YASNY, November 21 (RIA Novosti) – A Dnepr rocket carrying a number of international satellites delivered its cargo into near-earth orbit Thursday following a launch from the Yasny facility in Russia’s Orenburg province.
“The launch of the heavy converted Dnepr rocket with foreign satellites was carried out in normal mode at 11.10 a.m. Moscow time," a Strategic Missile Forces representative said. “All the space systems successfully separated from the rocket.”
The payloads transported by the Dnepr, which is based on the RS-20 intercontinental ballistic missile (NATO codename SS-18 “Satan”), include the UAE-owned DubaiSat-2 observation satellite, UniSat-5, a microsatellite created under a University of Rome program, and South Korea’s STSAT-3 multi-purpose microsatellite.
Other satellites on the Dnepr also include the SkySat-1 and AprizeSat-7/8, both from the United States, the Brite-PL from Poland, Denmark’s GOMX-1, and a WNISat from Canada.
The larger satellites, which included the 300-kilogram (660-pound) DubaiSat-2, were to be deployed within 15 minutes of the launch.
This is the second launch of a Dnepr rocket in 2013.
At the end of August, the rocket was used to carry the South Korean KOMPSat 5 multi-purpose satellite into orbit.
The RS-20 is the most powerful ICBM in the world. It was first launched in 1973 and is still in service with Russia's Strategic Missile Forces. RS-20 missiles are being gradually removed from the Russia's arsenal and converted into Dnepr launch vehicles.