Ze Wunder is a heavy lift rocket developed by the Illyrien Space Program in the late spring of 1956, designed by Werner von Kerman. It is capable of lifting 40t to LEO. At the time of its development it was the highest capability lifter in the world.
|Main Stage||Circulation Stage||Lunar Transfer Stage (example)|
|Engines||(9+3) * RD-253||N1 Block V||RD-210|
|Tank type (100% utilization)||Ballon||ServiceModule||Ballon|
Main Stage TWR
The size of rockets are limited by how strong the thrust of the engines are. The Wunder has taken this to the limit of what can possibly be done at current levels of technology, with its 12 main stage engines. Future rockets would need to use either stronger engines or boosters, to break this soft limit on rocket size.
Circulation Stage TWR
A secondary restriction is the circulation stage. This stage need a thrust high enough to accelerate the cargo into orbit, before the trajectory leads it down into the atmosphere. Therefore, the cargo capacity is limited by the thrust of the engine(s).
Concerns have been voiced regarding the commonly used rocket fuel mix UDMH/NTO. Investigations are underway.
Comparison with fictional rockets
Compared to the fabled Saturn V, as described the the famous science fiction stories by Jules Kerman, the Wunder is less efficient, with a lower lift capacity and lower capacity%. Compared further to the “Nest” mission to the Moon, it fares less favourably. In the story, Journey to the Moon, the Saturn V is described in some details, which compares as follows.
|Ze Wunder||Saturn V|