Encyclopedia Astronautica
Molniya 8K78M 2BL


Russian orbital launch vehicle. Improved Molniya variant with Blok-2BL upper stage for placement of Oko early-warning satellites into Molniya-class orbits with apogees of 38,000 km.

Payload: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) to a GTO.

Gross mass: 305,000 kg (672,000 lb).
Payload: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb).
Height: 43.40 m (142.30 ft).
Diameter: 2.95 m (9.67 ft).
Thrust: 4,054.00 kN (911,375 lbf).
Apogee: 40,000 km (24,000 mi).

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Associated Countries
See also
  • R-7 The world's first ICBM became the most often used and most reliable launch vehicle in history. The original core+four strap-on booster missile had a small third stage added to produce the Vostok launch vehicle, with a payload of 5 metric tons. Addition of a larger third stage produced the Voskhod/Soyuz vehicle, with a payload over 6 metric tons. Using this with a fourth stage, the resulting Molniya booster placed communications satellites and early lunar and planetary probes in higher energy trajectories. By the year 2000 over 1,628 had been launched with an unmatched success rate of 97.5% for production models. Improved models providing commercial launch services for international customers entered service in the new millenium, and a new launch pad at Kourou was to be inaugurated in 2011. It appeared that the R-7 could easily still be in service 70 years after its first launch. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...

Associated Stages
  • Molniya 8K78M-0 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 43,400/3,770 kg. Thrust 995.30 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 314 seconds. More...
  • Molniya 8K78M-1 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 100,600/6,798 kg. Thrust 976.70 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 315 seconds. More...
  • Molniya 8K78M-2 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 24,800/1,976 kg. Thrust 298.10 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 330 seconds. More...
  • Molniya 8K78M-3 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 6,660/1,160 kg. Thrust 66.60 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 340 seconds. Standardized improved version for Molniya-type communications satellite payloads. More...

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