Tag Archives: Soyuz 2

Russia to phase out use of Ukrainian-built Soyuz rockets

As part of a major upgrade of its Soyuz rocket family, Russia is also ending its partnership with Ukraine in building those rockets.

The older Soyuz rockets rely on a Ukrainian control system — a relic of the rocket family’s Soviet heritage that in the aftermath of Russia seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in March looks like a threat to Russia’s space program. The rockets are based on the same core design that launched Sputnik and Yury Gagarin into space at the dawn of the space age. “The Soyuz-U and Soyuz-FG control systems are analog [systems] made in Ukraine,” Alexander Kirilin, CEO of the Progress Rocket and Space Center in the Volga city of Samara told Interfax on Monday.

However, the Soyuz 2 rockets use a Russian-made digital control system. Aside from further moving Russia’s space industry away from its reliance on Ukrainian components, the digital control system allows the rockets to handle a wider variety of payloads — making the tried-and-tested Russian rocket more versatile than ever before.

It is Russia’s plan to complete the transition to the new wholly Russian Soyuz 2 rockets for ISS missions within the next three years.

The Russians today launched their new upgraded Soyuz 2 rocket, successfully putting three payloads into orbit.

The competition heats up: The Russians today launched their new upgraded Soyuz 2 rocket, successfully putting three payloads into orbit.

The rocket appears to be more powerful. It also appears designed for significant future upgrades that will increase its power even more.

Russia launches its first Soyuz rocket since the failure in August

Russia launches its first Soyuz rocket since the Progress launch failure in August.

This was a launch of a Soyuz-2 rocket, which is not identical to the Soyuz-U rocket that the Progress freighter was on. Nonetheless, the success is a good sign that they are back in business.