icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Russia launches upgraded Soyuz rocket

Russia launches upgraded Soyuz rocket
Russia launched an upgraded version of its Soyuz rocket on Saturday, successfully delivering a scientific satellite into space. The Soyuz-2.1v light class rocket includes a new engine design.

“The operational crew at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome [in Russia’s Arkhangelsk Region] has successfully conducted a unique launch of a light-class Soyuz-2.1v rocket carrier with Volga upper stage and Aist spacecraft,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said.

The Soyuz-2.1v blasted off at 12:30 GMT, with the Aist satellite being put into orbit at 14:09 GMT.

The new rocket represents a major development in the Soyuz program, which began in 1966.

The booster features a completely reworked first stage, powered by a NK-33 (14D15) rocket engine which has twice the thrust in comparison with its predecessors.

The new carrier and its Volga upper stage are designed to inject various spacecrafts into circular orbits of up to 1,500 kilometers and sun-synchronous orbits of up to 850 kilometers. The light class booster is able to carry up to 2,800 kilograms of payload.

image from www.samspace.ru

The Soyuz-2.1v was developed in response to an increasing demand to launch small satellites and end the use of Tsiklon and Kosmos boosters - as well as in response to insufficient numbers of Rokot boosters.

The Aist satellite which the new rocket launched into orbit was created by students and young scientists at Samara State Aerospace University and Progress Central Assembly and Design Engineering Bureau.

The spacecraft is aimed at testing the technologies that are used during the construction of microsatellites, which weigh between 10 and 100 kilograms.

The Soyuz-2.1v launch was originally planned for late 2012, but was delayed several times.

The launch was then scheduled for December 23, 2013, but was again postponed due to additional checks.

Earlier on Saturday, Russian defense official Colonel Dmitry Zenin said that the Soyuz-2.1v would not be travelling to space in 2013.

But the state commission, which gathered at Plesetsk, decided to go ahead with the launch.

Soyuz boosters have performed over 1,700 launches since 1966, making them the most widely used rockets in the history of space exploration.

The Soyuz rocket, along with China’s Long March 2F, is one of the two rockets in the world capable of sending people into orbit.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.