Tag Archives: Soyuz-U

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.

Soyuz crew returns safely to Earth, despite radio problems

One of the two three-man crews on ISS have returned safely to Earth, despite an unexpected communciations blackout during their descent.

In related news, the Russians have slightly delayed the launch dates for the next manned flights to ISS, which also means that the next test flight of Falcon 9/Dragon will have to be delayed until 2012. Moreover, the Russians are once again balking at allowing Dragon to dock with ISS on this first flight.

More Progress freighter crash investigation results

More Progress freighter crash investigation results: it appears there was something that blocked the fuel supply.

“The exposed production defect was accidental,” [the investigation] said, adding the reason may be qualified as an isolated case only after checking all available engines.

This suggests that the problem was an isolated error and that, once they have cleared the available engines, they can start flying relatively quickly.

Some suggestions for keeping ISS occupied

Some suggestions for keeping ISS occupied.

I especially like Harman’s suggestion that the Russians consider landing in the U.S. during the winter, thereby allowing them to extend one crew’s occupancy of ISS into December, January, or even February. Also, he proposes the Russians send an unmanned Soyuz to ISS during testing of the rocket, thereby providing the crews onboard a fresh lifeboat. This is something they have done in the past on their previous space station Mir.