Dnepr Launch Planned for October

Dnepr Launch November 21, 2013 - Credit ISC Kosmotras

Dnepr Launch November 21, 2013 – Credit ISC Kosmotras

According to an ITAR-TASS report the launch of a Russian-Ukrainian conversion rocket Dnepr (RS-20) with Japanese satellites, should take place in early October from the Orenburg region, southern Urals.

On Wednesday, August 13, when asked by ITAR-TASS whether the plans had not been affected by Japanese sanctions against Russia a source in the Russian Military Industrial Commission said “The launch is scheduled for the beginning of October. There have been no cancellations so far”.

The rocket will orbit five Japanese satellites, including four micro ones. “The satellites will be brought to Russia on August 20,” the source said, adding that this year’s third Dnepr launch was scheduled for December.

The Dnepr rocket conversion programme was initiated in the 1990s by the presidents of Russia and Ukraine to convert RS-20 Voyevoda ICBMs for civilian uses.

Dnepr rockets are launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, and the Yasny Launch Site of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces in the Orenburg region under a joint project commenced by Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

The Dnepr rocket is a three-stage liquid-engine vehicle. Its takeoff mass is 210 tones. The first two stages are the regular stages of the RS-20 rocket and have not been changed. The third stage has been worked on to improve its flight control system.

The rocket is injected from an RS-20 silo by propellant gases. Its engine turns on after the whole vehicle has come out of the silo. The rocket is made by the Ukrainian company Yuzhmash in Dnepropetrovsk.

Source ITAR-TASS http://en.itar-tass.com/non-political/744861

The five satellites are understood to be:
• ChubuSat 1
• Hodoyoshi 1
• Tsubame