Zenit-3 rocket flies for perhaps the last time

by | Dec 15, 2015 | Launches, Russia, Satellites, Science, Seradata News | 0 comments

At 1345 GMT on 11 December 2015, a Zenit-3F (Fregat SLBF) launch vehicle successfully lifted off from the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan. Aboard the flight was a Russian meteorological satellite called the Elektro-L N2 which is planned to be operated from the geostationary orbital position over 77.8 degrees East.  The satellite will partially replace the original Elektro-L spacecraft which has thermally induced degradation to instruments on its payload.

Due to a deterioration of Russian-Ukranian relations following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, it is now thought unlikely that there will ever be another Zenit 3 launch as Russia supplies the first stage engines and guidance systems of the Zenit rocket.  As it is the Sea Launch organisation which launched the Zenit-3SL variant has now been wound up and has its assets, principally its converted oil-rig mobile launch site, up for sale.

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