Plesetsk Cosmodrome Site 43

Summary

Site 43
Plesetsk-lc43-openstreetmap.svg
Launch sitePlesetsk Cosmodrome
Coordinates62°55′12″N 40°28′1″E / 62.92000°N 40.46694°E / 62.92000; 40.46694Coordinates: 62°55′12″N 40°28′1″E / 62.92000°N 40.46694°E / 62.92000; 40.46694
Short namePu-43
OperatorRussian Space Forces
Total launches522
Launch pad(s)Two
Site 43/3 launch history
StatusActive
Launches217
First launch21 December 1965
R-7A Semyorka
Last launch03 December 2020
Soyuz-2.1b/Fregat / Gonets-M 20/21/22
Associated
rockets
R-7A Semyorka (retired)
Vostok-2M (retired)
Voskhod (retired)
Molniya-M(retired)
Soyuz-U (retired)
Soyuz-2 (active)
Site 43/4 launch history
StatusActive
Launches305
First launch25 July 1967
R-7A Semyorka
Last launch28 September 2020
Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat
Associated
rockets
R-7A Semyorka (retired)
Vostok-2M (retired)
Voskhod (retired)
Molniya-M (retired)
Soyuz-U (retired)
Soyuz-M (retired)
Soyuz-2 (active)

Site 43, also known as SK-3 and SK-4, is a launch complex at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia. It consists of a two pads, Sites 43/3 and 43/4, and has been used by R-7 derived rockets since the early 1960s.

The site was originally built for use by R-7A Semyorka missiles. The first launch to use the complex was an R-7A test on 21 December 1965, from Site 43/3. The first launch from 43/4 followed on 25 July 1967.

After its retirement from service as a missile base, it was converted for use as a space launch complex. The first orbital launch was of a Voskhod rocket with Kosmos 313 on 3 December 1969.

Both pads were damaged by explosions in the 1980s. At 16:01 UTC on 18 March 1980, 48 people were killed when a Vostok-2M exploded during fueling operations at Pad 4. The disaster injured dozens more, while damaging the pad so severely that it was not used again until 1984. On 18 June 1987, a Soyuz-U rocket exploded at liftoff on Pad 3.[1] Both were rebuilt, and are in service as of 2009.

References

  1. ^ Wade, Mark. "Plesetsk". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  • Zak, Anatoly. "Cosmodrome Plesetsk". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved 2009-03-18.
  • Wade, Mark. "Plesetsk LC43/3". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  • Wade, Mark. "Plesetsk LC43/4". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 24 October 2017.