Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Cosmos, Cosmos-1, Cosmos-2 and Cosmos-3
Parent System: Kosmos
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1960
Total Production: ?
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Description: The Cosmos, also known as Kosmos, is a family of space launch vehicles developed by the Soviet Union on the basis of R-12 (SS-4 Sandal) and R-14 (SS-5 Skean) single-stage ballistic missiles introduced in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Cosmos series launch vehicle are suitable to put payloads below 1,500 kg into Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Actually, its development was due to free more powerful Soviet launch vehicles qualified for heavier payloads such as Soyuz from carrying lighter payloads into LEO. Cosmos development began in 1960 with Cosmos and Cosmos-2 which were based on R-12 ballistic missile. Cosmos-1, Cosmos-3 and Cosmos-3M introduced in the late 1970s were based on the R-14 ballistic missile.
The Cosmos-3M launch vehicle based on the R-14U ballistic missile comprises two rocket stages and the payload fairing. The liquid propellant for both rocket stages consists of hypergolic propellant components: unsymmetrical dimethyl-hydrazine (UDMH) as fuel, and nitrogen tetroxide AK-27I as oxidizer. The Cosmos-3M is provided with an autonomous inertial control system. The launch vehicle can place a 950 kg payload into circular orbit at an altitude of 1,000 km, a 945 kg into a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 450 km or 820 kg payload into a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 700 km.
As of 2005, Russia is still utilizing Cosmos-3M launch vehicle from Plesetsk Cosmodrome and/or Kapustin Yar launch site despite its production ceased in mid-1990s. Cosmos-3M are being utilized to put into orbit Russian-made and foreign-made civil and military spacecraft such as Germany's SAR-Lupe earth observation satellite and Russia's COSPAS-SARSAT search and rescue satellites. In October 2005, a Cosmos-3M launch vehicle put into LEO five satellites on behalf of Russia, China, the United Kingdom, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Iran.
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