Soyuz-U Launch Vehicle
The Soyuz-U launch vehicle, the most mass modification of the Soyuz carrier rocket, was developed by the team of the design bureau headed by D.I. Kozlova and was mass-produced at the plant "Progress". The first launch took place on May 18, 1973. The Soyuz-U unified medium-range carrier rocket was designed to launch manned and cargo spaceships such as Soyuz and Progress, spacecraft for special purposes, technological and medical-biological purposes Bion "), as well as foreign space vehicles.
Developed on the basis of previous versions of R-7A, the Soyuz-U LV was repeating the constructive layout layout of all the sevens. At the Soyuz-U launch vehicle, an analog control system was installed, performed in a duplicate scheme. The difference between the Soyuz-U LV and its predecessors was the use of engines of the first and second stages with increased energy characteristics. The RD-108 engines (11D512, the development of NPO Energomash) were installed on the side blocks, RD-107 (11D511, NPO Energomash) at the central unit, RD 0110 (11D55, KBKhA developments) at the third stage. The launch vehicle engines operated on environmentally friendly fuel: fuel - kerosene, oxidizer - liquid oxygen.
In 1975, with the help of the Soyuz-U LV, the Soyuz-19 spacecraft was launched under the ASTP program (Soyuz-Apollo), this was the second launch of Soyuz-U with a manned spacecraft. The Soyuz-U launch vehicle entered the world market of launch services in 1999. With the help of this rocket, launches of US Globalstar satellites were carried out.
In total, during operation 789 LV of the Soyuz-U series were launched, of which only 22 launches were failures. The confirmed indicator of the operational reliability of this missile is more than 0.98. The last launch took place on February 22, 2017. At present, launches of cargo transport vehicles to the International Space Station are carried out on Soyuz-2 rocket-propelled vehicles of development and production of RKTS Progress.
The most active Russian launch vehicle during 1993-1994 was the Soyuz-U2 (including the Soyuz U2 variant). Derived from Korolev's original R-7 ICBM (ISS-6) and the subsequent Sputnik, Luna, Vostok, and Voskhod launch vehicles, the first in 1966 and had since been flown approximately 750 times in various configurations with a reliability of more than 97%. The two-and-one-half-stage launch vehicle burns simple liquid oxygen and a form of kerosene. The first stage consists of a core vehicle powered by a 11D512 (RD-108) main engine and four strap-on boosters with 11D511(RD-107) main engines. The second stage carries a single, 4-nozzle 11D55 (RD-0110) main engine. The Soyuz- U/U2 launcher had a LEO payload capacity of approximately 7,300 kg for 52 degree inclination orbits.
"Soyuz-U" - a three-stage launch vehicle of the middle class, designed to launch into orbit spacecraft national economy, research and special purpose, as well as cargo spacecraft "Progress". The Soyuz-U2 upgrade was introduced in 1986 to support the Soyuz-TM spacecraft and has also been used for Progress-M spacecraft and the sixth generation photographic reconnaissance satellites.
Two Soyuz-U launch pads were operational at the Baikonur Cosmodrome (Complexes 1 and 31) and three were available at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome (Complexes 16 and 43 left and right). All Soyuz-U/U2 launch vehicles are produced by the Samara Central Specialized Design Bureau and Progress Plant with engines designed by the Energomash Scientific Production Association. Of the 32 missions flown during 1993-1994 only one failed. A malfunction in the second stage of the 27 April 1993 flight led to the loss of its photographic reconnaissance payload (References 245-246).
In 1991 work began on a major Soyuz improvement program. Now known as Rus, the modernized launch vehicle would have an increased payload capacity (up to 8,000 kg for a 52 degree orbit) with a new flight control system, enlarged payload fairings, and modified main engines. Operations are expected to begin at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in 1997. Test firings of a new Rus main engine were underway in 1994 (References 247-253).
By March 2004 there had been dozens of 300 to 400-second test-firings at a plant in Voronezh that developed and built the 'Rus' engine. Engineers there say 'Rus' is likely to open a whole new line of rocket engines. 'Rus' is to power the 'Soyuz-2' satellite launcher. The vehicle fills a niche on the lighter side of the heavy 'Proton' booster.
The first launch of the Soyuz-U took place on May 18, 1973. Last launch from the Plesetsk cosmodrome was made May 17, 2012 with the spacecraft "Kosmos-2480". Previous launch of the rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on 17 February 2015. Then with the help of the orbit has been sent to the cargo ship "Progress M-26M".
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