Zenit (Land Launch)



International Company Land Launch * KB Yuzhnoye * PA Yuzhmash * RKK Energya

     Orbital launches  Period

Last launch

Zenit -2




1985 -1988

 11.12.2015 (?)

Zenit -2M




1990 - 2007

Zenit -2SLB





Zenit -3SLB

/Block DM-SL



2008 - 2013

Zenit -3F




2011 - 2017

Zenit -3G

/Fregat-SB MDU





The development of the Zenit-2 (11K77) launch vehicle started at the beginning of the 1970s in the apparent attempt to create a "standartized" family of light, medium and heavy lauchers.
According to KB Yuzhnoe sources, the design bureau considered a family of three launchers in its bid for the government assignment to create a "standard" family of launchers:

11K55 light vehicle
(ex RD-120K engines)
11K77 medium-lift vehicle (Zenit-2)
11K37 heavy-lift vehicle

A three-booster 11K37 vehicle would use RD-170 engine on each of its pair of strap-on boosters. The core stage (with RD-120 engines) would ignite in stratosphere, everal seconds before separation of two strap-ons.

In 1976 was officially approved the development of the medium-lift project 11K77. The testing of this Zenit launcher was officially completed in December 1987.


Zenit 2SLB and Zenit 3SLB Land Launch program

Using existing Zenit infrastructure at the Baikonur Space Center, the Land Launch system is based on a modified version of the proven Sea Launch vehicle, the three-stage Zenit-3SL. Land Launch's Zenit-3SLB vehicle addresses the launch needs of commercial satellites weighing up to three-and-a-half metric tonnes. The two-stage Zenit-2SLB is also available for lifting payloads up to thirteen metric tonnes to inclined low Earth orbits.

These land-launch vehicles are being created on the basis of two-staged Zenit- 2M of KB Yuzhnoye origin and the upper stage DM-SL elaborated by Energya RSC and used in composition of the space rocket complex Zenit-2M to be used by the International Company Land Launch.
The Land Launch configurations are closely derived from the Sea Launch system. In particular, propulsion systems and all flight critical avionics are unchanged. The fairings represent the most significance difference. In place of the Boeing-made fairing used on Sea Launch, the Zenit-3SLB adopts a 4-meter fairing made by NPO Lavochkin. It is in current production and has been flight-proven with the Block DM. The Zenit-2SLB fairing is an improved version of the heritage Zenit-2 fairing.
Land Launch uses longstanding facilities at the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan.

Now KB Yuzhnoye develops a further variant
Zenit-3F. It is a Zenit-2SLB with an additional upper stage Fregat-SB. The Fregat-SB was developed originally for the Soyuz-ST only. The first launch a Zenit-3F is planned for 2009.

Sea Launch Company, LLC, provides contracting and management functions for the Land Launch system. Space International Services, Ltd., based in Moscow, provides hardware and services originating in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, in a subcontracting arrangement with Sea Launch.
Sea Launch Company, LLC - provides commercial customers with mission management and the Boeing-led quality assurance and hardware acceptance procedures that have contributed to the outstanding reliability of the Sea Launch system.
Space International Services, Ltd provides all launch system components, mission integration and launch operations.