A MetOp spacecraft ready for the launch atop a Soyuz-2.1a rocket.
|Function||Orbital carrier rocket|
|Country of origin||Russia|
|Height||46.1 m (151.2 ft)|
|Diameter||2.95 m (9.67 ft)|
|Mass||305,000 kg (672,000 lb)|
|Stages||2 or 3|
|7,800 kilograms (17,196 lb)|
800 km SSO (with Fregat)
|4,500 kilograms (9,921 lb)|
GTO (from ELS)
|3,250 kilograms (7,165 lb)|
|Launch sites||LC-31/6, Baikonur
ELS, Centre Spatial Guyanais
|Total launches||28 (2.1a: 14, 2.1b: 14)|
|Successes||26 (2.1a: 13, 2.1b: 13)|
|Partial failures||1 (2.1a)|
|First flight||2.1a: 8 November 2004
2.1b: 27 December 2006
|Boosters (Stage 0)|
|Specific impulse||310 sec|
|Burn time||120 seconds|
|Thrust||999.601 kN (224,719 LBf)|
|Specific impulse||311 sec|
|Burn time||286 seconds|
|Thrust||294 kN (66,093 LBf)|
|Specific impulse||359 sec|
|Burn time||300 seconds|
|Third stage (Optional) - Fregat|
|Thrust||19.6 kN (4,406 LBf)|
|Specific impulse||327 sec|
|Burn time||877 seconds|
Soyuz-2, GRAU index 14A14, is the collective designation for the new 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-2 is often flown with an upper stage, which allows it to lift payloads into higher orbits, such as Molniya and Geosynchronous orbits. The upper stage is equipped with independent flight control and telemetry systems from those used in the rest of the rocket. The NPO Lavochkin manufactured Fregat is the most commonly used upper stage.
Soyuz-2 rockets are currently launched from LC-31 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, and LC-43 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, launch facilities shared with earlier R-7 derived rockets including the Soyuz-U and Molniya. Commercial Soyuz-2 flights are contracted by Starsem, and have launched from LC-31 at Baikonur and ELS (l'Ensemble de Lancement Soyouz), which has been built at the Guiana Space Centre on the northern coast of South America. The Soyuz-2 is expected to be able to deliver 2.8-3.5 tonnes to GTO from this site.
The Soyuz-2 has replaced the Molniya-M and is starting to replace the Soyuz-U and Soyuz-FG rockets which are currently in service alongside it, as they are expected to be phased out from 2014 onwards.
Soyuz-2 family includes 2.1a, 2.1b and 2.1v. The first two variants are modifications to the Soyuz-U launcher. The latter is a "light" version without side boosters.
When launched from ELS site, the Soyuz-2 will always be mated with ST-type fairing. This version will be called Soyuz-ST or Soyuz-STK, where additional "K" indicates special measures taken for preparing and launching the rocket in hot and humid conditions.
The 2.1a version includes conversion from analog to digital flight control system and uprated engines on the booster and the first stage with improved injection systems. The new digital flight control and telemetry systems allow the rocket to launch from a fixed rather than angled launch platform and adjust its heading in flight. A digital control system also enables the launch of larger commercial satellites with wider and longer payload fairings such as the ST-type fairing. These fairings introduce too much aerodynamic instability for the old analog system to handle. This stage continues to use the RD-0110 engine.
The 2.1b version adds an upgraded engine (RD-0124) with improved performance to the second stage.
The 2.1b/ST version is sometimes called Soyuz ST-B. The first launch, from Guiana, was a success (21 October 2011), for the first two Galileo IOV satellites.
First draft of the 2.1v version was finished in 2009. It will be a "light" version of the Soyuz-2 without the side boosters (blocks B, V, G and D). Block A engine will be replaced by a more powerful one NK-33-1 and eventually the RD-193. The new launcher will be able to deliver up to 2.8 tonnes in low Earth orbit.
Suborbital test flight
On 8 November 2004, at 18:30 GMT (21:30 Moscow Time), the first Soyuz-2 carrier rocket, in the Soyuz-2.1a configuration, was launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia. The rocket followed a sub-orbital trajectory, with the third stage and boilerplate payload re-entering over the Pacific Ocean.
The first attempt at launching a Soyuz-2 to orbit, with the MetOp-A satellite, occurred on 17 July 2006. It was scrubbed two hours before the launch by an automatic sequence, after the onboard computer failed to check the launch azimuth. Fuelling of the rocket was underway at the time, and all launch complex equipment and on-board preliminary checks had proceeded without incident. The rocket was left fuelled on the launch pad, for the next attempt on 18 July. Launch was eventually conducted on 19 October.
|Date||Time (GMT)||Configuration||Launch Site||Result||Payload||Remarks|
|8 November 2004||18:30||Soyuz 2.1a||LC-43||Plesetsk||Success||Zenit-8 (boilerplate)||Suborbital test|
|19 October 2006||16:28||Soyuz 2.1a/ST Fregat||LC-31/6||Baikonur||Success||MetOp A||Weather satellite|
|24 December 2006||08:34||Soyuz 2.1a/S Fregat||LC-43||Plesetsk||Success||Meridian 1||Communications satellite|
|27 December 2006||14:28||Soyuz 2.1b/SL Fregat||LC-31||Baikonur||Success||COROT||Astronomy satellite|
|26 July 2008||18:31||Soyuz 2.1b||LC-43||Plesetsk||Success||Kosmos 2441
|21 May 2009||21:53||Soyuz 2.1a/ Fregat||LC-43||Plesetsk||Partial failure||Meridian 2||Communications satellite|
|17 September 2009||15:55||Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat||LC-31/6||Baikonur||Success||Meteor M-1
and small piggyback science satellites
|19 October 2010||17:11||Soyuz 2.1a/ Fregat||LC-31/6||Baikonur||Success||Globalstar-2 F1
|2 November 2010||00:59||Soyuz 2.1a/ Fregat||LC-43/4||Plesetsk||Success||Meridian 3||Communications satellite|
|26 February 2011||03:07||Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat||LC-43/4||Plesetsk||Success||GLONASS-K||Navigation satellite|
|4 May 2011||17:41||Soyuz 2.1a/ Fregat||LC-43/4||Plesetsk||Success||Meridian 4||Communications satellite|
|13 July 2011||02:27||Soyuz 2.1a/ Fregat||LC-31/6||Baikonur||Success||Globalstar-2 F2
|2 October 2011||20:15||Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat||LC-43/4||Plesetsk||Success||GLONASS-M||Navigation satellite|
|21 October 2011||10:30||Soyuz 2.1b/ST Fregat||ELS||Kourou||Success||IOV-1 & IOV-2||Navigation satellites|
|28 November 2011||08:25||Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat||LC-43||Plesetsk||Success||GLONASS-M||Navigation satellite|
|17 December 2011||02:03||Soyuz 2.1a/ Fregat||ELS||Kourou||Success||Pleiades 1A
ELISA (4 satellites)
Earth observation satellite for Chile
Electronic Intelligence Satellites
|23 December 2011||12:08||Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat||LC-43||Plesetsk||Failure||Meridian 5||Communications satellite|
|28 December 2011||17:09||Soyuz 2.1a/ Fregat||LC-31/6||Baikonur||Success||Globalstar 2 (x6)||Communications satellite|
|17 September 2012||16:28||Soyuz 2.1a/ST Fregat||LC-31/6||Baikonur||Success||MetOp B||Weather satellite|
|12 October 2012||18:15||Soyuz 2.1b/ST Fregat||ELS||Kourou||Success||IOV-3 & IOV-4||Navigation satellites|
|2 December 2012||02:02||Soyuz 2.1a/ST Fregat||ELS||Kourou||Success||Pleiades 1B||Imaging Satellite|
|6 February 2013||16:04:24||Soyuz 2.1a/ST Fregat||LC-31/6||Baikonur||Success||Globalstar 2 (x6)||Communications satellite|
|19 April 2013||10:00:00||Soyuz 2.1a||LC-31/6||Baikonur||Success||Bion-M1
Beesat(2 and 3)
and small piggyback science satellites
|26 April 2013||05:23:46||Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat||LC-43||Plesetsk||Success||GLONASS-M||Navigation satellite|
|7 June 2013||18:37:59||Soyuz 2.1b||LC-43||Plesetsk||Success||Kosmos 2486
|Imaging reconnaissance satellite|
|25 June 2013||17:28:48||Soyuz 2.1b||LC-31/6||Baikonur||Success||Resurs-P1||Earth observation satellite|
|25 June 2013||19:27:03||Soyuz STB/Fregat-MT||ELS||Kourou||Success||O3b-1
|19 December 2013||09:12||Soyuz STB/Fregat-MT||ELS||Kourou||Success||Gaia||Space observatory|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Soyuz (rocket).|
- "Last launch of the Molniya-M on Sept 30th 2010.". Anatoly Zak. 2010-09-30.
- "Soyuz-2 to replace its predecessors.". Anatoly Zak. 2011-06-01.
- "Alexander Kirilin: "We are working on three rocket".". Volzkhskaya Kommuna. 2011-06-01.
- "Rus/Souyz-2 launch vehicle (in Russian)".
- "Soyuz 2-1b rocket launches classified military payload". Spaceflight Now. 2008-07-26.
- Zak, Anatoly. "The Meridian satellite (14F112)". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
- Soyuz flight VS01 Lifts Off From French Guiana.
- Glonass-M satellite launched into orbit.(Russian)
- Six defense satellites launched by Soyuz rocket
- Russian satellite crashes into Siberia after launch
- "Globalstar satellites 'flawlessly' orbited by Soyuz". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- Soyuz ST-B launches Galileo twins successfully to orbit.
- Third Soyuz launch in a week bolsters Glonass system
- Graham, William. "Russian spy satellite launched via Soyuz 2-1B". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- Graham, William. "Soyuz 2-1B successfully launches with Resurs-P". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- "“The journey begins” with a lift from Arianespace: O3b Networks’ first four satellites are in orbit". Arianespace. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- Soyuz ST-B successfully launches Gaia space observatory
- Encyclopedia Astronautica article on Soyuz 2.1
- Encyclopedia Astronautica article on Soyuz 2.1/Fregat
- European Space Agency about Soyuz-ST (Russian name Soyuz-STK)
- Soyuz User's Manual, from Starsem
- Soyuz-2 launch vehicle, Russian Federal Space Agency