Tsyklon-3 (Tsiklon-3)
Tsyklon-3 on display in downtown Dnipro
FunctionCarrier rocket
Country of originSoviet Union (Ukraine)
Height39.27 m (128.8 ft)
Diameter3 m (9.8 ft)
Mass189,000 kg (417,000 lb)
Payload to low Earth orbit
Mass4,100 kg (9,000 lb)
Associated rockets
FamilyR-36, Tsyklon
Derivative workTsyklon-4, Cyclone-4M
ComparableDelta II
Launch history
Launch sitesPlesetsk Cosmodrome LC-32
Total launches122
First flight24 June 1977
Last flight30 January 2009[1]
Type of passengers/cargoTselina
First stage – 11K69
Powered by1 RD-261
Maximum thrust3,032 kN (682,000 lbf)
Specific impulse301 sec
Burn time120 seconds
PropellantN2O4 / UDMH
Second stage – 11S692
Powered by1 RD-262
Maximum thrust941 kN (212,000 lbf)
Specific impulse318 sec
Burn time160 seconds
PropellantN2O4 / UDMH
Third stage – 11S693
Powered by1 RD-861
Maximum thrust78.7 kN (17,700 lbf)
Specific impulse317 sec
Burn time125 seconds
PropellantN2O4 / UDMH

The Tsyklon-3, also known as Tsiklon-3 and Cyclone-3 (known as SL-14 by the United States DoD), GRAU index 11K68, was a Soviet, and subsequently Ukrainian orbital carrier rocket. Tsyklon 3 rocket body debris accounts for more than 500 pieces of space debris.[2]


Tsyklon-3 launching a Meteor-3 satellite at Plesetsk Cosmodrome in August 1991

A derivative of the R-36 ICBM, and a member of the Tsyklon family, Tsyklon-3 made its maiden flight on 24 June 1977, and was retired on 30 January 2009.[1] The Ukrainian-built Tsyklon rockets were retired in favour of future all-Russian carrier rockets, such as the Angara, and because they were fuelled by toxic hypergolic propellants.[3]


Ukraine was developing a commercial derivative of the Tsyklon-3, the Tsyklon-4.[4] The development of Tsyklon-4 ended in 2015 after Ukraine's development partner Brazil pulled out of the project. Tsyklon-4 never made it to launch pad.

Another successor to the Tsyklon rockets, Cyclone-4M (based on Tsyklon-4 designs), is under development as of 2021 for use in the commercial market.


2013 loss of Ecuadorian satellite after impact with Tsyklon-3 space debris

On 23 May 2013 at approximately 05:38 UTC, the Ecuadorian satellite NEE-01 Pegaso passed very close to the spent upper stage of a 1985 Tsyklon-3 rocket over the Indian Ocean. While there was no direct collision between the satellite and upper stage, Pegaso is believed to have suffered a "glancing blow" after passing through a debris cloud around the Tsyklon stage and striking one of the small pieces.[5][6] After the incident, the satellite was found to be "spinning wildly over two of its axes" and unable to communicate with its ground station.[5] Efforts to reestablish control of Pegaso failed,[6] and on 28 August 2013 the decision was made by EXA and the Ecuadorian government to declare the satellite lost.[7]

Other Debris events

The Tsyklon-3 rocket body used to launch the Meteor 2-16 on August 18, 1987 has fragmented five times between 1988 and 2006 due in part to propellant left inside the vehicle, resulting in more than 100 pieces of debris many of which are still in orbit.[8]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Barbosa, Rui C. (2009-01-30). "Russian Tsyklon-3 bows out with CORONAS launch". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
  2. ^ "SL-14". NY20.com. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  3. ^ APMC - Космические войска обеспечили реальность сроков сдачи в эксплуатацию перспективного РКК "Ангара"
    [ARMS-TASS: In 2007, the Space Forces ensured the reality of the deadlines for the commissioning of the promising Angara RSC] (in Russian). Archived from the original on 1 June 2008.
  4. ^ Krebs, Gunter D. "Tsiklon-4 (Cyclone-4)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved March 19, 2023.
  5. ^ a b "Satellite collides with Soviet-era rocket". Al Jazeera. 24 May 2013. Archived from the original on 3 September 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Ecuador tries to fix satellite after space debris crash". BBC News. 27 May 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  7. ^ "Pegasus satellite was declared 'lost' by EXA". Ecuador Times. 5 September 2013. Archived from the original on 15 September 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  8. ^ Gates, D; Anz-Meador, P. "An 82o Inclination Debris Cloud Revealed by Radar" (PDF). Retrieved 22 December 2022.