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Rockot (Rokot)
Rokot launch vehicle
FunctionOrbital launch vehicle
ManufacturerKhrunichev State Research and Production Space Center
Country of originSoviet Union
Cost per launchUS$41.8 million [1]
Height29 m (95 ft)
Diameter2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)
Mass107,000 kg (236,000 lb)
Payload to Low Earth orbit
Mass1,950 kg (4,300 lb)
Payload to Sun-synchronous orbit
Mass1,200 kg (2,600 lb)
Launch history
Launch sitesBaikonur 175/1
Plesetsk 133/3
Total launches34
Partial failure(s)1
First flight20 November 1990
26 December 1994 (orbital)
Last flight26 December 2019
First stage
Diameter2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)
Powered by3 RD-0233 (15D95)
1 RD-0234 (15D96) [1][2]
Maximum thrust2,080 kN (470,000 lbf) [3]
Specific impulse310 seconds
Burn time120 seconds
PropellantN2O4 / UDMH
Second stage
Diameter2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)
Powered by1 RD-0235 (15D113)
1 RD-0236 (15D114) [1][2]
Maximum thrust255.76 kN (57,500 lbf) [4][5]
Specific impulse310 seconds
Burn time180 seconds
PropellantN2O4 / UDMH
Third stage – Briz-KM
Powered by1 S5.98M
Maximum thrust19.6 kN (4,400 lbf)
Specific impulse326 seconds
Burn time3000 seconds
PropellantN2O4 / UDMH

Rokot (Russian: Рокот meaning Rumble or Boom), also transliterated Rockot, was a Soviet Union (later Russian) space launch vehicle that was capable of launching a payload of 1,950 kilograms (4,300 lb) into a 200-kilometre (120 mi) Earth orbit with 63° inclination. It was based on the UR-100N (SS-19 Stiletto) intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), supplied and operated by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center. 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 launch vehicle. The cost of the launcher itself was about US$15 million in 1999;[6][7] The contract with European Space Agency (ESA) for launching Swarm in September 2013 was worth €27.1 million (US$36 million).[8]



Rokot's total mass was 107 tonnes, its length 29 metres and its maximum diameter 2.5 metres. The liquid-fueled launch vehicle comprised three stages. The lower two were based on the Soviet UR-100N ICBM; the first stage used an RD-0233 / RD-0234 engine complex, while the second stage used an RD-0235. The third stage was 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 used Unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) (unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine) as fuel and dinitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) as oxidiser. The Strela is a similar rocket, also based on the SS-19.[6]


Preparing the Rokot launch vehicle for launch. Plesetsk cosmodrome

The first suborbital test launch succeeded on 20 November 1990 from 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 then held 51% of Eurockot's shares, while Khrunichev held 49%.[6]

Although there are several silos in Baikonur 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 was wheeled up to the structure in a vertical position, and then embraced by its launch tower. The payload was lifted by a crane and placed on top of the bottom two stages. The procedure was 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.[6]

After six 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's second stage main engine did not shut down properly, leading to a catastrophic failure and the automatic termination of the launch mission by the onboard computer. As a result, the payload was lost. Following the failed CryoSat launch, all Rokot launches were suspended until the cause of 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.[6] 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.[6]

Another launch failure occurred in February 2011, when a Briz-KM malfunction[9] resulted in the Geo-IK-2 No.11 (Kosmos-2470) satellite being placed into a lower orbit than planned.

The Rokot version with a Ukrainian control system stopped flying after 2019, due to Ukraine's ban on technology exports to Russia.[10] Rokot had its final flight on 26 December 2019.[11] A fully Russian-made Rokot light carrier rocket, named Rokot-M, may begin operations as soon as 2024.[12] The Rokot-M launch vehicle is intended for the Russian defense department.[13]

Launch history



Flight No. Date / time (UTC) Rocket,
Launch site Payload Payload mass Orbit Customer Launch
1 20 November 1990
Rokot/Briz-K Baikonur, Site 131/29 Experimental Payload Success
Suborbital test flight
2 20 December 1991
Rokot/Briz-K Baikonur, Site 175/58 Experimental Payload Success
Suborbital test flight
3 26 December 1994
Rokot/Briz-K Baikonur, Site 175/58 Radio-ROSTO Success
First orbital mission. Amateur radio satellite
N/A 22 December 1999 Rokot/Briz-K Plesetsk, Site 133/3 RSVN-40 Precluded
(failure pre-flight)
No launch, launch vehicle irreparably damaged during preparation. Experimental payload.
4 16 May 2000
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk, Site 133/3 SimSat-1 and 2 Success
5 17 March 2002
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk, Site 133/3 GRACE-1 and 2 Success
NASA research satellite
6 20 June 2002
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk, Site 133/3 Iridium-97 and 98 Success
Communication satellites
7 30 June 2003
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk, Site 133/3 MIMOSA
AAU CubeSat
CubeSat Xi-IV
Monitor-E mockup
NLS satellites and Monitor-E-Mockup
8 30 October 2003
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 SERVIS-1 Success
Japanese test satellite
9 26 August 2005
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Monitor-E1 Success
Earth observation satellite
10 8 October 2005
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 CryoSat Failure
Earth observation satellite. 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
11 28 July 2006
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 KOMPSAT-2 Success
Earth observation satellite
12 23 May 2008
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Kosmos 2437
Kosmos 2438
Kosmos 2439
(3X Strela-3)
Communications and amateur radio satellites
13 17 March 2009
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 GOCE[15] Success
ESA Earth observation satellite
14 6 July 2009
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Kosmos 2451
Kosmos 2452
Kosmos 2453
(3X Strela-3)
Communications satellites
15 2 November 2009
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 SMOS
SMOS: ESA Earth-observation satellite; PROBA-2: Sun-observation satellite testing a new spacecraft platform
16 2 June 2010
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 SERVIS-2 Success
Japanese test satellite
17 8 September 2010
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Gonets-M-2
Kosmos 2467
Kosmos 2468
(2X Strela-3)
Communications satellites
18 1 February 2011
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Geo-IK-2 No.11 Failure
Geodesy satellite. Upper stage malfunction,[9] reached lower orbit than planned.
19 28 July 2012
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Gonets-M-3
Kosmos 2481 (Strela-3)
Communications and amateur radio satellites
20 15 January 2013
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Kosmos 2482
Kosmos 2483
Kosmos 2484
(3X Strela-3M)
Partial failure[18]
Communications satellites. Briz-KM failed around the time of spacecraft separation, resulting in the loss of one satellite
21 11 September 2013
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Gonets-M-5
Communications satellites
22 22 November 2013
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Swarm A/B/C Success[20]
Magnetosphere research satellites; Briz-km failed deorbit burn
23 25 December 2013
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Kosmos 2488
Kosmos 2489
Kosmos 2490
(3X Strela-3M)

Kosmos 2491

Communications satellites
24 23 May 2014
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Kosmos 2496
Kosmos 2497
Kosmos 2498
(3X Strela-3M)
Kosmos 2499
Communications satellites
25 3 July 2014
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Gonets-M-8
Communications satellites
26 31 March 2015
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Gonets-M-11
Kosmos 2504
Communications satellites
27 23 September 2015
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Kosmos 2507
Kosmos 2508
Kosmos 2509
(3X Strela-3M)
Communications satellites
28 16 February 2016
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Sentinel-3A Success[25]
ESA earth observation satellite
29 4 June 2016
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Kosmos 2517 (Geo-IK-2 No.12) Success[26]
Geodesy satellite
30 13 October 2017
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Sentinel-5 Precursor Success[27]
Earth observation satellite
31 25 April 2018
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Sentinel-3B Success[27]
Earth observation satellite
32 30 November 2018
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Kosmos 2530
Kosmos 2531
Kosmos 2532
(3X Strela-3M)
Communications satellites. After launch, NORAD tracked another object (besides the Briz-KM upper stage) which could possibly be a fourth satellite.[29]
33 30 August 2019
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Kosmos 2540 (Geo-IK-2 No.13) Success[30]
Geodesy satellite
34 26 December 2019
Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 Gonets-M-14
Final flight of Rokot; Communications and geodesy satellites;


Flight No. Date / time (UTC) Rocket,
Launch site Payload Payload mass Orbit Customer Launch
1 NET December 2024 [32] Rokot-M/Briz-KM2 Plesetsk Site 133/3 No Payload (Test Flight) TBD
First test flight of Rokot-M/Briz-KM2

See also



  1. ^ a b "RD-0233, RD-0234, RD-0235, RD-0236, RD-0237. Intercontinental ballistic missiles RS-18". KBKhA. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Rockot Launch Vehicle". Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  3. ^ "RD-0234". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 24 August 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  4. ^ "RD-0235". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 24 August 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  5. ^ "RD-0236". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 5 May 2002. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Harvey, Brian (2007). "Launchers and engines". The Rebirth of the Russian Space Program (1st ed.). Germany: Springer. ISBN 978-0-387-71354-0.
  7. ^ "Rokot". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 22 May 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  8. ^ Stephen Clark (12 September 2013). "Rockot launch clears way for long-delayed ESA mission". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  9. ^ a b Военный спутник, запущенный на "Рокоте", скорее всего, утрачен (in Russian). RIA Novosti. 1 February 2011. Archived from the original on 4 February 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  10. ^ "Последний запуск ракет "Рокот" с украинской системой управления состоится до 2020 года" [Last Rokot launcher with Ukrainian control system will fly before 2020] (in Russian). Interfax. 23 August 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  11. ^ William Graham (26 December 2019). "Rokot conducts final launch – carries three Gonets-M satellites to orbit". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Russia's Rokot-M carrier rocket to be launched in 2024 — Khrunichev Center". TASS. 3 May 2022. Retrieved 4 May 2022.
  13. ^ "Запуск ракеты "Рокот" без украинских деталей запланировали на 2022 год" [First launch of Rokot without Ukrainian parts is planned for 2022] (in Russian). RIA Novosti. 15 June 2020. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  14. ^ "Russia launches relay craft, commemorative satellite". Spaceflight Now.
  15. ^ "ESA launches Earth Explorer mission GOCE". ESA. 17 March 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  16. ^ Eurockot Launch Service Provider Archived 2009-01-26 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Pavel, Podvig (28 July 2012). "Successful launch of Strela-3 and Gonets-M communication satellites". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  18. ^ Marcia Smith (6 August 2013). "Russia's Rokot Launch Vehicle Also Readying for Return to Flight". spacepolicyonline.com. Retrieved 15 March 2023.
  19. ^ Bergin, Chris (12 September 2013). "Russian Rokot launch vehicle lofts three Gonets-M satellites". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  20. ^ Amos, Jonathan (22 November 2013). "Esa's satellite Swarm launch to map Earth's magnetism". BBC News.
  21. ^ a b c McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  22. ^ Bergin, Chris (25 December 2013). "Russian Rokot lofts three Rodnik satellites". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  23. ^ Bergin, Chris (31 March 2015). "Russian Rokot lofts another Gonets-M trio". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  24. ^ "Russia's Rokot launches with three Rodnik satellites". 23 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  25. ^ "Third Sentinel satellite launched for Copernicus". ESA. 16 February 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  26. ^ Graham, William; Bergin, Chris (4 June 2016). "Russian Rokot launches Geo-IK-2 – annoys environmentalists". NASASpaceflight.com.
  27. ^ a b Sentinel-5p launches on Russia's Rokot launch system
  28. ^ ["Rockot launches Russian military satellites – Spaceflight Now". spaceflightnow.com. Retrieved 2 December 2018.]
  29. ^ "Russian military launches a fresh satellite cluster". www.russianspaceweb.com. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  30. ^ "Russia's Rokot vehicle successfully launches Geo-IK-2 satellite". NASASpaceFlight.com. 30 August 2019. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  31. ^ Graham, William (26 December 2019). "Rokot conducts final launch – carries three Gonets-M satellites to orbit". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  32. ^ Moskvich, Yekaterina (4 May 2022). "Russia's Rokot-M carrier rocket to be launched in 2024 — Khrunichev Center". TASS. Retrieved 30 March 2024.