The Volna space missile complex is based on the R-29R and designed:
- to conduct scientific and technological studies under microgravity conditions with a recoverable vehicle accommodating research equipment;
- to launch experimental spacecraft to try out new constructions and technologies under suborbital and orbital flight conditions. Payloads up to 700 kg can be injected into suborbital trajectories and up to 150 kg - into NEOs.
The updated R-29RKU missile with scientific equipment, the research module of the Bremen University (Germany) to study a thermoconvectional Earth model, was launched from the Russian 667BDR surfaced submarine in June 1995. This experiment has proved useful operation of the thermoconvectional model (TCM) and other equipment accommodated aboard the Volan recoverable vehicle. The TCM - Volna experiment was ordered by the German Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM).
In 1995-2005 five launches of the Volna LVs were made, including two launches to try out the Sun Sail spacecraft and two launches with inflatable braking devices to deliver loads to the Earth.