April 02, 2015

Zenith Launch Vehicle was designed and developed by Yuzhnoye Design Office in collaboration with many design, scientific, production and testing organizations of the Soviet Union. It is manufactured by Yuzhny Machine-Building Plant in cooperation with developers.

Its first launch took place 30 years ago – on April 13 1985 from Baikonur launch site.


Zenith SLS was being built for 10 years by joint efforts of the large group of scientists, designers, planners, process engineers, installation engineers, test engineers from many different enterprises and organizations of the whole country. For instance, the vehicle control system was built at Academician Pilyugin Research Institute, engines – at Energomash DO under the guidance of Academician V. Glushko, launching complex – at DO of the transport mechanical engineering, which was headed by V. Solovyev.

The rocket high power characteristics, unique injection accuracy of the spacecrafts, fully automatic «unmanned» launch, environmentally clean propellants – these and other advantages of the rocket and entire complex allowed Zenith LV to become the best in the world in its class thirty years ago.

Zenith LV is the basis of unique international Sea Launch and Land Launch projects. 82 launches were already carried out to date: 37 launches of Zenith-2 vehicle, 36 launches – under Sea Launch program and 6 launches under Land Launch program. The launches were also carried out according to Federal program of the RF: 1 launch of Zenith-2SБ LV and 2 launches of Zenith-3SLБФ» LV.

New liftoffs are ahead. Zenith continues to operate and is ready for use in the new advanced projects, including manned launches.