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End is nigh for Dnepr rocket

22 May 2012, 10:07 UTC
End is nigh for Dnepr rocket
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Citing safety and environmental concerns a Russian Defence Ministry report is recommending the end of using old RS-20 (SS-18, Satan missile) ICBM’s for space launches. The RS-20′s were called the Dnepr when converted for space launches. The first launch of the Dnepr as a space launcher took place in 1999. Since then there have been a further 16 launches of the vehicle with one failure which happened in 2006. Recent launches have suffered from numerous delays due to the failure of the Russian and Kazakhstan governments to agree on the drop zones for the first and second stages of the vehicle.

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