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Dnepr rocket

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Title: Dnepr rocket  
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Subject: Launch pad, CubeSat, Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, JAXA, Hoytether, AO-51, Yuzhmash, CryoSat, KiwiSAT, Mikhail Yangel
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Dnepr rocket

Dnepr (Dnipro/Konversiya)

Function Orbital carrier rocket
Manufacturer Yuzhny Machine-Building Plant
Country of origin Soviet Union (Ukraine)
Height 34.3 metres (113 ft)
Diameter 3 metres (9.8 ft)
Mass 211,000 kilograms (465,000 lb)
Stages 3 (4 or 5 with SpaceTug upper stages)
Payload to
4,500 kilograms (9,900 lb)
Payload to
the ISS
3,200 kilograms (7,100 lb)
Payload to
550 kilograms (1,210 lb) (with ST-1)
Launch history
Status Active
Launch sites Site 109/95, Baikonur
LC-13, Yasny
Total launches 18
Successes 17
Failures 1
First flight 21 April 1999
Engines 1 RD-264
Thrust 4,520 kilonewtons (1,020,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 318 s
Burn time 130 seconds
Fuel N2O4/UDMH
Engines 1 RD-0255
Thrust 755 kilonewtons (170,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 340 sec
Burn time 190 seconds
Fuel N2O4/UDMH
Engines 1 RD-869
Thrust 18.6 kilonewtons (4,200 lbf)
Specific impulse 317 sec
Burn time 1,000 seconds
Fuel N2O4/UDMH
SpaceTug 1
Engines 1 Solid
Fuel Solid
SpaceTug 3
Engines 1 Liquid
Fuel N2O4/UDMH

The Dnepr rocket (Ukrainian: Дніпро, Dnipró; Russian: Днепр, Dnepr) is a space launch vehicle named after the Dnieper River. It is a converted ICBM used for launching artificial satellites into orbit, operated by launch service provider ISC Kosmotras. The first launch, on April 21, 1999, successfully placed UoSAT-12, a 350 kg demonstration mini-satellite, into a 650 km circular Low Earth orbit.[1][2]

Converted missile

The Dnepr is based on the R-36MUTTH ICBM – called the SS-18 Satan by NATO – designed by the Yuzhnoe Design Bureau in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. Its control system was developed and produced by the JSC "Khartron", Kharkiv. The Dnepr is a three-stage rocket using storable hypergolic liquid propellants. The launch vehicles used for satellite launches are withdrawn from service with the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces and stored for commercial use. A group of 150 ICBMs can be converted for use and are available until 2020. The Dnepr can be launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan and a newly created Cosmodrome at the Dombarovsky launch base, near Yasny, in the Orenburg region of Russia.


The Dnepr launch vehicle has only a small number of modifications compared to the R-36M ICBM in service. The main difference is the payload adapter located in the space head module and modified flight-control unit. This baseline version can lift 3,600 kg into a 300 km low earth orbit at an inclination of 50.6°, or 2,300 kg to a 300 km sun-synchronous orbit at an inclination of 98.0°. On a typical mission the Dnepr deploys a larger main payload and a secondary payload of Miniaturized satellites and CubeSats. A number of Space Tugs are under development which will be placed inside the space head module, thereby sacrificing volume and payload but enabling orbits requiring more energy, including planetary escape orbits.

Launch history

Before the Dnepr entered commercial service it was in service with the Strategic Rocket Forces which launched the ICBM version over 160 times with a reliability of 97%. The rocket has been used several times for commercial purposes with a single failure.

Flight Date Payload Orbit Site
1 April 21, 1999 UoSAT-12 650 km circular LEO at 65˚ inclination Baikonur
2 September 26, 2000 MegSat-1 (Italy)/UniSat (Italy)/TiungSat-1 (Malaysia)/ SaudiSat-1A & SaudiSat 1B (Saudi Arabia) 650 km circular LEO at 65˚ inclination Baikonur
3 December 20, 2002 LatinSat 1 & LatinSat 2 (Argentina)/SaudiSat-1S (Saudi Arabia)/UniSat 2 (Italy)/Rubin 2 (Germany)/TrailBlazer Test (USA) 650 km circular LEO at 65˚ inclination Baikonur
4 June 29, 2004 Demeter (France)/ Saudicomsat-1, Saudicomsat 2 & Saudisat 2 (Saudi Arabia)/ LatinSat C & LatinSat D (Argentina)/ Unisat-3 (Italy)/ Amsat Echo (USA) 700 km × 850 km Sun-synchronic orbit at 98˚ inclination Baikonur
5 August 24, 2005 OICETS & INDEX (Japan) 600 km × 50 km Sun-synchronic orbit at 98˚ inclination Baikonur
6 July 12, 2006 Genesis I (USA) 560 km circular LEO at 65˚ inclination Yasny
7 July 26, 2006 SACRED (USA)/HAUSAT-1 (South Korea)/Ncube-1 (Norway)/SEEDS (Japan) failed to reach orbit Baikonur
8 17 April 2007 EgyptSat 1/SaudiSat 3/SaudiComSat 3-7 /AKS 1/AKS 2/Cal Poly Picosatellite Project 3 &4/CAPE 1/Libertad 1(Colombia)/AeroCube 2/CubeSat TestBed 1/MAST 692 km × 665 km Sun synchronous orbit at 98˚ inclination[3] Baikonur
9 15 June 2007 TerraSAR-X 514 km circular LEO at 97˚ inclination[4] Baikonur
10 28 June 2007 Genesis II 560 km circular LEO at 65˚ inclination Yasny
11 29 August 2008 RapidEye 1/2/3/4/5 [5] Baikonur
12 1 October 2008 THEOS SSO Yasny
13 July 29, 2009 DubaiSat-1/Deimos-1/UK-DMC 2/Nanosat 1B/AprizeSat-3/AprizeSat-4 SSO Baikonur
14 8 April 2010 Cryosat-2 Polar Baikonur
15 15 June 2010 Prisma, Picard, BPA-1 SSO Yasny
16 21 June 2010 TanDEM-X LEO Baikonur
17 17 August 2011 Sich-2, NigeriaSat-2, NX, Rasat, EduSat, AprizeSat-5, AprizeSat-6, BPA-2 LEO Yasny
18[6] 22 August 2013 KOMPSat-5 LEO Yasny
Planned launches
November 2013 STSAT-3 etc. LEO Yasny

Launch failure

The committee investigating the failed launch on July 26, 2006 concluded that the failure was caused by a malfunctioning of the pumping hydraulic drive of combustion chamber #4. The control malfunctioning brought about the disturbances, which led to the roll instability, excessive dispersions of the yaw and pitch angles. Thrust termination occurred at 74 seconds after lift off. The crash site was located 150 km from the launch pad in an unpopulated area of Kazakhstan. Toxic propellants did pollute the crash site, forcing Russia to pay US$1.1m in compensation.[7] The rocket used for this launch was more than twenty years old. Procedures for launch have been changed to prevent future malfunctions of this kind.

See also

  • Comparison of orbital launchers families


External links

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