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Russian government names June 20 as launch date for Dnepr rocket

June 18, 2014, 18:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The mission is planned to loft into orbit 33 spacecraft belonging to customers from 17 countries, including Russia

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Dnepr rocket (archive)

Dnepr rocket (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Kazak

MOSCOW, June 18. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian government has named June 20 as the launch date for a Dnepr rocket under a joint program with Ukraine.

The rocket will be launched on the night from June 19 to June 20, the international space company Kosmotras said on Wednesday, June 18.

The primary payload of this launch is a medium resolution satellite KazEOSat (Kazakhstan). In addition to that, the payloads on this launch are Deimos-2 (Spain), TabletSat-Aurora (Russia), Hodoyoshi-3 and -4 (Japan), SaudiSat-4 (Saudi Arabia) and other small satellites, as well as QuadPack deployers with CubeSats. The mission is planned to loft into orbit 33 spacecraft belonging to customers from 17 countries, including Russia.

The launch vehicle with the spacecraft installed is presently undergoing final pre-launch checkout and testing.

Kosmotras was established in 1997 under Russian law. The company’s head office is located in Moscow, Russia. The primary area of Kosmotras’ business operations is linked to implementation of the Russian Programme for Elimination of the SS-18 Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles (ICMBs) that are being withdrawn from service and used in the Dnepr Space Launch System (SLS) for commercial orbital launches of payloads.

Kosmotras shareholders are a team of leading scientific research and manufacturing entities of Russia and Ukraine that built the Dnepr SLS and exercise the follow-on oversight of its operation.

The Dnepr conversion program was initiated in the 1990s by the presidents of Russia and Ukraine to convert RS-20 ICBMs for civilian uses. The Dnepr rocket is a three-stage liquid-engine vehicle. Its takeoff mass is 210 tonnes.

A source in the rocket and space industry told ITAR-TASS that the number of Dnepr launches for this year remained unchanged. “Three launches have been planned,” he said.

The Dnepr rocket (Satan by NATO classification) with the satellites will be launched from the Yasny launch base in the Orenburg region, southern Urals.

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