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For many years the smallest vehicle in the operational inventory, Cosmos originated as the R14 (8K65)/SS-5 Skean medium range missle. It was then developed into a space launcher initially as the Cosmos 3I and then the current Cosmos 3M (11K65M). It remains as the only vehicle to be fired from all three Soviet sites. Its debut space launch in Aug-1964 orbited the first Soviet triple satellite payload and it is now employed principally for placing small military craft into medium Earth orbits. About half of all launches have performed suborbital hypersonic and orbital tests; suborbital flights continue from Kapustin Yar.


First orbital launch: Aug-1964 (Cosmos 38-40); 3M debut May-1967 (Cosmos 158)
Number launched: 405 attained orbit by end-1995; 727 launches in total 1970-95, including 345 suborbital reentry tests
Launch sites: Plesetsk, Kapustin Yar
Principal uses: small military store/dump communications, navigation and unknown minor missions at medium altitudes; Intercosmos science satellites; commercial
Vehicle success rate: 94.59% orbital attempts
Performance: 1,400 kg into 180 km circular, but principally used for about 1,000 kg payloads into 800-1,500 km circular orbits
Availability: main payloads can be accommodated with 3 months' notice. Capacity of Polyot and facilities is 30 launches annually
Cost: about $10 million for complete capacity; $6,500/kg for secondary payloads
Number of stages: 2
Overall length: 32.4 m
Principal diameter: 2.40 m
Launch mass: 109,000 kg
Launch thrust: 1,726 kN sea level
Guidance: inertial, on stage 2 forward end, by Khartron

Engines: RD-216 assembly (four fixed chambers) from NPO Energomash with storable propellants. Steering by graphite vane inserted into each exhaust
Length: 22.5 m
Diameter: 2.40 m
Dry mass: 5,300 kg
Oxidizer: nitric acid/27% NTO
Fuel: UDMH
Propellant mass: 82,000 kg
Thrust: 1,726 kN
Burn time: about 130 s
Separation: cold separation, assisted by solid braking rockets

Stage 2 adds two side tanks for missions into 1,000-1,500 km circular orbits, using four smaller thrusters for the climb to the required altitude. The combined NTO/UDMH external tanks run the length of stage 2. They are not carried on the suborbital version, which also ignites stage 2 only once.
Engines: KB Khimmach 11D49 pump-fed fixed single chamber + four thrusters (used for steering, orbit trims, maneuvers for multiple deployments, climb to high orbits)
Length: 4.205 m (6.585 m from nozzle to payload mount)
Diameter: 2.40 m (3.2 m across external tanks)
Dry mass: 1,443 kg
Oxidizer: nitrogen tetroxide
Fuel: UDMH
Propellant mass: 18,700 kg
Thrust: 157.3 kN main chamber + 5.6-7.2 kN added by thrusters
Burn time: 325-335 s burn 1 + 2-8 s burn 2 main engine
Attitude control: 4 x 1.4-1.8 kN steering thrusters, each with a 99 N pressure-fed thruster for 3-axis coast + ullage

Configuration: four fixed chambers (two pairs)
Application: Cosmos 3 SL-8 satellite launcher stage 1, R14/SS-5 IRBM stage 1
First orbital flight: Aug-1964
Dry mass: 662 kg
Engine cycle: open
Oxidizer: nitric acid/27% NTO
Fuel: UDMH
Feed method: single turbopump feeds each chamber pair
Thrust: 1,486 kN SL, 1,745 kN vac (4 chambers)
Specific impulse: 248 s SL, 291.3 s vac
Combustion chamber pressure: 75 atm
Burn time: 170 s (130 s on Cosmos 3)

Configuration: one fixed main chamber + four steering thrusters
Application: SL-8 Cosmos 3 stage 2
First flown: May-1967
Dry mass: 185 kg
Engine cycle: pump-fed
Oxidizer: nitrogen tetroxide
Fuel: UDMH
Thrust: 157.3 kN main chamber + 4 x 1.4-1.8 kN steering thrusters
Specific impulse: 303 s vac (176 s thrusters)
Expansion ratio: 103.4:1 main chamber (12:1 thrusters)
Burn time: main chamber about 350 s

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