A two-stage Soviet rocket. It was first launched in 1985 and was the USSR's first new rocket for 20 years. The liquid-fuelled Zenit is able to launch a satellite weighing more than 13 500 kg into low Earth orbit. On 21 October 2000, the rocket (operated by Sea Launch and equipped with a third stage) launched the world's heaviest commercial communication satellite, Boeing's Thuraya-1, weighing 5 063 kg. The Zenit may also be used for transportation, with Sea Launch offering the rockets to NASA to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. A Zenit-3SL rocket was used by Sea Launch to place a Brazilian satellite into orbit on 11 January 2004, launching it from a platform in the Pacific Ocean.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.