MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia considers restarting satellite launches using adapted intercontinental ballistic missiles, a source in the nation’s space industry told Sputnik.
“The space rocket industry is revisiting a project that will convert out-of-service Topol ICBMs into light carrier rockets to be used in the space program,” the source said.
The conversion would save the outdated Topols from being scrapped after they are replaced in service by new Yars missiles. There are estimated to be around 70 Topols in Russian arsenal.
This type of ICBMs was used to put satellites into orbit from the Plesetsk and Vostochny space ports between 1993 and 2006. Six out of the seven launches atop the converted Start-1 carrier rockets were successful.
Earlier, Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos has announced a tender for the scrapping of nine Topol mobile ICBMs for 42 kilograms of silver and 1.8 kilograms of gold by dismantling the nine missiles.