S.P.Korolev RSC Energia receives numerous questions and requests from agencies, companies and individuals from abroad to tell them about the Corporation's experience in the development of rocket and space systems for various purposes, about work performed by our organization together with other companies and organizations of this country, and about a comparative assessment of the costs of new systems development with respect to other similar projects.
Materials answering these questions are presented in the appropriate sections of this Corporation's web-site. In order to facilitate the search and comprehension of these materials, we provide below some general information about our company's activities in the development of launcher facilities of various classes:

Our company (formerly known as Special Design Bureau 1, Central Design Bureau fro Experimental Machine-building, NPO Energia, now known as S.P.Korolev RSC Energia) has a wealth of experience in launcher activities.
Hardly any other company in Russia, and, maybe, in the whole world, has the same long history and breadth of experience in all the areas of rocket and space technology.
Our team was formed by the first chief designer of the rocket and space systems, the farther of the practical space science, academician Sergei Pavlovich Korolev who was assigned the task of developing the first long-range ballistic missiles in our country. It was under his leadership, with participation of other organizations and companies of our country were headed by academicians M.V.Keldysh, I.V.Kurchatov, chief designers of systems and units academicians V.P.Gloshko, M.S.Ryazansky, V.I.Kuznetsov, N.A.Pilyugin, V.P.Barmin and others, that the rocket systems R-1, R-2, R-5, R-5M, R-11 (11M, 11FM), R-7 (7A), R-9 (9A) were developed in 1946-1963. The first few of these rockets used liquid oxygen and alcohol as propellants. Then, R-11 rocket provided experience in working with nitric acid and kerosene. After that, the liquid propulsion rockets, starting with the legendary R-7, were developed using the following propellant components: liquid oxygen, kerosene, liquid hydrogen. In 1960s our company also developed strategic missile systems based on solid-propellant intercontinental two-stage missiles (RT-1, RT-2).

In 1960s the company started developing a super-heavy launch vehicle (LV) N1 for the manned lunar program. The work under this program which continued till 1974, took our country's rocket science to an entirely new level of knowledge and technologies.
A special place among all the projects carried out by our company is occupied by the development of the one-of-a-kind super-heavy LV Energia with load-carrying capacity of up to 100 tons, which is still unparalleled in world in some of its engineering solutions. It was the key project in a series of standardized environmentally-friendly domestic LVs which was to provide low-Earth orbit insertion of payloads with a mass of 12-15 tons (medium-class LV Zenit) to 30-60 tons (heavy LV Groza) and then up to 200 tons (super-heavy LV Vulkan). The work on Energia LV covers the period of time from late 1970s to early 1990s when Perestroika policies and the subsequent break-up the USSR led to the project termination. But the experience of working on this launch vehicle which was a part of our country's reusable space system Energia-Buran was so vast, successful and rich, that it was used to the fullest degree in those projects that we proposed afterwards and are still proposing today in the present-day designs of space launchers.

DM-type Block Manufacturing Production Base
DM-type Block Manufacturing
Production Base

Even in the years that were the most difficult period for Russia (1991-2000), RSC Energia pioneered a one-of-a-kind sea-based space launcher system Sea Launch, based on the designs, technologies and production facilities developed in the course of Energia-Buran project. The rocket segment of this system includes LV Zenit-2S, a derivative of Zenit,which has the same modular part as the LV Energia first stage strap-on boosters, and the upper stage DM-SL, one of ten derivatives of a highly reliable Block DM upper stage that has been in operation for several decades under various programs and uses liquid oxygen and kerosene propellants.

In parallel with this,taking into account the state of economy and the state of the market, world market included, in mid-1990s our company developed a number of designs for light launch vehicles (LV Kvant, Kvant-1), and then, taking into account the demands of the market, proposed medium LV designs as possible upgrade options for the currently operated Soyuz-type LVs derived from the original R-7 rocket design. These are launch vehicle projects Yamal, Onega, and Aurora.
The work on the rocket and space system based on medium-class LV Aurora was performed by the Corporation using the usual subcontractors for Soyuz LV under a contract with the Asia-Pacific Space Center of Australia, but was suspended in 2002 because the customer had problems with the funding. However, technical capabilities found in the course of the work under the Aurora project, and an inventory of the already built components for such a rocket , as well as the design documentation, the established network of subcontractors and the developed technologies make it feasible to develop on this basis a light-class LV system with the payload capacity of up to 1.5-2 tons to low Earth orbit.

SR&PRSC TsSKB-ProgressAssembling-and-Testing Building
SR&PRSC TsSKB-Progress
SR&PRSC TsSKB-Progress
Assembling-and-Testing Building

It is proposed that this system, which was given designation Aurora-L.SK, just as the launch vehicle of the same designation, should be developed within three years, using the traditional network of subcontractors proven over decades in many projects, which includes such world-renowned Russian rocket developers as TsSKB-Progress, V.P.Glushko NPO Energomash, N.A.Pilyugin NPTs AP, V.P.Barmin KBOM, V.I.Kuznetsov SNTK, RNII KP and others.

S.P. Korolev RSC Energia being an heir of the best traditions of S.P. Korolev's school and the only Russian organization having a semicentenary experience in developing LVs that operate every known propellant components, is primarily focused on the development of ecologically safe LVs with low-boiling propellant components.
At present, the organizations (V.N. Chelomei, M.K. Yangel, V.P. Makeev), which were engaged in a different area of developing rockets, i.e. LVs with high-boiling propellant components, also propose to develop ecologically safe LVs using low-boiling propellant components.
In launch vehicle Aurora-L.SK RSC Energia uses off-the-shelf flight proven components: engine NK-33 in the first stage and upper stage DM-SL as its second stage. This stage carries a highly reliable system for controlling the whole of the rocket. Engineering solutions have already been proven and guarantee a high reliability of the system as a whole, while requiring a minimal development cost, which is twice as low compared with the options proposed by other developers of similar systems.

Principal characteristics

Launching Mass

135 t

Payload mass

  • in elliptic orbit (/=300/1500 km, i=80°)


1.5 t

Launch Vehicle Engine Thrust

  • at first stage, Sea-level
    - main engine (NK-33)
    - vernier engine (RD0110R)
  • at second stage (11D58M), vacuum


154.05 tf
24.35 tf
8.0 tf

Propellant Capacity Reserve

  • at first stage
  • at second stage


108.0 t
11.3 t

ILV Overall Dimensions

  • length
  • maximum diameter


31.4 m
3.7 m






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