Vostok-K rocket
FunctionCarrier rocket
Country of originUSSR
  • 30.84 m
  • 299 cm
  • 281,375 kg
Payload to LEO
Mass4,730 kilograms (10,430 lb)
Associated rockets
Derivative workVostok-2
Launch history
Launch sitesBaikonur, Site 1/5
Total launches13
First flight22 December 1960
Last flight10 July 1964
Type of passengers/cargoVostok
No. boosters4
Powered by1 RD-107-8D74-1959
Maximum thrust970.86 kN
Total thrust3883.4 kN
Burn time118 seconds
First stage
Powered by1 RD-108-8D75-1959
Maximum thrust912 kN
Burn time301 seconds
Second stage
Powered by1 RD-0109
Maximum thrust54.5 kN
Burn time365 seconds

The Vostok-K (Russian: Восток meaning "East"), GRAU index 8K72K was an expendable carrier rocket used by the Soviet Union for thirteen launches between 1960 and 1964, six of which were crewed.[1] It was derived from the earlier Vostok-L; however, it featured uprated engines to improve performance, and enlarge its payload capacity.[2] It was a member of the Vostok family of rockets.

The Vostok-K made its maiden flight on 22 December 1960, three weeks after the retirement of the Vostok-L. The third stage engine failed 425 seconds after launch, and the payload, a Korabl-Sputnik spacecraft, failed to reach orbit. The spacecraft was recovered after landing, and the two dogs aboard the spacecraft survived the flight.

On 12 April 1961, a Vostok-K rocket was used to launch Vostok 1, the first human spaceflight, making Yuri Gagarin the first human to fly in space. All six crewed missions of the Vostok programme were launched using Vostok-K rockets. [1] The first two Zenit reconnaissance satellites were also launched with the Vostok-K, but it was soon replaced in that capacity with the uprated Vostok-2 booster. After the conclusion of the Vostok program, there were two remaining 8K72Ks left; these were used to launch four Elektron scientific satellites on 30 January and 10 July 1964.[3][1]


Vostok-K was used for thirteen launches between 1960 and 1964, from Baikonur LC-1/5.[1]

Vostok-K 8K72K launches
Date Serial No. Payload Result
22.12.1960 L1-13A Korabl-Sputnik Failure
09.03.1961 E103-14 Korabl-Sputnik 4 Success
25.03.1961 E103-15 Korabl-Sputnik 5 Success
12.04.1961 E103-16 Vostok 1 Success
06.08.1961 E103-17 Vostok 2 Success
11.12.1961 E103-21 Kosmos Failure
26.04.1962 E103-20 Kosmos 4 Success
11.08.1962 E103-23 Vostok 3 Success
12.08.1962 E103-22 Vostok 4 Success
14.06.1963 E103-24 Vostok 5 Success
16.06.1963 E103-25 Vostok 6 Success
30.01.1964 G103-18 Elektron 1 / Elektron 2 Success
10.07.1964 G103-19 Elektron 3 / Elektron 4 Success


  1. ^ a b c d "Vostok-K (8K72K)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2023-10-22.
  2. ^ Wade, Mark. "Soyuz". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 2010-01-07. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  3. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "R-7". Orbital and Suborbital Launch Database. Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-04-15.