74 votes
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Did a Soyuz fly with a Union Jack?

The USSR's next-to-last crewed launch was Soyuz TM-12, flying to Mir, carrying two Russians and the UK's first astronaut, Helen Sharman. Here's a photo of TM-12 on the launch pad with the UK flag ...
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50 votes
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Why do the Russians use these fence-like interstage fairings?

It's all to do with ullage in the fuel tanks. Newton's laws of motion mean that when a rocket is no longer firing and no force is being applied, the rocket receives no acceleration. It continues at ...
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35 votes
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So with Soyuz being retired, what gets people up to the ISS and back down now?

Soyuz the booster and Soyuz the person carrying spacecraft are different. Soyuz the booster is based on the original R-7 ICBM and has seen a series of upgrades. Sometimes to engines, sometimes to ...
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  • 76.4k
27 votes

Why does the Soyuz Rocket system fire the third stage while stage two is still attached?

When you shut down a rocket stage, its acceleration drops to zero and the rocket becomes weightless. As a result, the propellants may start sloshing around their tanks. This could lead to gas entering ...
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  • 121k
26 votes
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How did the attitude system of the uncrewed Soyuz 7K-OK No.1 fail on the launch pad in 1966, killing ground staff as LES was activated?

Rocket guidance systems generally use a fixed inertial platform based on gyroscopes to determine their orientation in space; an accelerometer solution would be useless to determine orientation (though ...
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22 votes
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How did Soyuz MS-04 reach the ISS in only 6 hours?

On one of the Russian web sites there is an interview with Rafail Murtazin, deputy head of ballistics department of the Energia corporation, who is described as the developer of the expedited ...
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  • 492
18 votes

How did Soyuz MS-04 reach the ISS in only 6 hours?

Russia has been using expedited rendezvous since 2012 with the uncrewed Progress and since 2013 with the crewed Soyuz. Expedited rendezvous is a huge bonus for a crewed vehicle. This is particularly ...
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  • 63.1k
18 votes
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Has USSR/Russia launched humans on any rocket not derived from R-7?

No, it never happened. However besides the failed N1 program and cancelled Buran missions the Soviet Union also made several successful (or partially successful) test launches of spacecrafts that ...
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  • 1,674
17 votes

What are these tiny triangular fins on the Soyuz launcher?

The Soyuz (booster) User's Manual from Arianespace calls them "aerofins" and says they are part of the attitude control system. An additional image I ran across showing the aerofins and stating that ...
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16 votes
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Red color in the nozzles of Soyuz-2 rocket engines RD-107 and RD-108, is it only a decoration?

They aren't painted red. If you zoom in on the picture, you'll see that the red parts are actually protective inserts clipped onto the nozzles to keep debris out of them during transport. It's a ...
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14 votes
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What happens to the Soyuz boosters that land in the Kazakhstan desert?

Local scrap metal dealers collect and recycle them. See this link for some more information.
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  • 5,046
12 votes
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Could the Soviets have gotten to the Moon using multiple Soyuz rockets?

To build a translunar stage of around 80 tons from the 7 ton payloads that could be launched on the Soyuz booster would require extensive assembly work to be done by astronauts in orbit, which was ...
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11 votes
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Did something go wrong during the Soyuz TMA-13M launch?

It seems to be normal. The Soyus (like Falcon 9 and Saturn V) use a hold-down, or hold before launch, feature. Engines are fired up while the rocket is physically held down. This is a safety measure, ...
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11 votes
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Does Soyuz LES take the service module?

The Soyuz LES takes only the orbital module and reentry module with it, in order to maximize acceleration away from the launch vehicle. The diagram you link to in the question implicitly confirms this;...
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10 votes

Did something go wrong during the Soyuz TMA-13M launch?

Nothing went wrong and the TMA-13M crew (Alexander Gerst (ESA), Maxim Suraev (Roscosmos) and Reid Wiseman (NASA)) are by now onboard the ISS. The way it looked to me (watched it live) was that the ...
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  • 75.3k
9 votes
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Did the crew of Soyuz MS-10 pass the Karman Line?

No From Ars Technica, the failure came around the T+2:00 mark, which would have been close to when staging happens What we know is that at about two minutes, there was some sort of failure with the ...
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  • 6,610
7 votes
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Puzzler: What acceleration are these astronauts experiencing?

This video from the launch includes some footage from before liftoff were the pendulum has some momentum. I counted 8 periods over 10.2 seconds. From that, we can find the length of the pendulum: $$...
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7 votes
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How can spacecraft be reusable for new missions?

That quote "the most frequently used" just means they built and launched lots of Soyuz rockets (more than 2000). None of them were reused. Reuse is still a new concept. The Space Shuttle was the ...
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  • 121k
7 votes

Why are Soyuz rockets painted with different colors?

Most rockets are painted white (some have black stripes). White paint reflects more heat than other colors, so this reduces propellant boiloff. The first N-1 was dark gray, later launchers were ...
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  • 121k
7 votes
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Does Arianespace have a modified Soyuz launch vehicle?

Soyuz launch vehicles have been launched from Arianespace's launch facility in French Guiana since 2011. OneWeb has already used the French Guiana Soyuz in 2019 (Flight VS21) "ownership" is ...
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6 votes
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What purpose do these red "horns" on the Soyuz 2-1B payload fairing serve?

According to http://www.arianespace.com/launch-services-soyuz/Soyuz_Users_Manual_CSG_June06.pdf#page=85 pages 85, 59-61 the red horns are placed exactly over some Air-conditioning system hatches, ...
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  • 2,277
6 votes

Do different generations of Soyuz use different launchpad infrastructure?

Yes, there are two major differences between the traditional launch pads at Baikonur and Plesetsk and the modern launch pads at Kourou and Vostochny: The analog attitude control system of older R-7 / ...
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  • 2,161
6 votes
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Is this a photo of today's Soyuz anomaly happening in flight seen from the ISS? What are the little dots?

Yes, this is a photo of the MS-10 launch. This image also appears on Alexander's flickr page, with timestamp "October 11, 2018" and the title "Image of the Soyuz MS-10 launch as seen from the ...
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  • 12.2k
6 votes

What is the sensor used for Soyuz booster separation?

Short answer Suggestions in the comments are correct. The device in question is side booster separation sensor. It can be described as mechanical plunger switch which is installed in the center of the ...
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6 votes
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Is vertical assembly worth the cost (Ariane 6)

Ariane 6 had one goal: to reduce cost compared to Ariane 5. To achieve this, they took several steps: replace vertical integration with horizontal integration. All components of Ariane 5 are ...
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  • 121k
5 votes

So with Soyuz being retired, what gets people up to the ISS and back down now?

Soyuz capsule and Progress cargo ship will be launched over Soyuz FG and Soyuz 2.1a boosters - they all from the same R-7 boosters family Soyuz FG has minor changes of mixing heads comparable to the ...
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