|Soyuz LV - |
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Standardized launch vehicle designed to replace a proliferation of earlier models (8K72, 8A91, 8K74, 8K78, 11A57). Designed initially to support launch of the Soyuz complex (7K manned, 9K rocket stage, and 11k tanker) and Zenit-4 reconnaisance satellite. Later 'U' model extended to cover a range of follow-on satellites. Compared to 11A57, the telemetry system was reduced in mass to no more than 150 kg, and engines were cherry-picked for the vehicle core to ensure that specific impulse was no less than 252 seconds at sea level, 315 in vacuum.
Launches: 30. Failures: 2. Success Rate: 93.33% pct. First Launch Date: 28 November 1966. Last Launch Date: 24 May 1975. LEO Payload: 6,450 kg. to: 200 km Orbit. at: 51.6 degrees. Liftoff Thrust: 411,731 kgf. Total Mass: 308,000 kg. Core Diameter: 10.3 m. Total Length: 45.6 m.
Vostok-Zh studies conducted for multiple dockings of rocket blocks and payloads in orbit for circumlunar missions, using Vostok rocket. Vostok-Zh spacecraft used to for manual dockings only. Manned reentry vehicle from circumlunar distance is Sever/Soyuz design. Korolev's reaction to Chelomei's exclusive assignment by Khrushchev to circumlunar mission.
Soyuz 'leaves drafting boards'.
Final design approval for Soyuz A spacecraft for earth orbit and circumlunar flight using orbital rendezvous, docking, and refuelling technques. Except for change of orbital module from cylindrical to spherical design, and changes to rendezvous radar tower arrangement, this design was essentially identical to the Soyuz 7K-OK that flew three years later. Additional Details: Korolev approves draft plan for 'Soyuz Complex'.
KB Kozlov began active development of the military applied versions of the Soyuz. A new version of the R-7 launch vehicle, the 11A514, was put into development to support launch of the Soyuz-P, now designated the 7K-PPK (pilotiruemovo korablya-perekhvatchika, manned interceptor spacecraft). The Soyuz-R would include the small orbital station 11F71 with photo-reconnaissance and ELINT equipment. To dock with the 11F71 station Kuibishev developed the transport spacecraft 11F72 7K-TK. This version of the Soyuz was equipped with rendezvous, docking, and transition equipment, including an airlock, that allowed the two cosmonauts to enter the station without using EVA. The launch vehicle for the 7K-TK would be the 11A511, known today as the Soyuz.
First test flight of Soyuz 7K-OK earth orbit spacecraft. A planned 'all up' test, with a second Soyuz to be launched the following day and automatically dock with Kosmos 133. This was to be followed by a manned link-up in December 1966. However Kosmos 133's attitude control system malfunctioned, resulting in rapid consumption of orientation fuel, leaving it spinning at 2 rpm. After heroic efforts by ground control and five attempts at retrofire over two days, the craft was finally brought down for a landing on its 33rd revolution. However due to the inaccuracy of the reentry burn, it was determined that the capsule would land in China. The APO self destruct system detected the course deviation and the destruct charge of several dozen kilogrammes of explosive was thought to have destroyed the ship on November 30, 1966 at 10:21 GMT. But stories persisted over the years of the Chinese having a Soyuz capsule in their possession....
Second attempted flight of Soyuz 7K-OK (the spacecraft planned for the linkup with Ksomos 133). An analogue to Mercury Redstone's 'day we launched the tower' but with more disastorous consequences. The core stage ignited, but the strap-ons did not. A booster shutdown was commanded. The service towers were brought back around the booster, and ground crew began work to defuel the launch vehicle. At 27 minutes after the original launch attempt, the Soyuz launch escape system, having received the signal that liftoff had occurred, detected that the booster was not on course (either because a tower arm nudged the booster or because the earth's rotation as detected by the gyros had moved the spacecraft out of limits relative to its original inertial position). The launch escape system ignited, pulling the Soyuz away from the booster, igniting the third stage fuel tanks, leading to an explosion that severely damaged the pad and killed at least one person (the Soviet Rocket Forces major supervising the launch team) and injured many others.
After the self-destruction of the first Soyuz 7K-OK on re-entry, and the loss of the second one on the pad fire in December, the state commission ruled that the third 7K-OK model would be flown unpiloted on a solo mission. If this was successful then the fourth and fifth Soyuz would be flown on a manned docking mission. Once in orbit Cosmos 140 experienced attitude control problems due to a faulty star sensor resulting in excessive fuel consumption. The spacecraft couldn't keep the required orientation towards the sun to keep the solar panels illuminated, and the batteries discharged. Despite all of these problems the spacecraft remained controllable. An attempted manoeuvre on the 22nd revolution still showed problems with the control system. It malfunctioned yet again during retrofire, leading to a steeper than planned uncontrolled ballistic re-entry. The re-entry capsule itself had depressurised on separation from the service module due to a fault in the base of the capsule. A 300 mm hole burned through in the heat shield during re-entry. Although such events would have been lethal to any human occupants, the capsule's recovery systems operated and the capsule crashed through the ice of the frozen Aral Sea, 3 km from shore and 500 kilometres short of the intended landing zone. The spacecraft finally sank in 10 meters of water and had to be retrieved by divers. Still, the mission was deemed 'good enough' for the next mission to be a manned two-craft docking and crew transfer space spectacular. Mishin and Kamanin felt that a human crew could have sorted out the problems. They were also under intense pressure to achieve a manned circumlunar flight before the 50th Anniversary of the Soviet Revolution in October.
Space disaster that put back Soviet lunar program 18 months. Soyuz 1 as active spacecraft was launched first. Soyuz 2, with a 3 man crew would launch the following day, with 2 cosmonauts spacewalking to Soyuz 1. However immediately after orbital insertion Komarov's problems started. One of the solar panels failed to deploy, staying wrapped around the service module. Although only receiving half of the planned solar power, an attempt was made to manoeuvre the spacecraft. This failed because of interference of the reaction control system exhaust with the ion flow sensors that were one of the Soyuz' main methods of orientation. The decision was then made to bring Komarov back. Re-entry was successful and the drag chute deployed. However due to a failure of a pressure sensor, the main parachute would not deploy. Komarov released the reserve chute, but it became tangled with the drag chute. The descent module crashed into a field near Orenburg at 7 am. Additional Details: Soyuz 1.
Docked with Cosmos 188; First automated docking. Recovered October 31, 1967 08:20 GMT. Achieved automatic rendezvous on second attempt. Capture achieved but hard docking and electric connections unsuccessful due to misallignment of spacecraft. Star tracker failed and had to make a high-G ballistic re-entry. Additional Details: Cosmos 186.
Docking target craft for Cosmos 186, which achieved world's first automatic rendezvous on second attempt. Capture achieved but hard docking and electric connections unsuccessful due to misallignment of spacecraft. Ion flow sensor failed and Cosmos 188 had to make a high-G uncontrolled re-entry. When it deviated too far off course, destroyed by the on-board self-destruct system, November 2, 1967 09:10 GMT.
Officially: Investigation of outer space, development of new systems and elements to be used in the construction of space devices. Additional Details: Cosmos 188.
Docked with Cosmos 213. Recovered April 19, 1968 08:10 GMT. Successful test of Soyuz 7K-OK attitude control, automatic rendezvous and docking systems. Both spacecraft recovered, but one was dragged by heavy wind across the steppes when the parachute line didn't jettison. Additional Details: Cosmos 212.
|Soyuz launch vehicle - Soyuz launch vehicle dynamic test model in test rig|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 10,877 bytes. 102 x 424 pixels.
Target for Cosmos 212 docking. Recovered April 20, 1968 10:11 GMT. Successful test of Soyuz 7K-OK systems. Both spacecraft recovered, but one was dragged by heavy wind across the steppes when the parachute line didn't jettison.
Officially: Investigation of outer space, development of new systems and elements to be used in the construction of space devices.
Recovered September 1, 1968 9:03 GMT. Final test of redesigned Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft for Soyuz 3 manned mission.
Target for Soyuz 3. Joint flight with: Soyuz 3. Recovered October 28, 1968 7:51 GMT. Docking with Soyuz 3 a failure; unmanned.
177km X 196km orbit to 184km X 230km orbit. Delta V: 12 m/s.
Officially: Complex testing of spaceship systems in conditions of space flight.
Second manned Soyuz flight. Rendezvoused with the unmanned Soyuz 2 but failed to dock. Complex testing of spaceship systems; development, in joint flight with space ship Soyuz 2 of processes of space ship manoeuvring and docking in artificial earth satellite orbit; development of elements of celestial navigation; conduct of research under space flight conditions. The failed docking was blamed on manual control of the Soyuz by Beregovoi, who repeatedly put the spacecraft in an orientation that nulled the automatic docking system. Beregovoi used nearly all of his orientation fuel in his first attempt to dock - of 80 kg allocated, only 8 to 10 kg was remaining. Recovered October 30, 1968 7:25 GMT. Additional Details: Soyuz 3.
Carried Vladimir Shatalov; docked with Soyuz 5; returned with Yevgeni Khrunov, Alexsei Yeliseyev from Soyuz 5. Scientific, technical and medico-biological research, checking and testing of onboard systems and design elements of space craft, docking of piloted space craft and construction of an experimental space station, transfer of cosmonauts from one craft to another in orbit. Recovered January 17, 1969 06:51 GMT. This mission finally successfully completed the simulated lunar orbit docking and crew transfer mission attempted by Soyuz 1 in April 1967. In making the transfer Khrunov and Yeliseyev avoided the most spectacular survivable incident of the space age - the nose-first reentry of Soyuz 5, still attached to its service module. Additional Details: Soyuz 4.
Commander Volynov shuttled the EVA crew of Yeliseyev and Khrunov into earth orbit. A day later Soyuz 4 docked with Soyuz 5. The Soyuz 4 active spacecraft was equipped with a long docking probe, designated 'Shtir'. The Soyuz 5 target spacecraft was equipped with the 'Konus' receptacle. The symbology lead Volynov to joke that he 'was being raped' when the hard docking was accomplished. Khrunov and Yeliseyev transferred to and returned in Soyuz 4, the feat they had hoped to accomplish in the cancelled Soyuz 2 flight almost two years earlier. Officially the flight conducted scientific, technical and medico-biological research, checking and testing of onboard systems and design elements of space craft, docking of piloted space craft and construction of an experimental space station, transfer of cosmonauts from one craft to another in orbit.
Volynov remained behind to live through the most unbelievable re-entry in the history of spaceflight. The service module of the Soyuz failed to separate after retrofire. Once the Soyuz started reaching the tendrils of the atmosphere, the combined spacecraft sought the most aerodynamically stable position - nose forward, with the heavy descent module with its light metal entry hatch at the front, the less dense service module with its flared base to the back. Luckily the struts between the descent and service modules broke off or burned through before the hatch melted through and the descent module righted itself, with the heat shield to the rear, before being consumed. Due to a failure of the soft-landing rockets the landing was harder than usual and Volynov broke his teeth. Recovered January 18, 1969 07:58 GMT. Additional Details: Soyuz 5.
Tested spacecraft systems and designs, manoeuvring of space craft with respect to each other in orbit, conducted scientific, technical and medico-biological experiments in group flight. Carried Vulkan welding furnace for vacuum welding experiments in depressurized orbital module. Was to have taken spectacular motion pictures of Soyuz 7 - Soyuz 8 docking but failure of rendezvous electronics in all three craft due to new helium pressurization integrity test prior to mission did not permit successful rendezvous and dockings. Recovered October 16, 1969 9:52 GMT. Additional Details: Soyuz 6.
Tested spacecraft systems and designs, manoeuvring of space craft with respect to each other in orbit, conducted scientific, technical and medico-biological experiments in group flight. Was to have docked with Soyuz 8 and transferred crew while Soyuz 6 took film from nearby. However failure of rendezvous electronics in all three craft due to a new helium pressurization integrity test prior to the mission did not permit successful rendezvous and dockings. Recovered October 17, 1969 9:26 GMT. Additional Details: Soyuz 7.
Tested spacecraft systems and designs, manoeuvring of space craft with respect to each other in orbit, conducted scientific, technical and medico-biological experiments in group flight. Was to have docked with Soyuz 7 and transferred crew while Soyuz 6 took film from nearby. However failure of rendezvous electronics in all three craft due to a new helium pressurization integrity test prior to the mission did not permit successful rendezvous and dockings. Recovered October 18, 1969 10:19 GMT. Additional Details: Soyuz 8.
Manned flight endurance test. Medico-biological, scientific and technical studies and experiments in prolonged orbital flight. Inconclusive results due to slow sun-oriented rotation of spacecraft to conserve fuel producing motion sickness in cosmonauts. Recovered June 19, 1970 11:59 GMT. Additional Details: Soyuz 9.
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 182-63 'On development of the Yantar-1KFT reconnaissance and cartographic satellite and the 11A511K launcher' was issued.
Intended first space station mission; soft docked with Salyut 1. Soyuz 10 approached to 180 m from Salyut 1 automatically. It was hand docked after faillure of the automatic system, but hard docking could not be achieved because of the angle of approach. Post-flight analysis indicated that the cosmonauts had no instrument to proivde the angle and range rate data necessary for a successful manual docking. Soyuz 10 was connected to the station for 5 hours and 30 minutes. Despite the lack of hard dock, it is said that the crew were unable to enter the station due to a faulty hatch on their own spacecraft. When Shatalov tried to undock from the Salyut, the jammed hatch impeded the docking mechanism, preventing undocking. After several attempts he was unable to undock and land. During the landing, the Soyuz air supply became toxic, and Rukavishnikov (much like the case of Vance Brand during the Apollo ASTP return) was overcome and became unconscious. Recovered April 25, 1971 23:40 GMT. Landed 120 km NW Karaganda. Film and photos indicated that the docking system on the Salyut was not damaged, setting the stage for the Soyuz 11 mission.
First space station flight, two years before the American Skylab. Soyuz 11 was guided automatically to 100 m, then hand-docked to the Salyut 1 scientific station. Equipment aboard Salyut 1 included a telescope, spectrometer, electrophotometer, and television. The crew checked improved on-board spacecraft systems in different conditions of flight and conducted medico-biological research. The main instrument, a large solar telescope, was inoperative because its cover failed to jettison. A small fire and difficult working conditions led to decision to return crew before planned full duration of 30 days. Capsule recovered June 29, 1971 23:17 GMT, but when the hatch was opened it was found that the crew had perished due to a loss of cabin atmosphere. A pressure equalization valve was jerked loose at the jettison of the Soyuz Orbital Module. The valve was not supposed to open until an altitude of 4 km was reached. The three-man crew did not have space suits. The Soyuz was thereafter redesigned to accomodate only two crew, but in spacesuits. The actual Soyuz 11 Prime Crew was Leonov, Kubasov, and Kolodin. Dobrovolskiy, Volkov, Patsayev were their backups (and support crew to Soyuz 10). Kubasov was grounded by physicians few days before launch, and the back-up crew ended up going instead.
Recovered July 6, 1972 13:54 GMT. Soyuz 7K-T redesign test.
Soyuz test flight. Recovered June 17, 1973 6:01 GMT. Soyuz 7K-T redesign test.
Experimental flight for the purpose of further development of manned space craft Soyuz 7K-T modifications. After the Soyuz 11 disaster, the Soyuz underwent redesign for increased reliability. Two solo test flights of the new design were planned. Crews for the first flight were those already planned for the deferred follow-on missions to the failed DOS 2 and DOS 3 space stations. Recovered September 29, 1973 13:14 GMT. Landed 400 km SW Karaganda.
Unmanned Soyuz test flight. Recovered January 29, 1974 5:29 GMT. Soyuz 7K-T duration test.
A unique flight of the 7K-T/AF modification of the Soyuz spacecraft. The orbital module was dominated by the large Orion 2 astrophysical camera. The crew conducted astrophysical observations of stars in the ultraviolet range. Additional experiments included spectrozonal photography of specific areas of the earth's surface, and continued testing of space craft's on-board systems. Recovered December 26, 1973 8:50 GMT. Landed in snowstorm 200 km SW Karaganda. Additional Details: Soyuz 13.
Unmanned test flight of the Soyuz 7K-T(A9) Soyuz variant designed for docking with the military Almaz space station. Recovered May 29, 1974 7:50 GMT.
On 4 July Soyuz 14 docked with the Salyut 3 space station after 15 revolutions of the earth. The planned experimental program included manned military reconnaissance of the earth's surface, assessing the fundamental value of such observations, and some supplemental medico-biological research. All objectives were successfully completed and the spacecraft was recovered on July 19, 1974 at 12:21 GMT, landing within 2 km of the aim point 140 km SE Dzkezkazgan. After the crew's return research continued in the development of the on-board systems and the principles of remote control of such a station.
Soyuz 15 was to conduct the second phase of manned operations aboard the Salyut 3 military space station, but the Igla rendezvous system failed and no docking was made. The two day flight could only be characterised as '... research in manoeuvring and docking with the OPS in various modes, and development of methods for evacuation and landing from space complex in new conditions....' The crew was recovered on August 28, 1974 20:10 GMT. Officially: Conduct of joint experiments with the Salyut-3 orbital scientific station.
Manned two crew. Docked with Salyut 4. Joint experiments with the Salyut scientific orbital station. Recovered February 9, 1975 11:03 GMT. Landed 110 km NE Tselinograd.
Carried Oleg Makarov, Vasili Lazarev for rendezvous with Salyut 4; but during second-third stage seperation third stage failed to separate from second stage but still ignited. The crew demanded that the abort procedures be implemented but ground control could not see the launch vehicle gyrations in their telemetry. Soyuz finally was separated from by ground control command at 192 km, and following a 20.6+ G reentry, the capsule landed in the Altai mountains, tumbled down a mountainside, and snagged in some bushes just short of a precipice. The crew was worried that they may have landed in China and would face internment, but after an hour sitting in the cold next to the capsule, they were discovered by locals speaking Russian. Total flight duration was 1574 km and flight time 21 minutes 27 seconds. Lazarev suffered internal injuries from the high-G reentry and tumble down the mountain side and never flew again. Both cosmonauts were denied their 3000 ruble spaceflight bonus pay and had to apeal all the way to Brezhnev before being paid.
Manned two crew. Docked with Salyut 4. Joint experiments with the Salyut scientific orbital station. Recovered July 26, 1975 14:18 GMT. Landed 56 km E Arkalyk.