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FunctionCarrier rocket
Country of originUkraine
Height39.95 m (131.1 ft)
Diameter3.0 m (9.8 ft)
Mass198,250 kg (437,070 lb)
Associated rockets
FamilyR-36 / Tsyklon
Launch history
Launch sitesAlcântara ACS Pad
First stage – 11K69
Engines1 × RD-261 + RD-855 Vernier engine
Thrust2,970 kN (303 tf)
Specific impulse300.4 s (2.946 km/s)
Burn time119 seconds
Second stage – 11S692
Engines1 × RD-262 + RD-856 Vernier engine
Thrust995 kN (101.5 tf)
Specific impulse314 s (3.08 km/s)
Burn time162 seconds
Third stage
Engines1 × RD-861K
Thrust76 kN (7.8 tf)
Specific impulse325 s (3.19 km/s)
Burn time450 seconds

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


Tsyklon-4 was a three-stage-to-orbit expendable launch system, built on the successful Tsyklon-3 rocket and using improved versions of that rocket's first two stages. The new features were mostly in the newly developed third stage:

  • The third stage has three times the propellant capacity of Tsyklon-3
  • 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 metres (13 ft), with controlled temperature and cleanness conditions inside

Tsyklon-4 would have improved the fuelling system, allowing safe capture of toxic vapours from the vehicle's hypergolic propellant system.

The launch system would have been able to deliver up to 5,250 kg (11,570 lb) to a 185 km (115 mi) orbit, 4,900 kg (10,800 lb) to a 400 km (250 mi) orbit, or 500 kg (1,100 lb) to a geosynchronous orbit.[4]

Development history[edit]

Development began in 2002, with the maiden flight aimed for 2006. Following a series of production delays, this launch date slipped, and was estimated to occur some time after 2015.

Tsyklon-4 had been planned to launch from a proposed launch pad at the Alcântara Launch Center in Brazil, which would have given the rocket access to all orbital regimes. However, Brazil backed out of the partnership with Ukraine in 2015, citing concerns over the project budget, the ongoing financial situation in both countries, and the future of the commercial launch market.[5] Yuzhnoye began developing a two-stage derivative of Tsyklon-4, the Cyclone-4M, for Maritime Launch Services, a Canadian launch service provider. The new rocket is scheduled to be in service by 2020.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cyclone-4 Launch Vehicle". NPO InterCoS.
  2. ^ Control systems for intercontinental ballistic missiles and launch vehicles
  3. ^ Krivonosov, Khartron: Computers for rocket guidance systems
  4. ^ "Tsiklon-4". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  5. ^ de Selding, Peter B. (16 April 2015). "Brazil Pulling Out of Ukrainian Cyclone-4 Launcher Project". Space News. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  6. ^ Ruskin, Brett; Williams, Cassie (14 March 2017). "T-minus 1 year until rocket launch site construction starts in Nova Scotia". CBC News. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  7. ^ Boucher, Marc (14 March 2017). "Exclusive: Maritime Launch Services Selects Nova Scotia Site for Spaceport Over 13 Other Locations". SpaceQ. Retrieved 18 March 2017.

External links[edit]