Rockot launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome.
Rockot is a three-stage launch vehicle based on the RS-18 (SS-19, or 'Stiletto,' as it was known to NATO) intercontinental ballistic missile – the most powerful missile in the Russian arsenal. Rockot is supplied and operated by Eurockot Launch Services GmbH of Bremen, Germany, a joint venture of Astrium GmbH and Krunichev State Research and Production Center. Eurockot markets existing RS-18 two-stage ICBMs with the restartable Breeze third stage for placing commercial spacecraft into low Earth orbit. Rockot successfully launched its first commercial payload, two Intersputnik communications satellites, in February 2001, and launched the twin satellites of GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) in November 2001. Launches take place from a purpose-built pad at Plesetsk.
|payload to LEO