Super heavy launchers

1958 September 12, KNN TV Studio

Host: “Welcome back to “The Design Hour” Gene”

Gene: “Thank you”

Host: “So.., we arranged this event half a year ago, without any specific topic in mind, hmm, so Gene, lets start with this year, how has it been so far?”

Gene: “Its been quite interesting, my absolute favorites have been the deep space missions to the outer gas giants of Jupiter and Saturn. I can’t wait until they arrive. Which, unfortunately, will be a fair bit into the future.”

Host: “And your second favorite?”

Gene: “Well, we sent 8 missions to Mars, which is also quite exciting. We are about the get to know the fourth rock from the sun a fair bit better. Eventually.. its still many months until they arrive.”

Host: “So what is Wernher and the rocket designers up to by now?”

Gene: “Ah well, since we have been using a lot of standard launchers this year, especially the Ze Wunder, which Wernher designed in 1956, they have not been too busy with active projects. Instead they are working on lightweight single crew Moon Landers. So far, the design, along with lunar transfer stages and other things, required a 125t launcher. This was a problem, since our heaviest standard design is a 100t vehicle.”

Host: “Interesting, so what did you do?”

Gene: “The rocket designers where divided into several teams, and they where all given a complete set of all that we know about rocket designs. So Wernher had a team, Bill had a team, and there where several others. A range of prices where created, but not only for designed the 125t launcher, but also for any other valuable result. These being things like, better understanding of the rocket design equations, cheaper launchers, re-usability, efficiency, size etc.”

Host: “An unusual approach”

Gene: “An experiment, but since we had no pressing projects, it was worth a try.”

Host: “How did it go?”

Gene: “A lot better than expected. One team did go for just scaling the 100t launcher, and did manage to do so, with the use of more boosters and the like. Both Bill and Wernher decided on first improving the equations with Bob and the scientists. After that, Bill went for creating a lifter to beat the max the Kerbinians had done, and his team managed a 195t launcher. Wernher wanted to beat everybody, so he just took those equations for all they where worth. He ended up with a massive 400t launcher. We are still looking into that, to see if we can improve it, so it might improve a bit.”

Host: “Wow.”

Gene: “Absolutely. I must say I was surprised when it was their turn to present their designs and findings. I had not at all expected this, when the process started.”

Host: “Recent kerbinian propaganda claims they are going green by using water engines. Is that possible, and are you doing the same for the 400t launcher? ”

Gene: “Well, hydrolox engines, and yes, it is quite possible. We looked at it, back in 1956, and occasionally revisit the idea. We have not gone that way though, instead we use a huge amount of our proven existing engines, the RD-253”.

Host: “Do you have any plans involving this super heavy launcher?”

Gene: “No, not at all, it was a huge surprise. ”

Host: “This new super heavy launcher, does it have a name?”

Gene: “It does indeed, we call it the Blue Dragon

Last visit at The Design Hour:

Real super heavy launcher design:

Related Kerbinian propaganda:



  1. Phew, 400T? That’s around what I expect to do as an ultimate thing at some point in the future.

    How did you manage that in the VAB?

    Are we going to have to look at adding the “Hangar extended” mod at some point for these massive things? Otherwise I don’t think they’re viable :-/


    • I think we can actually go higher than that eventually, once we get better engines. Also I did not maximize this as much as can be done. So yeah, we can go higher, though I expect prices to climb rapid from this stage.

      I managed with skill and cunning… πŸ˜‰ No actually it should be incredibly obvious, once I launch one….at some point. Still not sure what to launch. Besides these things takes many months to build. 100+ days.

      If it just increases the size, then why not just use it? Its pretty annoying not to be able to reach the top of so many of my rockets πŸ™‚


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