Russian launch vehicles

Russian launch vehicles

Array of launch vehicles used in the Soviet space program up until about 1990. The SL-4 and Proton remain in active use.

Early Russian/Soviet launch vehicles were based on ballistic missiles (see "R" series of Russian missiles) and various naming schemes have sprung up to identify particular rockets. These include the official Russian "R" designations and various Western names (assigned by the United States Department of Defense, NATO, and others) for the original military missiles, and further names for the derived space rockets, including manufacturers' codes and names derived from the major types of satellite launched. For example, the rocket that placed the first satellite in orbit is known as Sputnik (after the satellite), 8K71PS (the manufacturer's index), R-7 (the ballistic missile from which it was derived), SL-1 (the American Department of Defense designation for the missile), and SS-66 and Sapwood (the NATO code number and name for the missile). More recently, the Russians have given specific names to their rockets.




   Cosmos launch vehicle
   Molniya launch vehicle
   Soyuz launch vehicle
   Sputnik launch vehicle
   Voskhod launch vehicle
   Vostok launch vehicle