The Kosmos-3M is a Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n space launch vehicle
Launch vehicle
In spaceflight, a launch vehicle or carrier rocket is a rocket used to carry a payload from the Earth's surface into outer space. A launch system includes the launch vehicle, the launch pad and other infrastructure....

. It is a liquid-fueled two-stage rocket
A rocket is a missile, spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle which obtains thrust from a rocket engine. In all rockets, the exhaust is formed entirely from propellants carried within the rocket before use. Rocket engines work by action and reaction...

, first launched in 1967 and with over 420 successful launches to its name. The Cosmos 3M uses nitrogen tetroxide as an oxidizer to lift roughly 1400 kg of payload into orbit. It differed from the earlier Cosmos 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 has manufactured these launch vehicles in the Russian town of Omsk
-History:The wooden fort of Omsk was erected in 1716 to protect the expanding Russian frontier along the Ishim and the Irtysh rivers against the Kyrgyz nomads of the Steppes...

 for decades. It was originally scheduled to be retired from service in 2011, however in April 2010 the Commander of the Russian Space Forces confirmed that it would be retired by the end of 2010. One rocket remains to be launched.


First launched in 1967, with over 420 successful launches to date (2009).
Satellite Date Carrier Site
Aryabhata (satellite)
Aryabhatta was India's first satellite, named after the great Indian astronomer of the same name. It was launched by the Soviet Union on 19 April 1975 from Kapustin Yar using a Cosmos-3M launch vehicle. It was built by the Indian Space Research Organization to gain experience in building and...

Kosmos-3M Kapustin Yar
Kapustin Yar
Kapustin Yar is a Russian rocket launch and development site in Astrakhan Oblast, between Volgograd and Astrakhan. Known today as Znamensk , it was established 13 May 1946 and in the beginning used technology, material, and scientific support from defeated Germany...

Science and Technology Satellite STSAT-1 Kosmos-3M
SAR-Lupe is Germany's first reconnaissance satellite system and is used for military purposes. SAR is an abbreviation for synthetic aperture radar and "Lupe" is German for magnifying glass...

Kosmos-3M Plesetsk
Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Plesetsk Cosmodrome is a Russian spaceport, located in Arkhangelsk Oblast, about 800 km north of Moscow and approximately 200 km south of Arkhangelsk.-Overview:...

Kosmos-2429 Kosmos-3M Plesetsk
SAR-Lupe 4 Kosmos-3M Plesetsk
ORBCOMM is a company that offers M2M global asset monitoring and messaging services from its constellation of 29 LEO communications satellites orbiting at 775 km. Like its voice-centric competitors Iridium and Globalstar, it filed for Chapter 11 protection, in September, 2000. ORBCOMM issued...

Kosmos-3M Kapustin Yar
SAR-Lupe 5 Kosmos-3M Plesetsk
Kosmos 2454 (Parus
Parus (satellite)
Parus , also Tsyklon-B or Tsiklon-B and Tsikada-M , GRAU index 11F627, is a Russian, previously Soviet satellite constellation used for communication and navigation. As of 2010, 99 Parus satellites have been launched, starting with Kosmos 700 in 1974...

21 July 2009 Kosmos-3M Plesetsk Site 132/1


On June 26, 1973, the explosion of a Kosmos 3M at Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Plesetsk Cosmodrome is a Russian spaceport, located in Arkhangelsk Oblast, about 800 km north of Moscow and approximately 200 km south of Arkhangelsk.-Overview:...

 killed 9 people.
In 1976, the explosion of a Kosmos 3M on its launchpad killed nine engineers. More recently, on November 21, 2000, a Kosmos 3M launcher failed to place the QuickBird 1
QuickBird is a high-resolution commercial earth observation satellite, owned by DigitalGlobe and launched in 2001 as the first satellite in a constellation of three scheduled to be in orbit by 2008...

 satellite into orbit due to a failure of its second stage. The rocket and satellite reentered the atmosphere over Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

, and an inquest into the accident was inconclusive.

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