On June 28, 2007, a converted SS-18 rocket commercially known as Dnepr successfully launched Genesis-2 satellite into its target 550 km orbit inclined 64.5 degrees. The launch was performed in accordance with a special authorization of the Russian Government.
Genesis-2 owned by the US Bigelow Aerospace is a second satellite of the Genesis family. Like its predecessor Genesis-1, it was also delivered into the orbit by the SS-18 rocket. The objective of the Genesis program is to demonstrate the inflatable habitat technology in the actual space environment.
This mission was the 10th commercial payload launch of the SS-18 and the 3rd one performed this year. The purpose of the Dnepr Program is conversion of the SS-18 missiles being withdrawn from service into satellite launchers. The program implementation team consists of a number of the Russian and Ukrainian entities including Yuzhnoye State Design Office. ISC Kosmotras is a leader of this industrial team. Dnepr Program operations are under control of the Federal Space Agency of Russia and National Space Agency of the Ukraine.
Genesis-2 mission was launched from the Yasny launch base constructed by ISC Kosmotras and located in the Orenburg Region, Russia. This launch base is used for the SS-18 launches in parallel with Baikonur Cosmodrome located in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Yasny is a new generation space related installation that offers the customers’ launch campaign teams a convenience of having accommodation, work and recreational facilities in a single location. It can be utilized for pre-launch processing of satellites and space head modules of various types of launchers.
The SS-18 rockets are prepared and launched by the personnel of the Strategic Rocket Forces of the Russian Ministry of Defense. The success of the Genesis-2 launch mission has once again demonstrated high professionalism of the team involved and outstanding reliability of the rocket.