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(R-14 11K65M)

Drawing of the Kosmos-3M
Function Orbital carrier rocket
Manufacturer Yuzhnoye/NPO Polyot
Country of origin Soviet Union (Russia)
Height 32.4 metres (106 ft)
Diameter 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in)
Mass 109,000 kilograms (240,000 lb)
Stages 2
Payload to
1,500 kilograms (3,300 lb)
Payload to
775 kilograms (1,709 lb)
Launch history
Status Retired
Launch sites Plesetsk Site 132 & 133/3
Kapustin Yar Site 107
Total launches 444
Successes 424
Failures 20
First flight 15 May 1967
Last flight 27 April 2010
First Stage - R-14U
Engines 1 RD-216
Thrust 1,486 kilonewtons (334,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 291 sec
Burn time 170 seconds
Second Stage
Engines 1 RD-219
Thrust 883 kilonewtons (199,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 293 sec
Burn time 1620 seconds

The Kosmos-3M (Russian: Космос-3М meaning "Cosmos", GRAU index 11K65M) is a Russian space launch vehicle. It is a liquid-fueled two-stage rocket, first launched in 1967 and with over 420 successful launches to its name. The Kosmos-3M uses AK27P (red fuming nitric acid) or dinitrogen tetroxide as an oxidizer to lift roughly 1,400 kg (3,100 lb) of payload into orbit. It differed from the earlier Kosmos-3 in its finer control of the second-stage burn, allowing operators to tune the thrust and even channel it through nozzles that helped orient the rocket for the launching of multiple satellites at one time. PO Polyot has manufactured these launch vehicles in the Russian town of Omsk for decades. It was originally scheduled to be retired from service in 2011,[1] however in April 2010 the Commander of the Russian Space Forces confirmed that it would be retired by the end of 2010.[2] One further launch, with Kanopus-ST, was planned - however this was cancelled in late 2012 as the rocket had exceeded its design life while in storage ahead of the launch.


First launched in 1967, with over 420 successful launches to date (2009).

Date Site Payload(s) References
19 April 1975 Kapustin Yar Aryabhata
28 June 2000 Plesetsk Nadezhda, Tsinghua-1, SNAP-1 [3][4]
28 Nov 2002 Plesetsk ALSAT-1, Mozhayets [5][6]
27 Sept 2003 Plesetsk NigeriaSAT-1, BILSAT-1, UK-DMC (BNSCSat), Mozhayets-4, KAISTSat-4, Larets, Rubin-4 [7][6]
2 July 2007 Plesetsk SAR-Lupe-2
11 September 2007 Plesetsk Kosmos-2429
27 March 2008 Plesetsk SAR-Lupe 4
19 June 2008 Kapustin Yar Orbcomm [8]
22 July 2008 Plesetsk SAR-Lupe 5
21 July 2009 Plesetsk Site 132/1 Kosmos 2454 (Parus)


On 26 June 1973, the explosion of a Kosmos-3M at Plesetsk Cosmodrome killed 9 people.[9] In 1976, the explosion of a Kosmos 3M on its launchpad killed nine engineers. More recently, on 21 November 2000, a Kosmos 3M launcher failed to place the QuickBird 1 satellite into orbit due to a failure of its second stage. The rocket and satellite reentered the atmosphere over Uruguay, and an inquest into the accident was inconclusive.

See also


External links

  • Cosmos – 1, 3, 3M and 3MU
  • Encyclopedia Astronautica entry

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