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Zenit

by Jean-Jacques Serra
listing by Gunter Krebs

The Zenit rockets are not derived from ballistic missiles as most of the NPO Yuzhnoye (Dniepropetrovsk, Ukraine) achievements. There ware designed from the start for space missions. The first stage of the Zenits is used as booster for the Energia launcher (known as Zenit-1).

Two-stage Zenit-2 (J-1/SL-16)


The Zenit 2 (11K77) has a constant diameter of 3.9 m. It is 57 m high and weighs 460 tons at liftoff with a 15-ton payload. Both stages use liquid propellant: kerosene-LOX

The first stage is equipped with a RD-170/171 motor (Glouchko, NPO Energomash) with 4 combustion chambers. It provides 7259 kN thrust at ground level and 7911 kN is vaccum (ISp = 337 s). The RD-171 version of the motor can be oriented on 2 axis, the RD-170 Energia on 1 axis. The stage contains 318.8 tons propellant and burns during 140 seconds.

The second stage features an RD-120 (Glouchko, NPO Energomash) with single fixed nozzle. It is joined with 4 vernier motors (NPO Yuzhnoye) for pilotage. It provides 834 kN thrust (ISp = 350 s) and can function during upto 315 seconds to match the mission's need.

Zenit 2 is intended for LEO and MEO upto 1500 km altitude. The maximum payload weight is 13.74 tons in circular 200 km orbit 51° or 11.38 tons in sun-synchronous 200 km/99° from Tyuratam.

Until now it has launched:
- MEO: SIGINT ( Cosmos series) and remote sensing ( Resurs O)
- LEO: Kuban photographic reconnaissance satellites ( Cosmos series)

Possible evolutions:
- 3-stage version with a Block-DM of Proton
- 3 or 4 stage version with NTO-UDMH propellant

Zenit 2 launches


# Launch id Payload Launch date Type Status (orbit in perigee x apogee x inc. x period)
1 n/a R&D suborbital 13 Apr 1985 Zenit-2  
2 85053 R&D suborbital 21 Jun 1985 Zenit-2 intended to be suborbital but some debris reached orbit
3 85097 Cosmos 1697 [ Tselina-2] 22 Oct 1985 Zenit-2  
4 85121 Cosmos 1714 [ Tselina-2] 28 Dec 1985 Zenit-2 Failure: second stage failed to ignite
5 86056 Cosmos 1767 30 Jul 1986 Zenit-2  
6 86080 Cosmos 1786 22 Oct 1986 Zenit-2  
7 87016 Cosmos 1820 14 Feb 1987 Zenit-2  
8 87027 Cosmos 1833 [ Tselina-2] 18 Mar 1987 Zenit-2  
9 87041 Cosmos 1844 [ Tselina-2] 13 May 1987 Zenit-2  
10 87065 Cosmos 1871 1 Aug 1987 Zenit-2  
11 87071 Cosmos 1873 28 Aug 1987 Zenit-2  
12 88039 Cosmos 1943 [ Tselina-2] 15 May 1988 Zenit-2  
13 88102 Cosmos 1980 23 Nov 1988 Zenit-2  
14 90046 Cosmos 2082 [ Tselina-2] 22 May 1990 Zenit-2  
15 n/a [Tselina-2] 4 Oct 1990 Zenit-2 Failure: first stage engine exploded after 3 seconds
16 n/a [Tselina-2] 30 Aug 1991 Zenit-2 Failure: second stage exploded
17 n/a [Tselina-2] 5 Feb 1992 Zenit-2 Failure: second stage malfunction
18 92076 Cosmos 2219 17 Nov 1992 Zenit-2  
19 92093 Cosmos 2227 [ Tselina-2] 25 Dec 1992 Zenit-2  
20 93016 Cosmos 2237 26 Mar 1993 Zenit-2  
21 93059 Cosmos 2263 16 Sep 1993 Zenit-2  
22 93059 Cosmos 2278 23 Apr 1994 Zenit-2  
23 94053 Cosmos 2290 26 Aug 1994 Zenit-2  
24 94074 Resurs O1-3 4 Nov 1994 Zenit-2  
25 94077 Cosmos 2297 24 Nov 1994 Zenit-2  
26 95058 Cosmos 2322 30 Oct 1995 Zenit-2  
27 96051 Cosmos 2333 4 Sep 1996 Zenit-2  
28 n/a [Tselina-2] 20 May 1997 at 07:07 UT Zenit-2 Failure: first stage engines shutdown 48 s after takeoff
29 98043 A: Resurs O1-4
B: Fasat Bravo
C: Tmsat
D: Techsat 2
E: Wespac
F: Safir 2
10 Jul 1998 at 06:27 UT Zenit-2  
30 98045 Cosmos 2360 28 Jul 1998 at 9:15 UT Zenit-2  
31 n/a Globalstar 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21 9 Sep 1998 at 20:29 UT Zenit-2 Failure: second stage main engines shut down 272s after takeoff.
32 99039 Okean O2-1 17 Jul 1999 at 06:38 UT Zenit-2  
33 00006 Cosmos 2369 3 Feb 2000 at 09:26 UT Zenit-2  
34 00056 Cosmos 2372 25 Sep 2000 at 10:10 UT Zenit-2  
35 01056 A: Meteor 3-07
B: Kompas
C: Badr B
D: Maroc-Tubsat
E: Reflector
10 Dec 2001 at 17:19 UT Zenit-2  
36 04021 Cosmos 2406 10 Jun 2004 at 01:28 UT Zenit-2  
37 07029 Cosmos 2406 29 Jun 2007 at 10:00 UT Zenit-2  
38 11065 Fobos-Grunt 8 Nov 2011 at 20:16 UT Zenit-2FG Mars probe, failed to leave earth orbit
13200 kg
Notes: All launches from Tyouratam (Baikonur).

Zenit 3SL launches (Sea Launch)


# Launch id Payload Launch date Type Status (orbit in perigee x apogee x inc. x period)
1 99014 Demosat 28 Mar 1999 at 01:30 UT Zenit-3SL First Sea Launch
2 99056 DBS 1R 10 Oct 1999 at 03:28 UT Zenit-3SL  
3 n/a ICO 1 12 Mar 2000 at 14:49 UT Zenit-3SL Failure: second stage shut down early because of an error in the programming sequence
4 00043 Panamsat 9 28 Jul 2000 at 22:49 UT Zenit-3SL  
5 00066 Thuraya 1 21 Oct 2000 at 05:52 UT Zenit-3SL 210 x 35891 km x 6.3°
6 01012 XM 2 18 Mar 2001 at 22:33 UT Zenit-3SL  
7 01018 XM 1 8 May 2001 at 22:10 UT Zenit-3SL  
8 02030 Galaxy 3C 15 Jun 2002 at 22:39 UT Zenit-3SL 224 x 41230 km x 0°
9 03026 Thuraya 2 10 Jun 2003 at 13:56 UT Zenit-3SL 1200 x 35786 km x 6.3°
10 03034 Echostar 9 08 Aug 2003 at 03:31 UT Zenit-3SL  
11 03044 Galaxy 13 01 Oct 2003 at 04:03 UT Zenit-3SL  
12 04001 Estrela Do Sul 11 Jan 2004 at 04:13 UT Zenit-3SL  
13 04016 Directv 7S 5 May 2004 at 12:42 UT Zenit-3SL single direct-ascent burn to GTO
14 04024 Apstar 5 29 Jun 2004 at 03:59 UT Zenit-3SL Partial failure: 722 x 21618 km x 0.5° orbit, the upper stage shutdown 54 seconds early
15 05008 XM 3 1 Mar 2005 at 03:51 UT Zenit-3SL 2468 x 35786 km x ?°
16 05015 Spaceway 1 26 Apr 2005 at 07:31 UT Zenit-3SL  
17 05022 Intelsat Americas 8 23 Jun 2005 at 14:03 UT Zenit-3SL 144 x 35609 km x 0.1°
18 05044 Inmarsat 4F2 8 Nov 2005 at 14:07 UT Zenit-3SL 322 x 35803 km x 3°
19 06003 Echostar 10 15 Feb 2005 at 23:35 UT Zenit-3SL 1675 x 35531 km x 0°
20 06010 Jcsat 9 12 Apr 2006 at 23:30 UT Zenit-3SL 235 x 35520 km x 0°
21 06023 Galaxy 16 18 Jun 2006 at 07:50 UT Zenit-3SL  
22 06034 Koreasat 5 22 Aug 2006 at 03:27 UT Zenit-3SL  
23 06049 XM 4 30 Oct 2006 at 23:49 UT Zenit-3SL  
24 n/a NSS 8 30 Jan 2007 at 23:22 UT Zenit-3SL Failure: collapsed on the launch pad. Engine failed because of a metal particule in the pump.
25 08001 Thuraya 3 15 Jan 2008 at 11:49 UT Zenit-3SL  
26 08013 Directv 11 19 Mar 2008 at 22:48 UT Zenit-3SL 248 x 36485 km
27 08024 Galaxy 18 21 May 2008 at 09:43 UT Zenit-3SL 2550 x 35636 km
28 08035 Echostar 11 16 Jul 2008 at 05:21 UT Zenit-3SL  
29 08045 Telstar 9 24 Sep 2008 at 09:28 UT Zenit-3SL  
30 09020 Sicral 1B 20 Apr 2009 at 08:16 UT Zenit-3SL  
31 11051 Atlantic Bird 7 24 Sep 2011 at 20:18 UT Zenit-3SL  
32 12030 Intelsat 19 1 Jun 2012 at 05:23 UT Zenit-3SL A solar array might have been damaged during the ascent
33 12045 Intelsat 21 19 Aug 2012 at 06:55 UT Zenit-3SL  
34 12069 Eutelsat 70B 3 Dec 2012 at 21:44 UT Zenit-3SL  
35 n/a Intelsat 27 1 Feb 2013 Zenit-3SL Failure: first stage shutdown 40 s into the launch (hydrolic pump power supply failure)
36 14030 Eutelsat 3B 26 May 2014 at 21:10 UT Zenit-3SL  
    Might restart in late-2018      
Notes: All launches from the Odyssey plaftorm in the Pacific, on the Equator at 154°W.

Zenit 3SLB launches (Land Launch)


# Launch id Payload Launch date Type Status (orbit in perigee x apogee x inc. x period)
1 08022 Amos 3 28 Apr 2008 at 05:00 UT Zenit-3SLB  
2 09009 Telstar 11N 26 Feb 2009 at 18:30 UT Zenit-3SLB  
3 09032 Measat 1R 21 Jun 2009 at 21:50 UT Zenit-3SLB  
4 09067 Intelsat 15 30 Nov 2009 at 21:00 UT Zenit-3SLB  
5 11056 Intelsat 18 5 Oct 2011 at 21:00 UT Zenit-3SLB  
6 13045 Amos 4 31 Aug 2013 at 20:05 UT Zenit-3SLB  
Notes: All launches from Tyuratam.

Zenit 3F launches


# Launch id Payload Launch date Type Status (orbit in perigee x apogee x inc. x period)
1 11001 Electro L1 20 Jan 2011 at 12:29 UT Zenit-3F (Fregat SB) 35627 x 35870 km x 0.46°
2 11037 Spektr R 18 Jul 2011 at 02:31 UT Zenit-3F (Fregat SB)  
3 15074 Electro L2 11 dec 2015 at 13:45 UT Zenit-3F (Fregat SB) 35425 x 35793 km x 0.5°
4 17086 Angosat 1 26 Dec 2017 at 19:00 UT Zenit-3F (Fregat SB)  
Notes: All launches from Tyuratam.

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