Plesetsk Cosmodrome Site 43

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Site 43
Plesetsk-lc43-openstreetmap.svg
Launch site Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Location 62°55′12″N 40°28′1″E / 62.92000°N 40.46694°E / 62.92000; 40.46694Coordinates: 62°55′12″N 40°28′1″E / 62.92000°N 40.46694°E / 62.92000; 40.46694
Short name Pu-43
Operator Russian Space Forces
Total launches 497
Launch pad(s) Two
Site 43/3 launch history
Status Active
Launches 214
First launch 21 December 1965
Last launch 2 November 2010
Associated rockets R-7A Semyorka
Vostok-2M
Voskhod
Molniya-M
Soyuz-U
Soyuz-2
Site 43/4 launch history
Status Active
Launches 283
First launch 25 July 1967
Last launch 25 December 2014
Associated rockets R-7A Semyorka
Vostok-2M
Voskhod
Molniya-M
Soyuz-U
Soyuz-M
Soyuz-2
Soyuz-2-1v

Site 43, also known as SK-3 and SK-4, is a launch complex at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia. It consists of a two pads, Sites 43/3 and 43/4, and has been used by R-7 derived rockets since the early 1960s.

The site was originally built for use by R-7A Semyorka missiles. The first launch to use the complex was an R-7A test on 21 December 1965, from Site 43/3. The first launch from 43/4 followed on 25 July 1967.

After its retirement from service as a missile base, it was converted for use as a space launch complex. The first orbital launch was of a Voskhod rocket with Kosmos 313 on 3 December 1969.

Both pads were damaged by explosions in the 1980s. At 16:01 GMT on 18 March 1980, 48 were killed when a Vostok-2M exploded during fueling operations at Pad 4. The disaster killed 50 people and injured dozens more, while damaging the pad so severely that it was not used again until 1984. On 18 June 1987, a Soyuz-U rocket exploded at liftoff on Pad 3.[1] Both were rebuilt, and are in service as of 2009.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wade, Mark. "Plesetsk". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-03-18.