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 ft)|
|Diameter||2.95 m (9 ft 8 in)|
|Mass||305,000 kg (672,000 lb)|
|Stages||2 or 3|
200 km (110 nmi) circular 51.8° LEO from Baikonur
|Soyuz-2.1a: 7,020 kg (15,480 lb)
Soyuz-2.1b: 8,200 kg (18,100 lb)
820 km (440 nmi) SSO (with Fregat)
|Soyuz-2.1a: 4,230 kg (9,330 lb)
Soyuz-2.1b: 4,900 kg (10,800 lb)
1,500 m/s (4,900 ft/s) deficit GTO (with Fregat from ELS)
|Soyuz-2.1a: 2,810 kg (6,190 lb)
Soyuz-2.1b: 3,250 kg (7,170 lb)
|Launch sites||LC-31/6, Baikonur
ELS, Centre Spatial Guyanais
LC-1S, Vostochny Cosmodrome (future)
|Total launches||52 (2.1a: 23, 2.1b: 27, 2.1v: 2)|
|Successes||47 (2.1a: 21, 2.1b: 25, 2.1v: 1)|
|Failures||2 (2.1a: 1, 2.1b: 1, 2.1v: 0)|
|Partial failures||3 (2.1a: 1, 2.1b: 1, 2.1v: 1)|
|First flight||2.1a: 8 November 2004
2.1b: 27 December 2006
2.1v: 28 December 2013
|Notable payloads||COROT, Galileo|
|Boosters - Blok-B,V,G,D|
|Length||19.6 m (64 ft)|
|Diameter||2.68 m (8.8 ft)|
|Empty mass||3,784 kg (8,342 lb)|
|Gross mass||39,160 kg (86,330 lb)|
|Propellant mass||44,413 kg (97,914 lb)|
|Thrust||Sea Level: 839.48 kN (188,720 lbf)
Vacuum: 1,019.93 kN (229,290 lbf)
|Specific impulse||Sea Level: 263.3 s (2.582 km/s)
Vacuum: 320.2 s (3.140 km/s)
|Burn time||118 seconds|
|First Stage - Blok-A|
|Length||27.10 m (88.9 ft)|
|Diameter||2.95 m (9.7 ft)|
|Empty mass||6,545 kg (14,429 lb)|
|Gross mass||99,765 kg (219,944 lb)|
|Propellant mass||90,100 kg (198,600 lb)|
|Thrust||Sea Level: 792.41 kN (178,140 lbf)
Vacuum: 921.86 kN (207,240 lbf)
|Specific impulse||Sea Level: 257.7 s (2.527 km/s)
Vacuum: 320.6 s (3.144 km/s)
|Burn time||286 seconds|
|Second Stage - Blok-I|
|Length||6.70 m (22.0 ft)|
|Diameter||2.66 m (8.7 ft)|
|Empty mass||2,355 kg (5,192 lb)|
|Gross mass||27,755 kg (61,189 lb)|
|Propellant mass||25,400 kg (56,000 lb)|
|Thrust||RD-0110: 298 kilonewtons (67,000 lbf)
RD-0124: 294.3 kilonewtons (66,200 lbf)
|Specific impulse||RD-0110: 326 seconds
RD-0124: 359 seconds
|Burn time||270 seconds|
|Upper Stage (optional) - Fregat-MT|
|Length||1.5 m (4.9 ft)|
|Diameter||3.35 m (11.0 ft)|
|Empty mass||902 kg (1,989 lb)|
|Propellant mass||6,638 kg (14,634 lb)|
|Thrust||19.85 kilonewtons (4,460 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||332 seconds|
|Burn time||1100 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. First launch took place from Plesetsk Cosmodrome Site 43 on 26 July 2008 with classified military payload.
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.
The first draft of the 2.1v version was finished in 2009. It is a "light" version of the Soyuz-2 without the side boosters (blocks B, V, G and D). The Block A engine was replaced by a more powerful one NK-33-1 which will eventually be replaced with the RD-193. The new launcher is able to deliver up to 2.8 tonnes in low Earth orbit.
Modifications for various launch sites
The Soyuz-2.1a, 1b and 1v versions launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome and the Guiana Space Centre have a series of modifications over the stock units. Some of these might later be implemented on all the Soyuz-2, while some are particular requirements to the space port design.
Modifications for the Guiana Space Centre (GSC) version includes:
- First use of a mobile service tower at the ELS that enabled vertical payload integration.
- European supplied payload adapters.
- European supplied KSE (French: Kit de Sauvegarde Européenne, lit. European Safeguard Kit), a system to locate and transmit a flight termination signal. It would activate the engine shutdown command and leave the vehicle in a ballistic trajectory.
- Adaptation of the S-Band telemetry system on all stages from the 5 TM bands available at Baikonur, and Plesetsk to the 3 allowed at the GSC range.
- Adaptation of the S-Band telemetry coding and frequency to the IRIG standard used at GSC.
- Adaptation of the oxygen purge system for directing to the outside of the mobile gantry.
- Adaptation to the tropical GSC climate including the adaptation of the air conditioning system to local specifications and protective measures to avoid icing. All holes and cavities were studied and certified to be adequately protected against intrusion of insects and rodent.
- The four boosters and the core stage were upgraded with pyrotechnic devices to breach the fuel tanks to assure that they would sink in the ocean. The other stages were shown to lose structural integrity on impact and thus proven to sink.
- At least initially, the boosters and core stage would use the pyrotechnically ignited 14D22 (RD-107A) and 14D23 (RD-108A) rather than the chemically ignited 14D22KhZ and 14D23KhZ used on the rest of the Soyuz-2.
- New and upgraded computer, N.A.Semikhatov NPO Automatika's Malachite-7, with six times more performance, better obsolescence protection, reduced weight.
- The new computer enabled a significant reduction on the cable network complexity thanks to multiplexing lines and using common buses.
- New nickel-cadmium batteries that eliminate the need for a dedicated battery charging station.
- The inclusion of on-board video system, that will enable real-time views of the launch.
- Since the launch pad at Vostochny also has a mobile gantry for vertical payload integration, similar to the ELS at Guiana, it has the necessary piping to direct the oxygen purges outside of the gantry.
On 1 October 2015 it was announced that parts of the assembly complex for the Soyuz-2 at Vostochny Cosmodrome were designed for a different modification of the rocket and are too small, so that the planned first launch in December 2015 is under question.
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
|Imaging reconnaissance satellite, failed to operate due to electrical fault|
|21 May 2009||21:53||Soyuz 2.1a/ Fregat||LC-43||Plesetsk||Failure||Meridian 2||Bulging of third-stage combustion chamber led to fuel leak and automatic deactivation, communications satellite in unusable orbit after failed correction attempt|
|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 STB/Fregat-MT||ELS||Kourou||Success||Galileo IOV-1 & IOV-2||Navigation satellites - First launch from Kourou|
|28 November 2011||08:25||Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat||LC-43||Plesetsk||Success||GLONASS-M||Navigation satellite|
|17 December 2011||02:03||Soyuz STA/Fregat-M||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||Anomaly led to premature third-stage engine deactivation followed by an explosion which caused it to veer off course. Communications satellite not deployed.|
|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 STB/Fregat-MT||ELS||Kourou||Success||Galileo IOV-3 & IOV-4||Navigation satellites|
|14 November 2012||11:42||Soyuz 2.1a/ Fregat||LC-43/4||Plesetsk||Success||Meridian 6||Communications satellite|
|2 December 2012||02:02||Soyuz STA/Fregat-M||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-M No.1
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-P No.1||Earth observation satellite|
|25 June 2013||19:27:03||Soyuz STB/Fregat-MT||ELS||Kourou||Success||O3b-1
|19 December 2013||09:12:19||Soyuz STB/Fregat-MT||ELS||Kourou||Success||Gaia||Space observatory|
|23 March 2014||22:54:03||Soyuz 2.1b/Fregat||LC-43||Plesetsk||Success||Kosmos 2494 (GLONASS-M)||Navigation satellite|
|28 December 2013||12:30||Soyuz 2.1v/Volga||LC-43/4||Plesetsk||Success||Aist 1, SKRL-756 #1/2||Maiden flight of 2.1v|
|3 April 2014||21:02:26||Soyuz STA/Fregat-M||ELS||Kourou||Success||Sentinel-1A||Earth observation|
|6 May 2014||13:49:35||Soyuz 2.1a||LC-43||Plesetsk||Success||Kosmos 2495
|Film-return reconnaissance satellite|
|14 June 2014||17:16:48||Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat||LC-43/4||Plesetsk||Success||Kosmos 2500 (GLONASS-M)||Navigation satellite|
|8 July 2014||15:58:28||Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat||LC-31/6||Baikonur||Success||Meteor-M No.2
Relek (MKA-FKI (PN2))
and six secondary satellites
|10 July 2014||18:55:56||Soyuz STB/Fregat-MT||ELS||Kourou||Success||O3b-5
|18 July 2014||20:50:00||Soyuz 2.1a||LC-31/6||Baikonur||Success||Foton-M No.4||Material Science satellite|
|22 August 2014||12:27:11||Soyuz STB/Fregat-MT||ELS||Kourou||Partial failure||Galileo FOC-1 & FOC-2||Fregat upper stage guidance problem left the navigation satellites in an incorrect elliptical orbit. Traced to a flaw in the Fregat thermal design with a heat bridge from the coolant line to fuel line causing freezing of fuel line.|
|29 October 2014||07:09:43||Soyuz 2.1a||LC-31/6||Baikonur||Success||Progress M-25M||ISS Logistics|
|30 October 2014||01:42:52||Soyuz 2.1a/ Fregat||LC-43/4||Plesetsk||Success||Meridian 7||Communications satellite|
|30 November 2014||21:52:26||Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat||LC-43/4||Plesetsk||Success||Kosmos 2502 (GLONASS-K)||Navigation satellite|
|18 December 2014||18:37:00||Soyuz STB/Fregat-MT||ELS||Kourou||Success||O3b-9
|25 December 2014||03:01:13||Soyuz 2.1b||LC-43/4||Plesetsk||Success||Kosmos 2503
|26 December 2014||18:55:50||Soyuz 2.1b||LC-31/6||Baikonur||Success||Resurs-P No.2||Earth observation satellite|
|27 February 2015||11:01:35||Soyuz-2.1a||LC-43/4||Plesetsk||Success||Kosmos 2503 (Bars-M)||Military reconnaissance satellite|
|27 March 2015||21:46:18||Soyuz-STB/Fregat||ELS||Kourou||Success||Galileo FOC-3
|28 April 2015||07:09:50||Soyuz-2.1a||LC-31/6||Baikonur||Partial failure||Progress M-27M||ISS logistics. Spacecraft lost communications and attitude control soon after separation after damaged by vibration issues during launch. International Space Station docking attempt cancelled. Mission declared a total loss.|
|5 June 2015||15:23:54||Soyuz-2.1a||LC-43/4||Plesetsk||Success||Kosmos 2505 (Kobal't-M)||Reconnaissance film-return satellite|
|23 June 2015||16:44:00||Soyuz-2.1b||LC-43/4||Plesetsk||Success||Kosmos 2506 (Persona)||Reconnaissance satellite|
|11 September 2015||02:08:10||Soyuz-STB/Fregat||ELS||Kourou||Success||Galileo FOC-5
|05 December 2015||14:09:00||Soyuz-2.1v||LC-43/4||Plesetsk||Partial failure||Kanopus-ST 1 (Kosmos 2511)
KYuA 1 (Kosmos 2512)
|Soyuz-2.1v booster performed properly, however Kanopus-ST 1 satellite failed to detach from the satellite carrier atop the Volga upper stage. The KYuA-1 radar calibration sphere was mounted in the side of the satellite carrier and was able to successfully deploy.|
|17 December 2015||11:51:56||Soyuz-STB/Fregat||ELS||Kourou||Success||Galileo FM08
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Soyuz (rocket).|
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- Glonass-M satellite launched into orbit.(Russian)
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- European Space Agency about Soyuz-ST (Russian name Soyuz-STK)
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- Soyuz-2 launch vehicle, Russian Federal Space Agency