Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Soyuz human spaceflight programme was initiated in the early 1960s as part of the Luna programme that was intended to put a Soviet cosmonaut on the Moon. The Soyuz spacecraft and the Soyuz launch vehicle are both part of this programme.
The Moon objective was abandoned when technological problems meant that the US would reach the Moon first. Soyuz survived the demise of the Luna programme in that it developed into a variety of projects (both military and civilian), mostly in conjunction with space stations.
The manned Soyuz spacecraft can be classified into design generations. Soyuz 1 through 11 (1967-1971) were first-generation vehicles, carrying a crew of up to three without spacesuits and distinguished from those following by their bent solar panels and their use of the Igla automatic docking navigation system, which required special radar antennas. This first generation encompassed the Original Soyuz and Salyut 1 Soyuz. Variations within it were primarily docking fixtures; the first nine examples had no internal hatch and crew transfer had to take place by means of spacewalks, employing spacesuits kept in the orbital module, which functioned as an airlock.
The second generation, the Soyuz Ferry, comprised Soyuz 12 through 40 (1973-1981). Although still using the Igla system, these had no solar panels, employing batteries; the crew could now wear spacesuits throughout their flight, though their number was reduced to two.
ASTP Soyuz served as a technological bridge to the third generation Soyuz-T spacecraft (1976-1986). These used new flat solar panels and could carry a crew of three, now wearing spacesuits.
Soyuz-TM was fourth generation (1986-2003) and used for ferry flights to the Mir space station. These had a new, more fault-accepting automatic docking navigation system, called Kurs , meaning "course."
The Soyuz-TMA (2003- ) is the latest design developed as a ferry craft and assured crew return vehicle for the International Space Station. It is able to accommodate taller occupants with new adjustable crew couches.
The basic Soyuz design was the basis for many projects, many of which never came to light. Its earliest form was intended to travel to the moon without employing a huge booster like the Saturn V or the Soviet N-1 by repeatedly docking with upper stages that had been put in orbit using the same rocket as the Soyuz. This and the initial civilian designs were done under the Soviet Chief Designer Korolev, who did not live to see the craft take flight. Several military derivatives actually took precedence in the Soviet design process, though they never came to pass. The Zond spacecraft, designed to take a crew traveling in a figure-of-eight orbit around the Earth and the moon, but never achieving the degree of safety or political need to be used for such, was another derivative. Finally, the Progress series of automatic cargo ships for the Salyut and Mir space laboratories used the automatic navigation and docking mechanism, but not the re-entry capsule, of Soyuz.
|Flights 1 - 5||Flights 6 - 10||Flights 11 - 15||Flights 16 - 20||Flights 21 - 26|
|1. Cosmos 133||6. Cosmos 212||11.Cosmos 396||16.Cosmos 638||21.Soyuz 20|
|2. Launch failure||7. Cosmos 213||12.Cosmos 434||17.Cosmos 656||22.Cosmos 869|
|3. Cosmos 140||8. Cosmos 238||13.Cosmos 496||18.Cosmos 670||23.Cosmos 1001|
|4. Cosmos 186||9. Soyuz 2||14.Cosmos 573||19.Cosmos 672||24.Cosmos 1074|
|5. Cosmos 188||10. Cosmos 379||15. Cosmos 613||20. Cosmos 772||25. Soyuz T-1|
|26. Soyuz TM-1|
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