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Rockot Launch Vehicle : History and Production

Missions | History / Production | Technical Description | Rockot and the GRACE program | Rockot Images |

image of rocket blasting off The first two stages of Rockot are the RS-18 ICBM (developed from the Chelomei bureau's original UR-100 missile). Rokot carries a new Briz ("Breeze") third stage, which entered orbit with the RS-15 amateur radio satellite. The 1-m diameter, 70 kg payload uses a similar bus to the RS-3 to RS-8 satellites, and ended up in a 1884 x 2165 km x 64.8 deg orbit. Two suborbital tests of Rokot were carried out on 1990 Nov 20 and 1991 Dec 20. Rockot missile

The primary activity of Chelomei's OKB-52 (now NPO Saliout) was navy missiles production. In 1959 the firm started producing more important missiles such as the solid propulsion UR-96 ABM and the UR-100 (SS-11 Sego) ICBM with stockable liquid propellant. 1030 copies of this light ICBM (50 tons) of 3rd generation were deployed between 1960 and 1980. After designing the RU-200 ICBM and the UR-500 Proton space launcher, Chelomei's OKB developed a new ICBM know as UR-100N or RS-18 (or SS-19 Stilleto) between 1964 and 1975. 360 copies of this 4th generation ICBM were manufactured between 1970 and 1990.

Few characteristics on this missile are known except that it has two stages with storable liquid propellants. It uses four steerable engines (RD-0233/0234) in stage 1 and a single-chamber main engine with a four-chamber steering engine (RD-0235/0236) in stage 2. All these engines are from Kosberg (KB Khimautomatiki). The UR-100N is about 27 meters long and 2.5 meters in diameter, with a gross takeoff mass of 90 tons.

Although production on the SS-19 has stopped, the missile is still actively deployed in Russia and the Ukraine and thus technical information on the Rockot launcher is hard to come by.

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The GRACE mission is jointly implemented by NASA and DLR under
the NASA Earth System Science Pathfinder Program.

Last Modified: Tue Feb 17, 2004