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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 ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
56 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 ...
Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩's user avatar
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 ...
geoffc's user avatar
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32 votes
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Why is 51.8° inclination standard for Soyuz?

As Baikonur is at 45.965° north latitude, it would make sense if 45.965° was the standard inclination for Soyuz (and for the ISS). That would be a launch due east, thereby taking the greatest ...
David Hammen's user avatar
25 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 ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
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 ...
mustaccio's user avatar
  • 492
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 ...
OON's user avatar
  • 1,684
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 ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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 ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
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 ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
13 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 ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
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;...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
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 ...
Machavity's user avatar
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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: $$...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
7 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 ...
Sergiy Lenzion's user avatar
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 ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
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 ...
DarkDust's user avatar
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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 ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
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 / ...
oefe's user avatar
  • 2,179
5 votes

What are the small red cylinders used for on the bottom of the Soyuz Launch vehicle?

According to this poster (warning: 3600 x 7300 pixels, 12.23 MB), they protect the "turbine exhaust (water vapor + oxygen gas)". See bottom of picture, white 23 and tan 19 identifiers. The red ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
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5 votes
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Does Russia still manufacture parts for their space program that would otherwise be obsolete?

After some digging through links provided by @Heopps, here are some specific examples. Note that agencies often do not draw attention to their obsolete technologies until they have already replaced ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 48k
5 votes

Does Russia still manufacture parts for their space program that would otherwise be obsolete?

In Russia manufacturers of strategic equipment are less independent. Often desisions to abandon/continue the production of X are made by administrative reasons, not purely by ecomomics. So if some ...
Heopps's user avatar
  • 9,061
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 ...
Pavel Bernshtam's user avatar
5 votes

What are the G-forces of Soyuz 3rd stage engine cutoff

3g (image below from this Quora answer), and it appears that the third stage cutoff is not the most intense. That one comes from the first stage cutoff, which is around 4g. Car crashes can be huge g ...
Michael Stachowsky's user avatar
5 votes

What were the reasons the American space-race era rockets didn't use boosters?

There isn't that much of a difference after all. It's mostly a matter of perception because the R-7 family evolved into many different variants, so it feels like most Soviet launch systems use liquid ...
TooTea's user avatar
  • 1,765
4 votes

What is intermediate thrust and brief pause for checkout on launching Soyuz spacecraft?

The Soyuz launch sequence goes: ...
Bob Jacobsen's user avatar
  • 12.7k
4 votes

What do the various logos and text on the Soyuz launcher signify?

In addition to the logos of the Soviet Space Program and the launch customer, Roskosmos has in fact added non-launch related advertising to their vehicles: I personally have bought exactly one Pizza ...
dotancohen's user avatar
  • 6,774
3 votes
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Is this fairing covered in thick thermal insulation? Keeping the payload warm? Or Cold?

Starsem, the Euro/Russian company that sells commercial Soyuz launches, calls it a "thermal blanket" and states that it "will be removed during final preparations prior to liftoff". Source Since this ...
Organic Marble's user avatar

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