Highly Improved Spacecraft
The highly improved Soyuz-TMAT spacecraft will introduce a better version of the spacecraft flying since 1966. This newer version will incorporate quality materials upgrades allow mission durations up to one year as well as new partial glass instrument panel digital displays and refined docking equipment of Russian manufacture as well as modernized much lighter computer systems with much more capability. It is expected to enter service some time in September 2010. This newer version of Soyuz has been in the planning going back to 2005 if not earlier. This too will be launched on the new digital flight control and telemetry systems improved Soyuz booster series. The S. P. Korolev, Rocket Space Corporation Energiya, Korolev, Moscow region has stated that it can produce as many as five instead of four Soyuz-TMAT spacecraft yearly opening the door to further tourist dedicated missions.
By September 2010 the up graded Soyuz-TMA 01M had 70 kilograms more payload capacity added to the spacecraft as a result of the older Argon analogue computer system used for 30 years being replaced by the new TsVM-101 digital computer and telemetry systemfor launches to the international space station. Further upgrades are to follow in three years that will include new more powerful solar batteries additional meteor shielding and a new rendezvous and docking radar system Kurs from November 2013 as presently planned. The newer solar batteries are required to better serve the higher demand on board electronic instrumentation of the Soyuz-TMA-M spacecraft.
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