Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
19 October 2006
8 November 2004
Also Known As: R-7A, Soyuz-2-1A, Soyuz-2-1B, Soyuz-2.1b, Soyuz-2.1V and Soyuz-ST
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Description: The Soyuz Launch Vehicle evolved from Soviet R-7 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) becoming a reliable and affordable space access asset for the Soviet Union and lately for Russia and international customers. Since 1966 a wide range of Soyuz models have performed more than 1,680 missions.
The Soyuz launched the first satellite and the first human into space. Currently, these vehicles are used to launch commercial and military satellites into space and for transportation of personnel and materiel to the International Space Station (ISS).
The Soyuz propulsion system consists of three stages or four stages including the upper stage. The first stage comprises four liquid oxygen and kerosene RD-107A boosters assembled around the central core. The first stage burns for 118 seconds. The second stage is located at the central core of the launch vehicle and comprises one RD-108A rocket motor that burns for 290 seconds. The third stage uses one RD-0110 motor and burns for 240 seconds.
The Soyuz-2 is a further development to extend the service life of launch vehicle Soyuz well into the second the decade of the 21st century. The Soyuz-2 features greater payload, improved injection into orbit accuracy and eliminates the usage of high-toxic fuel components. The Soyuz-2 development was split between Soyuz-2-1A and Soyuz-2-1B phases. The first Soyuz-2-1A was launched November 2004 carrying a test payload and put into orbit the MetOp-A meteorological satellite in October 2006. The first Soyuz-2-1B was launched December 2006 carrying Corot scientific spacecraft. The Soyuz-ST is a version designed for launch from the Kourou space center in the French Guiana. The Soyuz-2 has been designed as the replacement for current Soyuz-series and Molniya-M space launch vehicles.
The upgraded Soyuz-ST launch vehicle introduces an increased payload volume and weight to meet the increasing needs of international customers as well as a new digital flight control system to improve trajectory accuracy. Some parts of Soyuz/ST propulsion system have been reinforced and propellant tanks have been enlarged. The Soyuz-ST launch vehicle will carry a 10,800 lb (4,900 kg) payload to a Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Using Fregat upper stage, Soyuz-ST will deliver a 12,125 lb (5,500 kg) payload to LEO and a 10,141 lb (4,600 kg) to a Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
The Soyuz-2.1V is a new light rocket launcher equipped with a powerful NK-33-1 engine and capable of delivering a payload of 2.8 tons into a Low Earth Orbit. The first launch of a Soyuz-2.1V rocket launch system was scheduled for early 2013 but finally was carried out on December 28, 2013.
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