Encyclopedia Astronautica

Tsyklon 4
Ukrainian orbital launch vehicle. Updated version of Tsyklon 3, announced by the Ukraine in 2005 as being in design. Improved lower stages, new upper stage and a new 4.0-m diameter payload fairing. No production plans.

The Tsyklon 4 / Cyclone-4 launch vehicle was designed for operational and highly accurate lofting of single or multiple of satellites into earth orbit (including geostationary and sun-synchronous orbits). Cyclone-4 would be the most powerful rocket among the launchers of the Cyclone family. These rockets began operation in 1969 and proved to be the most reliable launchers in the world. The Cyclone-4 LV met all modern requirements for spacecraft launchers. It would be a three-stage rocket derived from the existing Cyclone-3 vehicle. The first two stages were taken from the Cyclone-3 launcher with a minimum level of necessary upgrade, with the proven production technology maintained to the maximum level. Enhancement of the technical and operational characteristics of Cyclone-4 were improved with the following changes:

  • application of a new third stage having a higher reserve of propellants and a new engine with multiple ignition capability;
  • use of new, modern control system, flight safety system, and telemetry system;
  • use of a new and bigger payload fairing;
  • separate assembly of the payload in the sealed fairing, allowing maintenance of the required level of cleanliness in the satellite area bellow the nose fairing;
  • all stages were fuelled from the base of the first stage on the launch pad;
  • capability to provide thermal safing of the interstage fairing space by applying high-pressure air in the event of an aborted launch.

The rocket system was in the design phase in 2005. The National Space Agency of the Ukraine said in production it would be capable of more than 6 launches per year.

The vehicle could place a payload of 5250 kg into low earth orbit (185 km / 51.5 deg). Vacuum thrust of stages 1, 2, and 3 were 303, 101.5, and 7.8 tonnes respectively. All stages used N2O4/UDMH propellants, with the stage specific impulses being 300.4, 314, and 325. Maximum G-load was 6.8 G's, and injection accuracy into a 500 km circular orbit was within 5 km of altitude and 0.05 degrees of inclination.

LEO Payload: 4,900 kg (10,800 lb) to a 400 km orbit at 51.60 degrees. Payload: 500 kg (1,100 lb) to a GEO.

AKA: Cyclone 4; F-3.
Status: Design 2005.
Gross mass: 198,250 kg (437,060 lb).
Payload: 4,900 kg (10,800 lb).
Height: 39.95 m (131.06 ft).
Diameter: 3.00 m (9.80 ft).
Apogee: 400 km (240 mi).

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Associated Countries
See also
  • Tsiklon The R-36 ICBM was the largest ever built and the bogeyman of the Pentagon throughout the Cold War. Dubbed the 'city buster', the 308 silos built were constantly held up by the US Air Force as an awesome threat that justified a new round of American missile or anti-missile systems. On the other hand, the Americans were never motivated to build and deploy corresponding numbers of their equivalent, the liquid propellant Titan 2. Derivatives of the R-36 included the R-36-O orbital bombing system, the Tsiklon-2 and -3 medium orbital launch vehicles, and the replacement R-36M missiles. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the design and manufacturing facility ended up in independent Ukraine. Accordingly the missile was finally retired in the 1990's, conveniently in accordance with arms reduction agreements with the Americans. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Yuzhnoye Ukrainian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Yangel Design Bureau, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. More...

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