Soyuz (rocket family)

Last updated
Soyuz TMA-9 launch.jpg
A Soyuz-FG rocket carrying a Soyuz TMA spacecraft launches from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on 18 September 2006.
Function Carrier rocket
Manufacturer OKB-1
Progress State Research and Production Rocket Space Center
Country of originUSSR
Associated rockets
Family R-7
Launch history
Launch sites
First flight28 November 1966
Notable payloads Soyuz

Soyuz (Russian : Союз, meaning "union", GRAU index 11A511) is a family of expendable launch systems developed by OKB-1 and manufactured by Progress Rocket Space Centre in Samara, Russia. With over 1700 flights since its debut in 1966, the Soyuz is the most frequently used launch vehicle in the world. [1]

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although, nowadays, nearly three decades after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia, the rise of state-specific varieties of this language tends to be strongly denied in Russia, in line with the Russian World ideology.

Expendable launch system launch system that uses an expendable launch vehicle

An expendable launch vehicle (ELV) is a launch system or launch vehicle stage that is used only once to carry a payload into space. Historically, satellites and human spacecraft were launched mainly using expendable launchers. ELV advantages include cost savings through mass production, and a greater payload fraction.

Progress Rocket Space Centre

The Progress Rocket Space Centre, formerly known as TsSKB-Progress, is a Russian joint-stock company under the jurisdiction of Roscosmos State Corporation responsible for space science and aerospace research. It is the developer of the famous Soyuz-FG rocket used for manned space flight, as well as Soyuz-U used for launching unmanned probes.


When the U.S. Space Shuttle program ended in 2011, Soyuz rockets became the only launch vehicles able to transport astronauts to the International Space Station.

Space Shuttle Partially reusable launch system and spacecraft

The Space Shuttle was a partially reusable low Earth orbital spacecraft system operated by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as part of the Space Shuttle program. Its official program name was Space Transportation System (STS), taken from a 1969 plan for a system of reusable spacecraft of which it was the only item funded for development. The first of four orbital test flights occurred in 1981, leading to operational flights beginning in 1982. In addition to the prototype whose completion was cancelled, five complete Shuttle systems were built and used on a total of 135 missions from 1981 to 2011, launched from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. Operational missions launched numerous satellites, interplanetary probes, and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST); conducted science experiments in orbit; and participated in construction and servicing of the International Space Station. The Shuttle fleet's total mission time was 1322 days, 19 hours, 21 minutes and 23 seconds.

International Space Station Habitable artificial satellite in low Earth orbit

The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit. Its first component was launched into orbit in 1998, with the first long-term residents arriving in November 2000. It has been inhabited continuously since that date. The last pressurised module was fitted in 2011, and an experimental inflatable space habitat was added in 2016. The station is expected to operate until 2030. Development and assembly of the station continues, with several new elements scheduled for launch in 2019. The ISS is the largest human-made body in low Earth orbit and can often be seen with the naked eye from Earth. The ISS consists of pressurised habitation modules, structural trusses, solar arrays, radiators, docking ports, experiment bays and robotic arms. ISS components have been launched by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets and American Space Shuttles.

The Soyuz vehicles are used as the launcher for the crewed Soyuz spacecraft as part of the Soyuz program, as well as to launch uncrewed Progress supply spacecraft to the International Space Station and for commercial launches marketed and operated by Starsem and Arianespace. All Soyuz rockets use RP-1 and liquid oxygen (LOX) propellant, with the exception of the Soyuz-U2, which used Syntin, a variant of RP-1, with LOX. The Soyuz family is a subset of the R-7 family.

Soyuz (spacecraft) series of spacecraft designed for the Soviet space programme

Soyuz is a series of spacecraft designed for the Soviet space program by the Korolev Design Bureau in the 1960s that remains in service today. The Soyuz succeeded the Voskhod spacecraft and was originally built as part of the Soviet manned lunar programs. The Soyuz spacecraft is launched on a Soyuz rocket, the most reliable launch vehicle in the world to date. The Soyuz rocket design is based on the Vostok launcher, which in turn was based on the 8K74 or R-7A Semyorka, a Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile. All Soyuz spacecraft are launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Progress (spacecraft) Russian expendable freighter spacecraft

The Progress is a Russian expendable cargo spacecraft. Its purpose is to deliver supplies needed to sustain human presence in orbit. While it does not carry a crew it can be boarded by astronauts when docked with a space station, hence it being classified as manned by its manufacturer. Progress is derived from the manned Soyuz spacecraft and launches on the same vehicle, a Soyuz rocket.

Starsem is a European-Russian company that was created in 1996 to commercialise the Soyuz launcher internationally. Starsem is headquartered in Évry, France and has the following shareholders:


Soyuz rocket engines Soyuz rocket engines.jpg
Soyuz rocket engines

A space workhorse

The Soyuz launcher was introduced in 1966, deriving from the Vostok launcher, which in turn was based on the 8K74 or R-7a intercontinental ballistic missile. It was initially a three-stage rocket with a Block I upper stage. Later a Molniya variant was produced by adding a fourth stage, allowing it to reach the highly elliptical molniya orbit. A later variant was the Soyuz-U. [2] While the exact model and variant designations were kept secret from the west, the Soyuz launcher was referred to by either the United States Department of Defense designation of SL-4, or the Sheldon designation of A-2 (developed by Charles S. Sheldon, an analyst with the Library of Congress). Both systems for naming Soviet rockets stopped being used as more accurate information became available. [3]

Vostok (rocket family) series of six manned Soviet orbiting spacecraft

Vostok was a family of rockets derived from the Soviet R-7 Semyorka ICBM and was designed for the human spaceflight programme. This family of rockets launched the first artificial satellite and the first manned spacecraft (Vostok) in human history. It was a subset of the R-7 family of rockets.

Intercontinental ballistic missile ballistic missile with a range of more than 5,500 kilometres

An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a guided ballistic missile with a minimum range of 5,500 kilometres (3,400 mi) primarily designed for nuclear weapons delivery. Similarly, conventional, chemical, and biological weapons can also be delivered with varying effectiveness, but have never been deployed on ICBMs. Most modern designs support multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs), allowing a single missile to carry several warheads, each of which can strike a different target.

Molniya (rocket) Soviet rocket

The Molniya, GRAU Index 8K78, was a modification of the well-known R-7 Semyorka rocket and had four stages.

The production of Soyuz launchers reached a peak of 60 per year in the early 1980s. It has become the world's most used space launcher, flying over 1700 times, far more than any other rocket. Despite its age and perhaps thanks to its simplicity, this rocket family has been notable for its low cost and high reliability.

Soyuz / Fregat

In the early 1990s plans were made for a redesigned Soyuz with a Fregat upper stage. The Fregat engine was developed by NPO Lavochkin from the propulsion module of its Phobos interplanetary probes. Although endorsed by the Russian Space Agency and the Russian Ministry of Defence in 1993 and designated "Rus" as a Russification and modernisation of Soyuz, and later renamed Soyuz-2, a funding shortage prevented implementation of the plan. The creation of Starsem in July 1996 provided new funding for the creation of a less ambitious variant, the Soyuz-Fregat or Soyuz U/Fregat. This consisted of a slightly modified Soyuz U combined with the Fregat upper stage, with a capacity of up to 1,350 kg to geostationary transfer orbit. In April 1997, Starsem obtained a contract from the European Space Agency to launch two pairs of Cluster 2 plasma science satellites using the Soyuz-Fregat. Before the introduction of this new model, Starsem launched 24 satellites of the Globalstar constellation in 6 launches with a restartable Ikar upper stage, between September 22, 1999 and November 22, 1999. After successful test flights of Soyuz-Fregat on February 9, 2000 and March 20, 2000, the Cluster 2 satellites were launched on July 16, 2000 and August 9, 2000. Another Soyuz-Fregat launched the ESA's Mars Express probe from Baikonur in June 2003. Now the Soyuz-Fregat launcher is used by Starsem for commercial payloads.

Fregat rocket upper stage

Fregat (Russian: Фрегат, frigate) is an upper stage developed by NPO Lavochkin in the 1990s, which is used in some Soyuz and Zenit rockets. Its liquid propellant engine uses UDMH and N2O4.

Phobos program 1988 Soviet missions to Mars

The Phobos program was an unmanned space mission consisting of two probes launched by the Soviet Union to study Mars and its moons Phobos and Deimos. Phobos 1 was launched on 7 July 1988, and Phobos 2 on 12 July 1988, each aboard a Proton-K rocket.

Geostationary transfer orbit Hohmann transfer orbit used to reach geosynchronous or geostationary orbit

A geosynchronous transfer orbit or geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) is a Hohmann transfer orbit—an elliptical orbit used to transfer between two circular orbits of different radii in the same plane—used to reach geosynchronous or geostationary orbit using high-thrust chemical engines.

Soyuz-FG erected at the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad 1/5 Gagarin's Start (October 2008) Soyuz TMA-13 erected at Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad.jpg
Soyuz-FG erected at the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad 1/5 Gagarin's Start (October 2008)

ISS crew transport

Between February 1, 2003 and July 26, 2005 with the grounding of the U.S. Space Shuttle fleet, Soyuz was the only means of transportation to and from the International Space Station. This included the transfer of supplies, via Progress spacecraft, and crew changeovers. Since the retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet in 2011, the U.S. space program is without any means to take astronauts into orbit, and NASA is dependent on the Soyuz to send crew into space for the immediate future. [4] NASA is scheduled to resume crewed flights from the United States in 2019 through the Commercial Crew Development program.

NASA space-related agency of the United States government

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.

Commercial Crew Development

Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) is a multiphase, space technology development program that is funded by the U.S. government and administered by NASA. The program is intended to stimulate development of privately operated crew vehicles to be launched into low Earth orbit. The program is run by NASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO).

Recent incidents

A long string of successful Soyuz launches was broken on October 15, 2002 when the uncrewed Soyuz U launch of the Photon-M satellite from Plesetsk fell back near the launch pad and exploded 29 seconds after lift-off. One person from the ground crew was killed and eight injured.

Another failure occurred on June 21, 2005, during a Molniya military communications satellite launch from the Plesetsk launch site, which used a four-stage version of the rocket called Molniya-M. The flight ended six minutes after the launch because of a failure of the third stage engine or an unfulfilled order to separate the second and third stages. The rocket's second and third stages, which are identical to the Soyuz, and its payload (a Molniya-3K satellite) crashed in the Uvatski region of Tyumen (Siberia). [5]

On August 24, 2011, an uncrewed Soyuz-U carrying cargo to the International Space Station crashed, failing to reach orbit. On December 23, 2011 a Soyuz-2.1b launching a Meridian-5 military communications satellite failed in the 7th minute of launch because of an anomaly in the third stage. [6]

On October 11, 2018, the Soyuz MS-10 mission to the International Space Station failed to reach orbit after an issue with the main booster. The launch escape system was used to pull the Soyuz spacecraft away from the malfunctioning rocket. The two crew, Aleksey Ovchinin and Nick Hague, followed a ballistic trajectory and landed safely over 400km downrange from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Soyuz-2 and Guiana spaceport

Soyuz 2 ready to launch (2007) Soyuz 2 metop.jpg
Soyuz 2 ready to launch (2007)

The venerable Soyuz launcher is gradually being replaced by a new version, now named Soyuz/ST (or Soyuz-2), which has a new digital guidance system and a highly modified third stage with a new engine. The first development version of Soyuz 2 called Soyuz-2-1a, which is already equipped with the digital guidance system, but is still propelled by an old third stage engine, started on November 4, 2004 from Plesetsk on a suborbital test flight, followed by an orbital flight on October 23, 2006 from Baikonur. The fully modified launcher (version Soyuz-2-1b) flew first on December 27, 2006 with the CoRoT satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

On 19 January 2005, the European Space Agency and the Russian Federal Space Agency agreed to launch Soyuz/ST rockets from the Guiana Space Centre. [7] The equatorial launch site allows the Soyuz to deliver 2.7 to 4.9 tonnes into sun-synchronous orbit, depending on the third-stage engine used. [8] Construction of a new pad started in 2005 and was completed in April 2011. The pad used vertical loading common at Guiana, unlike the horizontal loading used at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. [9] A simulated launch was conducted in early May 2011. [10] The first operational launch happened on 21 October 2011, bearing the first two satellites in Galileo global positioning system.

The Soyuz-U and Soyuz-FG rockets are gradually being replaced by Soyuz-2 from 2014 onwards. Soyuz-U was retired in 2017, [11] while Soyuz-FG still carries astronaut crews to the ISS as of 2018.


The Molniya-M (1964-2010) was also derived from the Soyuz family.


Soyuz rocket assembly: the first and second stages are in the background, already joined together; the third stage is in the lower left corner of the image. The Soyuz spacecraft, covered by its launch shroud, is in the lower right corner. Soyuz rocket assembly.jpg
Soyuz rocket assembly: the first and second stages are in the background, already joined together; the third stage is in the lower left corner of the image. The Soyuz spacecraft, covered by its launch shroud, is in the lower right corner.

The rocket is assembled horizontally in the Assembly and Testing Building. The assembled rocket is transported to the launch site in its horizontal state and then raised. This is different from the vertical assembly of, for example, the Saturn V, and is one of the features that makes Soyuz cheaper[ citation needed ] to prepare for launch.

Assembling a horizontally positioned rocket is relatively simple as all modules are easily accessible. Assembling the rocket in vertical position would require a windproof high-rise hangar, which was not considered financially feasible at the time the rocket was designed, due to the failing economy of the Soviet Union.


Soyuz TMA-13 being erected at the Gagarin's Start launch pad, October 10, 2008. Soyuz TMA-13 arrives at Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad.jpg
Soyuz TMA-13 being erected at the Gagarin's Start launch pad, October 10, 2008.

The entire rocket is suspended in the launch system by the load-bearing mechanisms on the strap-on boosters where they are attached to the central core. The latter rests on the nose sections of the strap-on boosters. This scheme resembles flight conditions when the strap-on boosters push the central core forward. The concept of suspending the rocket was one of the novelties introduced with the R-7/Soyuz.

Since the launch pad has been eliminated, the bottom portion of the rocket is lowered. The launch system trusses bear the wind loads. Resistance to high wind is an important feature of the launch system, as the Kazakhstan steppes, where the Baikonur launch site is located, are known for windstorms.


A Soyuz-U on the launch pad, ahead of the Soyuz 19 (ASTP) launch on 15 July 1975 Soyuz rocket ASTP.jpg
A Soyuz-U on the launch pad, ahead of the Soyuz 19 (ASTP) launch on 15 July 1975

The engines are ignited by electrically initiated pyrotechnic flares, mounted on birch poles, which are ignited at approximately T-20, a few seconds before fuel components are introduced into the combustion chamber. [12] This sequence rarely fails due to its simplicity. [13] During launch, the support booms track the movement of the rocket. After the support boom heads emerge from the special support recess in the nose sections of the strapons, the support booms and trusses disconnect from the rocket airframe, swiveling on the support axes and freeing the way for the rocket to lift off. During launch, the rocket and the launch facility form a single dynamic system.

When the strapon booster engines stop, the boosters fall away, providing nonimpact separation. If the skies are clear, ground observers can see a Korolev cross formed by the falling boosters.

Fairings used for uncrewed missions

The Soyuz launch vehicle is used for various Russian uncrewed missions and is also marketed by Starsem for commercial satellite launches. Presently the following fairing types are used:

Progress is the cargo spacecraft for uncrewed missions to the ISS and previously to Mir. The spacecraft uses a dedicated platform and fairing and can be launched with either Soyuz-U, Soyuz-FG or Soyuz-2.[ citation needed ]

A-type fairing is used for commercial launches.[ citation needed ]

S-type fairing is used for commercial launches by Starsem. The fairing has external diameter of 3.7 m and a length of 7.7 m. The Fregat upper stage is encapsulated in the fairing with the payload and a payload adapter/dispenser. [14] S-type fairing along with Fregat upper stage were used to launch the following spacecraft: Galaxy 14, GIOVE A, Mars Express, AMOS-2, Venus Express, Cluster. [15]

SL-type fairing is used for commercial launches by Starsem. The fairing has external diameter of 3.7 m and a length of 8.45 m. The Fregat upper stage is encapsulated in the fairing with the payload and a payload adapter/dispenser. [16] SL-type fairing along with Fregat upper stage were used to launch the following spacecraft: COROT.[ citation needed ]

ST-type fairing is used for commercial launches by Starsem. Its external diameter is 4.1 m and its length is 11.4 m. It can be used with the Soyuz-2 only, because older analog control system cannot cope with aerodynamic instability introduced by a fairing this large. This carbon-plastic fairing is based on the proven configuration used for Arianespace’s Ariane 4 vehicles, with its length increased by approximately one additional meter. [17] The fairing has been developed and is being manufactured by TsSKB-Progress in accordance with the requirements of a customer (Starsem). This is the only fairing type offered by Starsem/Arianespace for launches from Kourou. [18]


Exploded plan of Soyuz FG rocket Soyuz rocket and spaceship V1-1.svg
Exploded plan of Soyuz FG rocket

First stage

The first stage hauling a crew up to ISS, 2006 Sojuz TMA-9 into flight.jpg
The first stage hauling a crew up to ISS, 2006

The first stage of Soyuz rockets consists of four identical conical liquid booster rockets, strapped to the second stage core. Each booster has a single rocket motor with four combustion chambers, two vernier combustion chambers, and one set of turbopumps.

Statistics (each of 4 boosters)[ citation needed ]

Second stage

Here the four first stage boosters fall away, creating a cross smoke pattern in the sky, also known as a Korolev cross. Korolyov cross.JPG
Here the four first stage boosters fall away, creating a cross smoke pattern in the sky, also known as a Korolev cross.

The second stage of the Soyuz booster is a single, generally cylindrical stage with one motor at the base and is activated with the first stage. Like each of the first-stage rockets, it also has four combustion chambers and one set of turbopumps, but four (instead of two) vernier combustion chambers. The second stage tapers toward the bottom to allow the four first-stage rockets to fit more closely together.

Third stage

One of the common payloads of the Soyuz rocket family, a Soyuz spacecraft. This one is for an international docking mission with Apollo spacecraft of the USA Soyuz 19 (Apollo Soyuz Test Project) spacecraft.jpg
One of the common payloads of the Soyuz rocket family, a Soyuz spacecraft. This one is for an international docking mission with Apollo spacecraft of the USA

There are two variant upper stages in use, the Block I and Improved Block-I (used in Soyuz-2-1b).

See also

Related Research Articles

R-7 Semyorka Intercontinental ballistic missile

The R-7 was a Soviet missile developed during the Cold War, and the world's first intercontinental ballistic missile. The R-7 made 28 launches between 1957 and 1961, but was never deployed operationally. A derivative, the R-7A, was deployed from 1959 to 1968. To the West it was known by the NATO reporting name SS-6 Sapwood and within the Soviet Union by the GRAU index 8K71. In modified form, it launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, into orbit, and became the basis for the R-7 family which includes Sputnik, Luna, Molniya, Vostok, and Voskhod space launchers, as well as later Soyuz variants.

Voskhod (spacecraft) a series of Soviet multi-seat spaceships

The Voskhod was a spacecraft built by the Soviet Union's space program for human spaceflight as part of the Voskhod programme. It was a development of and a follow-on to the Vostok spacecraft. Voskhod 1 was used for a three-man flight whereas Voskhod 2 had a crew of two. They consisted of a spherical descent module, which housed the cosmonauts, and instruments, and a conical equipment module, which contained propellant and the engine system. Voskhod was superseded by the Soyuz spacecraft in 1967.

The Voskhod rocket was a derivative of the Soviet R-7 ICBM designed for the human spaceflight programme but later used for launching Zenit reconnaissance satellites. It consisted of the Molniya 8K78M third stage minus the Blok L. In 1966, all R-7 variants were equipped with the uprated core stage and strap-ons of the Soyuz 11A511. The Blok I stage in the Voskhod booster used the RD-107 engine rather than the RD-110 in the Soyuz, which was more powerful and also man-rated. The sole exception to this were the two manned Voskhod launches, which had RD-108 engines, a man-rated RD-107 but with the same performance.

Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster

The Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) were the first solid fuel motors to be used for primary propulsion on a vehicle used for human spaceflight and provided the majority of the Space Shuttle's thrust during the first two minutes of flight. After burnout, they were jettisoned and parachuted into the Atlantic Ocean where they were recovered, examined, refurbished, and reused.

Zenit (rocket family) rocket for launching satellites

Zenit is a family of space launch vehicles designed by the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau in Dnipro, Ukraine, which was then part of the Soviet Union. Zenit was originally built in the 1980s for two purposes: as a liquid rocket booster for the Energia rocket and, equipped with a second stage, as a stand-alone middle-weight launcher with a payload greater than the 7 tonnes of the Soyuz but smaller than the 20 tonnes payload of the Proton. The last rocket family developed in the USSR, the Zenit was intended as an eventual replacement for the dated R-7 and Proton families, and it would employ propellants which were safer and less toxic than the Proton's nitrogen tetroxide/UDMH mix. Zenit was planned to take over manned spaceship launches from Soyuz, but these plans were abandoned after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The N1 was a super heavy-lift launch vehicle intended to deliver payloads beyond low Earth orbit, acting as the Soviet counterpart to the US Saturn V. It was designed with manned extra-orbital travel in mind. Development work started on the N1 in 1959. Its first stage is the most powerful rocket stage ever built.

Soyuz-U Soyuz rocket design variant - Universal

The Soyuz-U launch vehicle was an improved version of the original Soyuz rocket. Soyuz-U was part of the R-7 family of rockets based on the R-7 Semyorka missile. Members of this rocket family were designed by the TsSKB design bureau and constructed at the Progress Factory in Samara, Russia. The first Soyuz-U flight took place on 18 May 1973, carrying as its payload Kosmos 559, a Zenit military surveillance satellite. The final flight of a Soyuz-U rocket took place on February 22, 2017, carrying Progress MS-05 to the International Space Station.

Soyuz-2 Russian rocket

Soyuz-2, GRAU index 14A14, is the collective designation for the 21st-century version of the Russian Soyuz rocket. In its basic form, it is a three-stage carrier rocket for placing payloads into low Earth orbit. The first-stage boosters and two core stages feature uprated engines with improved injection systems, compared to the previous versions of the Soyuz. Digital flight control and telemetry systems allow the rocket to be launched from a fixed launch platform, whereas the launch platforms for earlier Soyuz rockets had to be rotated as the rocket could not perform a roll to change its heading in flight.

Soyuz-FG launch vehicle

The Soyuz-FG launch vehicle is an improved version of the Soyuz-U from the R-7 family of rockets, designed and constructed by TsSKB-Progress in Samara, Russia. It made its maiden flight on 20 May 2001, carrying a Progress cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS).

Soyuz 7K-L1 No.4L

Soyuz 7K-L1 No.4L, sometimes identified by NASA as Zond 1967A, was a Soviet spacecraft which was launched in 1967 as part of the Zond programme. It was a 5,390-kilogram (11,880 lb) Soyuz 7K-L1 spacecraft, the first of nine to be launched. Although it was intended to perform a circumlunar flyby of the Moon before returning to the Earth for landing, it failed to achieve Earth orbit.

The Molniya-M, designation 8K78M, was a Russian carrier rocket derived from the R-7 Semyorka ICBM.

Luna (rocket) rocket

The Luna 8K72 vehicles were carrier rockets used by the Soviet Union for nine space probe launch attempts in the Luna programme between 23 September 1958 and 16 April 1960. Like many other Soviet launchers of that era the Luna 8K72 vehicles were derived from the R-7 Semyorka design, part of the R-7, which is also the basis for the modern Soyuz rocket.

RD-0124 rocket engine

The RD-0124 is a rocket engine burning liquid oxygen and kerosene in a staged combustion cycle. RD-0124 engines are used on the Soyuz-2.1b and Soyuz-2-1v. A slight variation of the engine, the RD-0124A, is used on the Angara rocket family URM-2 upper stage. RD-0124 is developed by Chemical Automatics Design Bureau.

Progress M-08M

Progress M-08M, identified by NASA as Progress 40 or 40P, is a Progress spacecraft which was used to resupply the International Space Station. It was the eighth Progress-M 11F615A60 spacecraft to be launched, the fifth for the year 2010. The spacecraft was manufactured by RKK Energia, and was operated by the Russian Federal Space Agency. It arrived at the space station on 30 October 2010 whilst the Expedition 25 crew was aboard, and departed during Expedition 26 on 24 January 2011.

Progress M-12M

Progress M-12M, identified by NASA as Progress 44 or 44P, was an unmanned Progress spacecraft that was lost in a launch failure in August 2011, at the start of a mission to resupply the International Space Station. It was the twelfth modernised Progress-M spacecraft to be launched. Manufactured by RKK Energia, the spacecraft was to have been operated by the Russian Federal Space Agency.

The Algol family of solid-fuel rocket stages and boosters built by Aerojet and used on a variety of launch vehicles. It was developed by Aerojet from the earlier Jupiter Senior and the Navy Polaris programs. Upgrades to the Algol motor occurred from 1960 till the retirement of the Scout launch vehicle in 1994.


The S5.92 is a Russian rocket engine, currently used on the Fregat upper stage.

The S5.142 (AKA DST-25) is a liquid pressure-fed rocket engine burning N2O4/UDMH with an O/F of 1.85. It is used for crew-rated spacecraft propulsion applications. It was used in KTDU-80 propulsion module from the Soyuz-TM to the Soyuz-TMA-M, as the low thrust thruster (DPO-M). As of the Soyuz MS, KTDU-80 does not uses DPO-M anymore.

Soyuz MS-10 spaceflight aborted shortly after launch on 11 October 2018

Soyuz MS-10 was a manned Soyuz MS spaceflight which aborted shortly after launch on 11 October 2018 due to a failure of the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle boosters. MS-10 was the 139th flight of a Soyuz spacecraft. It was intended to transport two members of the Expedition 57 crew to the International Space Station. A few minutes after liftoff, the craft went into contingency abort due to a booster failure and had to return to Earth. By the time the contingency abort was declared, the launch escape system (LES) tower had already been ejected and the capsule was pulled away from the rocket using the back-up motors on the capsule fairing. Both crew members, Roscosmos cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague, were recovered alive in good health. The MS-10 flight abort was the first instance of a Russian manned booster accident in 35 years, since Soyuz T-10-1 exploded on the launch pad in September 1983. On 1 November 2018, Russian scientists released a video recording of the mission.


  1. "Soyuz launch vehicle: The most reliable means of space travel". European Space Agency. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  2. ""Soyuz" - series launch vehicles". Samara Space Centre. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2013.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  3. Christian Lardier; Stefan Barensky (12 March 2013). The Soyuz Launch Vehicle: The Two Lives of an Engineering Triumph. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 233–. ISBN   978-1-4614-5459-5.
  4. Stephen Clark (27 May 2014). "NASA's latest Soyuz seat procurement may be its last". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  5. "Molniya-M accident caused by engine failure or unfulfilled order". RIA Novosti. June 21, 2005. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  6. Jonathan Amos (23 December 2011). "Another Soyuz rocket launch fails". BBC News. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  7. "Closer ties between ESA and Russia". European Space Agency. 19 January 2005. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  8. "Soyuz at the European Spaceport" (PDF). European Space Agency. Nov 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  9. "Soyuz launch site ready for first flight". European Space Agency. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  10. "First Soyuz almost ready for launch from French Guiana". European Space Agency. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  11. Chris Gebhardt (February 21, 2017). "Longest-serving rocket in history bids farewell with Progress MS-05 launch".
  12. Zak, Anatoly (2016-03-17). "Russia Actually Lights Rockets With an Oversized Wooden Match". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  13. "Soyuz Rocket suffers rare Abort at Ignition – Soyuz | Resurs-P No.3 |Spaceflight101". Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  14. "Soyuz Launch Vehicle". Starsem. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  15. "Carrier rocket Soyuz-FG with RB Frigate". Archived from the original on December 6, 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2013.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  16. "Arianespace and Starsem to orbit COROT" (PDF). Starsem. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  17. "Soyuz: Overview". Arianespace. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  18. "Soyuz from the Guiana Space Centre: User's Manual" (PDF). Arianespace. June 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 August 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2013.

Further reading