Zenit-2 at Site 45/1
|Country of origin||Soviet Union
|Height||57 metres (187 ft)|
|Diameter||3.9 metres (13 ft)|
|Mass||444,900 kilograms (980,800 lb)|
|13,740 kilograms (30,290 lb)|
|5,000 kilograms (11,000 lb)|
|Launch sites||Baikonur Site 45|
|First flight||13 April 1985|
|Thrust||8,180 kilonewtons (1,840,000 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||337 sec|
|Burn time||150 seconds|
|Thrust||912 kilonewtons (205,000 lbf)
79.5 kilonewtons (17,900 lbf)
|Specific impulse||349 sec|
|Burn time||315 seconds|
The Zenit-2 is a Ukrainian, previously Soviet, expendable carrier rocket. First flown in 1985, it has been launched 37 times, with six failures. It is a member of the Zenit family of rockets, and was designed by the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau.
With 13-15 ton payload in LEO it was intended as up-middle class launcher greater than 7-ton payload middle Soyuz and smaller than 20-ton payload heavy Proton. Zenit-2 would be certified for manned launches and placed in specially built launch pad at Baykonur spaceport, carrying the new manned partially reusable Zarya spacecraft that developed in end of the 1980s but was canceled. Also in the 1980s Vladimir Chelomey's firm proposed never realised 15-ton Uragan spaceplane launched by Zenit-2.
A modified version, the Zenit-2S, is used as the first two stages of the Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket. Launches of Zenit-2 rockets are conducted from Baikonur Cosmodrome Site 45/1. A second pad, 45/2, was also constructed, but was only used for two launches before being destroyed in an explosion. A third pad, Site 35 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome was never completed, and work was abandoned after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
The Zenit-2 is currently being replaced by the Zenit-2M, which incorporates enhancements made during the development of the Zenit-3SL, and it is unclear whether any remain to be launched. The Zenit-2 has a fairly low flight rate as the Russian government usually avoids flying national security payloads on Ukrainian rockets.
During the late 1990s, the Zenit-2 was marketed for commercial launches. Only one such launch was conducted, with a group of Globalstar satellites, which ended in failure after a computer error resulted in the premature cutoff of the second stage.
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