Soyuz (of the Russian Союз, Union ), Soïouz or Soyuz is the name of a series of Russian spaceships, imagined by Sergueï Korolev, used since 1967 for the manned flights. This vessel succeeded the Programme Voskhod, and it in the beginning was conceived in a heavier form for inhabited lunar flights (Programme Zond). The Soyuz were then used to bring the cosmonauts in the stations Salyut and Mir, and in the International space station.
The Soyuz launcher is used for the manned flights as for the placing in orbit of payloads. A Soyuz, in its version for the manned flights, can take along up to three Cosmonaute S: the pilot in the center, the copilot on his left and a passenger on his line. It consists of three modules:
- of order
- of service
It weighs nearly 7 tons, for a height of 7 meters and a diameter of 2,65 meters.
The Soyuz vessels are launched exclusively since Baïkonour, with the Kazakhstan, by rockets Soyuz (modifications of the rocket Semiorka). In 2004, negociations made it possible to lead to an agreement with ESA for launching uninhabited Soyuz rocket since a news Launching sites located at Sinnamary, in Guyana.
The return of the Soyuz is done in the plains of Kazakhstan, where it takes generally approximately half an hour for the Russian soldiers to find the vessel and to help the cosmonauts to leave there.
The equipment is found in the orbital module. The module of service is inaccessible to the crew and contains mainly the engines allowing the operation of the vessel. None of these two modules returns on the ground at the end of the mission, and they are destroyed by natural sublimation in the high layers of the atmosphere during the return. The Speed of minimal orbiting in very low altitude, necessary to the Soyuz to remain in space, is from roughly 8 km/s is: 28000 km/h. The return of the Soyuz on Ground is done about with: 27800 km/h and, at this speed, frictions with the high layers of the atmosphere transform the parts not protected into shooting stars.
The module of order, or capsule , is the base of the commander. After takeoff and before a mooring at the station, only the commander remains in this module. The other passengers, if there is, go in the module orbital, accessible by a trap door. The module is the only one with being equipped with a Heatshield (compound of Titane and fiber of Amiante) which will enable him to resist: 1800 °C caused by frictions at the time of the atmospheric Sunken.
The instrument panel comprises in particular the screen of a external Périscope with the capsule, Capteur S of temperature/pressure inside the cockpit, a gauge of electrical energy in the batteries and a mobile terrestrial sphere making it possible at any moment to locate the position of the Soyuz compared to the Ground and the direction in which it moves. There are also a meter of Orbite S, and a clock regulated permanently per hour of Moscow.
In the course of time the Soyuz vessel underwent many improvements. The generations of Soyuz are the following ones:
- Soyuz: 39 launchings (the 1st launching in 1967, the last in 1980).
- Soyuz T: T for транспортный is Transportnyi which means “transport”. 15 launchings of 1980 to 1986.
- Soyuz TM: M for модифицированный is Modifitsirovannyi which means “modified”. 33 launchings of 1987 to 2002.
- Soyuz TMA: With for антропометрический is Antropometricheskii which means “anthropometric”. Operational generation since 2002 and which requires very little handling on behalf of the pilot compared to the model TM. It allows people bigger sizes to take seat there.
The first Soyuz to be launched with a person on her board had a problem of opening of Parachute S with the return. The occupant, Vladimir Komarov, did not survive the fall. He was the first human one to die in a space accident.
The June 29th 1971, another accident occurred because of a crack in the hull of the capsule to the return of the mission Soyuz 11, ghost of the Space station Salyut 1 (which was the first station inhabited by the Man). The occupants, Georgi Dobrovolski, Viktor Patsayev and Vladislav Volkov, died by Dépressurisation. Since this accident, the Russian authorities set up the behavior Sokol , which is a pressurized behavior allowing the survival of the crew if this problem would reproduce.
TourismFive people took part in Soyuz flights at ends of Tourisme, and sat down in the place of the passenger. The American Dennis Tito in 2001, the South-African Mark Shuttleworth in 2002 who paid each one roughly 50 million American dollars and Gregory Olsen in 2005 followed the American one of Iranian origin Anousheh Ansari in September 2006 which paid about 20 million American dollars in collaboration with the Russian space agency. In April 2007, it is with the turn of the American of Hungarian origin Charles Simonyi to join the International space station on board a Soyuz (Soyuz TMA-10), after having concluded an agreement of close from 20 million dollars American near the company Space Adventures.
Based on the Soyuz, the vessel Progress is a vessel cargo liner making it possible to convey vivres, oxygen and scientific material at the space stations, and it is controlled automatically.
Arianespace and EADS takes part in the marketing of the version payload of the Soyuz via a common company européano-Russian, Starsem. Starsem was thus already seen entrusting by the European space agency the responsibility to launch the satellites Cluster and Mars Express with the Soyuz launcher.
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