) is a Russian
space launch vehicle
. It is a liquid-fueled two-stage rocket
, first launched in 1967
and with over 410 successful launches to its name. The Cosmos 3M uses nitrogen tetroxide
as an oxidizer to lift roughly 1400 kg of payload into orbit. It differed from the earlier Cosmos 3 in its finer control of the second-stage burn, allowing operators to tune the thrust and even channel it through nozzles that helped orient the rocket for the launching of multiple satellites at one time. PO Polyot
has manufactured these launch vehicles in the Russian town of Omsk
for decades, though the latest digitally controlled rockets are now officially referred to as "Cosmos 3MU."
On June 26 1973
, the explosion of a Cosmos 3M at Plesetsk Cosmodrome
killed 9 people.
, the explosion of a Cosmos 3M on its launchpad killed nine engineers. More recently, on November 21
, a Cosmos 3M launcher failed to place the QuickBird 1
satellite into orbit due to a failure of its second stage. The rocket and satellite reentered the atmosphere over Uruguay
, and an inquest into the accident was inconclusive.