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Function Carrier rocket
Manufacturer Yuzhmash, JSC "Khartron" (control system)
Country of origin  Ukraine
Stages 3
Associated rockets
Family R-36, Tsyklon
Comparable Zenit
Launch history
Status Development
Launch sites Alcântara
Baikonur Site 90
Plesetsk Site 32
First Stage - 11K69
Engines 1 RD-261 + RD-855 Vernier engine
Thrust 3,032 kilonewtons (682,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 301 sec
Burn time 120 seconds
Fuel N2O4/UDMH
Second Stage - 11S692
Engines 1 RD-262 + RD-856 Vernier engine
Thrust 941 kilonewtons (212,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 318 sec
Burn time 160 seconds
Fuel N2O4/UDMH
Third Stage
Engines RD-861К
Thrust 7,91 ts
Specific impulse 330 sec
Burn time 370 sec
Fuel N2O4/UDMH

The Tsyklon-4[1] or Cyclone-4, also known as Tsiklon-4, is a Ukrainian carrier rocket which is being developed for commercial satellite launches. Derived from the Tsyklon-3, it has a new third stage, a larger payload fairing, and a modernised flight control system compared to its predecessor.[2] Control system has been developed by JSC Khartron.[3][4]


Tsyklon-4 is a three-stage-to-orbit expendable launch system built on the successful Tsyklon-3 rocket and it uses its first two stages. The new features are mostly concentrated in the newly developed third stage:

  • The third stage has a three times larger propellant capacity;
  • The new rocket engine RD-861K with multiple ignition capability (3 to 5 times);
  • A modern western-like control system capable of precise orbit injections;
  • A new fairing derived from Ariane 4 is under development. It has a diameter of 4 meters, controlled temperature and cleanness conditions inside.

Tsyklon-4 will also improve the fueling system, allowing safe capture of toxic vapors from the Tsyklon's hypergolic propellant.

The new system will be able to deliver 5,300 kg into low Earth orbit, or up to 1,800 kg into a geostationary transfer orbit.

Launch facilities[edit]

Tsyklon-4 will be launched primarily from the Alcântara Launch Center in Brazil.[5] Launches from other sites, including the Baikonur and Plesetsk Cosmodromes, are also reported to be planned.[6]

Development history[edit]

Development began in 2002, with the maiden flight aimed for 2006. Following a series of production delays, this has slipped, and is now scheduled for 2014. Alcântara Cyclone Space has been established as a launch service provider for the Tsyklon-4.[7]

The planned payload capacity of the Tsyklon-4 is 5,500 kilograms (12,100 lb) to a 500 kilometre circular low Earth orbit, or 1,700 kilograms (3,700 lb) to geosynchronous transfer orbit.[8]

In 2008, it was reported that Brazil may pull out of the programme in favour of an alternative partnership between it and Russia to develop an Angara-derived rocket.[9] However late 2009 Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed a joint declaration which included a commitment to launch the first Tsyklon-4 by the end of 2010 from Alcântara.[10] This did not occur, and it is now to launch no earlier than 2014. [11]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]