and could lift lifting 500,000 pounds to LEO and 130,000 pounds to escape velocity.   His later posts to have also include info from other sites, including Astronautix and Wikipedia.