SS-18 Dnepr converted Russian ICBM rocket launch

I came across this today.  The Russians have converted their ballistic missiles so that they can now carry satellites into a low orbit.  Nato nicknamed the Rocket the SS-18 “Satan”, quite an appropriate name I think considering the destructive capability.

The launch is quite spectacular (video below), it is catapulted out of the silo in the style of a mortar, before the bottom of the rocket is ejected and it then ignites and propels itself up into orbit.

Originally these ballistic missiles were designed to fly up into space, then launch up to a 20MT warhead from within space, however the most advanced designs released 10 warheads which could each pick out an individual target.  This type of weapon was then agreed and signed by both Russia and the USA that neither would use this “First Strike” type of weapon because neither side had the capability to defend from it; First Strike means who ever strikes first would effectively win any war because they would wipe out the other side before they could retaliate.

These ballistic missiles, together with those being designed and built by the USA and the UK were effectively the end of the need for the V-Bombers that were used in the UK – although the aircraft (The Victor, The Valiant and the Vulcan) all continued to fly until the 1980s!

Below is a video of the live launch

Below is an animation of how the satellite is launched

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~ by globalste on November 25, 2011.

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