|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 (470,000 lb)|
|Stages||3 (4 or 5 with SpaceTug upper stages)|
|4,500 kilograms (9,900 lb)|
|3,200 kilograms (7,100 lb)|
|550 kilograms (1,200 lb) (with ST-1)|
|Launch sites||Site 109/95, Baikonur
|First flight||21 April 1999|
|Thrust||4,520 kilonewtons (1,020,000 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||318 s|
|Burn time||130 seconds|
|Thrust||755 kilonewtons (170,000 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||340 sec|
|Burn time||190 seconds|
|Thrust||18.6 kilonewtons (4,200 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||317 sec|
|Burn time||1,000 seconds|
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.
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 The launch vehicles used for satellite launches are withdrawn from service with the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces and stored for commercial use.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.
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.
The Dnepr currently holds the record for the most satellites orbited in a single launch; a launch on 21 November 2013 placed 32 satellites and an experiment package bolted to the upper stage into low Earth orbit. The April 2007 launch with 14 payloads had previously held the same record until 20 November 2013, when an American Minotaur I placed 29 satellites and two experiment packages into orbit.
|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-synchronous orbit at 98˚ inclination||Baikonur|
|5||August 24, 2005||OICETS & INDEX (Japan)||600 km × 50 km Sun-synchronous orbit at 98˚ inclination||Baikonur|
|6||July 12, 2006||Genesis I (USA)||560 km circular LEO at 65˚ inclination||Yasny|
|7||July 26, 2006||BelKA (Belarus)/ UniSat-4 & PiCPoT (Italy)/ Baumanets ( Russia)/ AeroCube-1, CP1, CP2, ICEcube-1, ICEcube-2, ION, KUTESat, Merope, Rincon 1, Mea Huaka`i (Voyager) & 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||Baikonur|
|9||15 June 2007||TerraSAR-X||514 km circular LEO at 97˚ inclination||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||||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||22 August 2013||KOMPSat-5||LEO||Yasny|
|19||November 21, 2013||STSAT-3, DubaiSat-2, SkySat 1, etc.||LEO||Yasny|
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. 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.
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