|Function||Orbital carrier rocket|
|Manufacturer||Eurockot Launch Services|
|Country of origin||Soviet Union|
|Height||29 metres (95 ft)|
|Diameter||2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in)|
|Mass||107,000 kilograms (236,000 lb)|
|1,950 kilograms (4,300 lb)|
|1,200 kilograms (2,600 lb)|
|Launch sites||Baikonur 175/1 (inactive)
|First flight||20 November 1990
26 December 1994 (orbital)
|Burn time||120 seconds|
|Burn time||180 seconds|
|Third Stage - Briz-KM|
|Thrust||19.6 kilonewtons (4,400 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||325 sec|
|Burn time||1,000 seconds|
The Rokot (Russian: Рокот meaning Rumble), also transliterated Rockot, is a Russian space launch vehicle that can launch a payload of 1,950 kilograms into a 200 kilometre high Earth orbit with 63° inclination. It is a derivative of the UR-100N (SS-19 Stiletto) intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), supplied and operated by Eurockot Launch Services. The first launches started in the 1990s from Baikonur Cosmodrome out of a silo. Later commercial launches commenced from Plesetsk Cosmodrome using a launch ramp specially rebuilt from one for the Kosmos-3M rocket. The cost of the launcher itself was about 15 million in 1999; Eurockot last contract with ESA for launching Swarm in September 2013 is worth of €27.1 million ($36 million).
Rokot's total mass is 107 tonnes, its length 29 metres and its maximum diameter 2.5 metres. The liquid-fueled rocket comprises three stages. The lower two are based on the Soviet UR-100N ICBM; the first stage uses an RD-244 engine, while the second stage uses an RD-235. The third stage is a Briz-KM (Russian: Бриз-КМ meaning Breeze-KM), which has a mass of about 6 tonnes when fuelled, and is capable of flying for 7 hours and reigniting its engine six times during flight, allowing different satellites to be placed into different orbits. All stages use UDMH (unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine) as fuel and dinitrogen tetroxide as oxidiser. The Strela is a similar rocket, also based on the SS-19.
The first suborbital test launch succeeded on 20 November 1990 in Baikonur Cosmodrome. On 26 December 1994 Rokot brought its first satellite into Earth orbit. In 1995, Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center formed a company with German DaimlerBenz Aerospace to market Rokot launches for commercial use. Later, the company was renamed to Eurockot Launch Services. Eurockot bought 45 Rokots from the Russian strategic missile forces to build its inventory. In 2000, Eurokot was partly bought by the German company Astrium GmbH, a shareholder of Arianespace. Astrium now holds 51% of Eurockot's shares, while Khrunichev holds 49%.
Although there are several silos in Baikonour capable of launching Rokots, it was decided to build an open, non-siloed launch pad at Plesetsk Cosmodrome instead. This is because of concerns that the amount of noise generated during a silo-based launch would damage satellites. In the new pad, Rokot is wheeled up to the structure in a vertical position, and then embraced by its launch tower. The payload is lifted by a crane and placed on top of the bottom two stages. The procedure is in contrast to other Russian launchers, which had traditionally been assembled horizontally and then transferred to the launch site via railways. The first launch from Plesetsk took place on 16 May 2000.
After 6 entirely successful launches, a launch failure occurred on 8 October 2005, leading to the loss of the European Space Agency's Cryosat spacecraft. The launch vehicle 2nd stage main engine was not shut down properly, resulting in a catastrophic failure and automatic termination of the launch mission by the on-board computer. The payload was lost. After the failed CryoSat launch, all Rokot launches were suspended until the failure was identified. The root cause was unambiguously identified; it was a failure in programming of the Briz-KM (which was contracted to the company JSC "Khartron"). The failure of this high-profile mission led to major reforms in Khrunichev: the director of the company Alexander Medvedev was dismissed, new launch procedures were introduced, the lines of management were straightened out to catch errors and the new Khrunichev chief, Viktor Nesterov, was required to report directly to the head of the Russian Space Agency, Anatoli Perminov. Corrective measures for Rokot's return-to-flight were implemented for the South Korean Kompsat-2 earth observation satellite launch which took place successfully on 28 July 2006. The Korean side reportedly praised the level of service they received, encouraging the Rokot team to rebuild its order book.
|Date (UTC)||Type||Launch site||Payload||Payload type||Notes|
|20 November 1990||Rokot/Briz-K||Ba LC131||–||experimental payload||Suborbital, success|
|20 December 1991||Rokot/Briz-K||Ba LC175/1||–||experimental payload||Suborbital, success|
|26 December 1994||Rokot/Briz-K||Ba LC175/1||Radio-ROSTO||Amateur radio satellite||success, first orbital mission|
|22 December 1999||Rokot/Briz-K||Pl LC133||RSVN-40||experimental payload||no launch, rocket irreparably damaged during preparation|
|16 May 2000||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133||SimSat-1 and 2||Iridium-mock-ups||success|
|17 March 2002||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133||GRACE-1 and 2||research satellite||success|
|20 June 2002||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133||Iridium-97 and 98||communication satellites||success|
|30 June 2003||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133||MIMOSA, DTUsat, MOST, Cute-I, QuakeSat, AAU CubeSat, CanX-1, Cubesat XI-IV, Monitor-E mockup||NLS satellites and Monitor-E-Mockup||success|
|30 October 2003||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133||SERVIS-1||Japanese test satellite||success|
|26 August 2005||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133||Monitor-E1||earth observation satellite||success|
|8 October 2005||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133||CryoSat||earth observation satellite||failure, launch terminated after 2nd stage main engine was not shut down correctly, resulting in an explosion, causing the vehicle to exceed its flight envelope limit and thereby causing the automatic termination of the launch and the re-entry of the combined Rokot 2nd stage/3rd stage/CryoSat spacecraft stack|
|28 July 2006||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133/3||KOMPSAT 2||earth observation satellite||success|
|23 May 2008||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133/3||3 Gonets, and Yubileiny||success|
|17 March 2009 ||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133/3||GOCE||ESA earth observation satellite||success|
|6 July 2009||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133/3||3 Rodnik (TBC)||success|
|2 November 2009||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133/3||SMOS, PROBA-2||SMOS: ESA earth-observation satellite; PROBA-2: sun-observation satellite testing a new spacecraft platform||success|
|2 June 2010||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133/3||SERVIS-2||Japanese test satellite||success|
|8 September 2010||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133/3||Gonets-M No.2
|1 February 2011||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133/3||Geo-IK-2 No.11||Geodesy satellite||failure, upper stage malfunction, reached lower orbit than planned.|
|28 July 2012||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133/3||Gonets M-3
|15 January 2013||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133/3||Kosmos 2482
|11 September 2013||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133/3||Gonets M-5
|22 November 2013||Rokot/Briz-KM||Pl LC133/3||Swarm A/B/C||Magnetosphere research satellites||success|
- Harvey, Brian (2007). "Launchers and engines". The Rebirth of the Russian Space Program (1st ed.). Germany: Springer. ISBN 978-0-387-71354-0.
- "Rokot". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- Stephen Clark (12 September 2013). "Rockot launch clears way for long-delayed ESA mission". SpaceFlightNow.com. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- "Военный спутник, запущенный на "Рокоте", скорее всего, утрачен" (in Russian). RIA Novosti. 1 February 2011. Archived from the original on 1 February 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- "Russia launches relay craft, commemorative satellite". Spaceflight Now.
- Eurockot Launch Service Provider
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rockot.|
- www.eurockot.com Website of Eurockot Launch Service Provider
- www.russianspaceweb.com/rockot.html Rockot history
- Space.com article on CryoSat launch failure