The Kosmos-3M (Russian: Космос-3М meaning "Cosmos", GRAU index 11K65M) was a Russian space launch vehicle, member of the Kosmos rocket family. It was a liquid-fueled two-stage launch vehicle, first launched in 1967 and with over 420 successful launches to its name. The Kosmos-3M used UDMH fuel and AK27I oxidizer (red fuming nitric acid) to lift roughly 1,400 kg (3,100 lb) of payload into orbit. It differed from the earlier Kosmos-3 in its finer control of the second-stage burn, allowing operators to tune the thrust and even channel it through nozzles that helped orient the rocket for the launching of multiple satellites at one time. PO Polyot manufactured these launch vehicles in the Russian city of Omsk for decades. It was originally scheduled to be retired from service in 2011;[2] however, in April 2010 the Commander of the Russian Space Forces confirmed that it would be retired by the end of 2010.[3] One further launch, with Kanopus-ST, was planned; however, this was cancelled in late 2012 as the launch vehicle had exceeded its design life while in storage ahead of the launch.

(R-14 11K65M)
Drawing of the Kosmos-3M
FunctionOrbital launch vehicle
ManufacturerYuzhnoye / NPO Polyot
Country of originSoviet Union, Russia
Height32.4 m (106 ft)
Diameter2.4 m (7 ft 10 in)
Mass109,000 kg (240,000 lb)
Payload to Low Earth orbit
Mass1,500 kg (3,300 lb)
Payload to Sun-synchronous orbit
Mass775 kg (1,709 lb)
Launch history
Launch sitesPlesetsk Cosmodrome,
Site 132
Site 133/3
Kapustin Yar Site 107
Total launches444
First flight15 May 1967
Last flight27 April 2010
First stage – R-14U
Powered by1 RD-216
Maximum thrust1,485 kN (334,000 lbf)
Specific impulse291 seconds
Burn time131 seconds
PropellantAK27I / UDMH
Second stage – S3M
Powered by1 11D49[1]
Maximum thrust157 kN (35,000 lbf)
Specific impulse293 seconds
Burn time350 + 350 seconds

Launches edit

Date Site Payload(s) References
19 April 1975 Kapustin Yar Aryabhata
7 June 1979 Kapustin Yar Bhaskara I [4]
20 November 1981 Kapustin Yar Bhaskara II [5]
28 April 1999 Kapustin Yar ABRIXAS [6]
28 June 2000 Plesetsk Nadezhda, Tsinghua-1, SNAP-1 [7][8]
28 Nov 2002 Plesetsk ALSAT-1, Mozhayets [9][10]
27 Sept 2003 Plesetsk NigeriaSAT-1, BILSAT-1, UK-DMC (BNSCSat), Mozhayets-4, KAISTSat-4, Larets, Rubin-4 [10][11]
2 July 2007 Plesetsk SAR-Lupe-2
11 September 2007 Plesetsk Kosmos-2429
27 March 2008 Plesetsk SAR-Lupe 4
19 June 2008 Kapustin Yar Orbcomm [citation needed]
22 July 2008 Plesetsk SAR-Lupe 5
21 July 2009 Plesetsk Site 132/1 Kosmos 2454 (Parus)

Accidents edit

A total of 446 Kosmos 3Ms were launched from 1967 to 2010, with 22 failures. Some of the more noteworthy ones:

On 22 December 1970, a launch of a target vehicle for ASAT tests lost thrust at liftoff and fell back onto the pad at Plesetsk, exploding and badly damaging it.[citation needed]

On 26 June 1973, a Kosmos 3M exploded on the pad at Plesetsk during a propellant loading accident, killing nine people.[12]

An attempted launch of an Intercosmos scientific satellite on 3 June 1975 failed 84 seconds into the launch when the first stage engine shut down.[citation needed]

An attempted launch of a military radar calibration satellite on 25 January 1983 suffered another first stage failure about 40 seconds into launch when the RD-219 started losing thrust. The onboard computer automatically shut the engine off and the launch vehicle fell into the Northern Dvina. Due to the tense relations between the U.S. and Soviet Union at this time, the U.S. military was widely suspected of having shot down the launch vehicle and General Secretary Yuri Andropov personally informed of this possibility. However, a group of locals ice fishing in the Dvina had witnessed the booster plunge into the river and reported what they'd seen to authorities. After this and a quick examination of telemetry, sabotage was ruled out. The failure was traced to high-frequency combustion instability, which had been a problem with the RD-219 engine and was also responsible for the 1970 and 1975 Kosmos 3M failures. The engine was redesigned and no further launches were lost due to first stage engine failures.[citation needed]

More recently, on 21 November 2000, a Kosmos 3M launcher failed to place the QuickBird 1 satellite into orbit due to a failure of its second stage. The launch vehicle and satellite reentered the atmosphere over Uruguay, and an inquest into the accident was inconclusive.[citation needed]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Kosmos 11K65M". Archived from the original on 11 October 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  2. ^ "С космодрома Плесецк запущена ракета-носитель с двумя спутниками". Lenta. 21 July 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  3. ^ "Чтобы виделось лучше". ВЗГЛЯД. 9 April 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Bhaskara-I". ISRO. Indian Space Research Organization. Archived from the original on 20 November 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Bhaskara-II". ISRO. Indian Space Research Organization. Archived from the original on 12 July 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  6. ^ NASA
  7. ^ NASA, "SPACEWARN Bulletin", Number 560, 1 July 2000
  8. ^ "SSTL satellites launched on board Cosmos 3M booster", Flight International 4–10 July 2000, page 22
  9. ^ NASA "SPACEWARN Bulletin", Number 589, 1 December 2002
  10. ^ a b D Gibbon, L Boland, N Bean, Y Hashida, A da Silva Curiel, M Sweeting, P Palmer, "Commissioning of a Small Satellite Constellation - Methods and Lessons Learned", 18th AIAA / USU Conference on Small Satellites, 2004
  11. ^ NASA "SPACEWARN Bulletin", Number 600, 1 November 2003
  12. ^ "It happened today... on June 26th". AvioNews.

External links edit