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RSC Energia: the new-series spacecraft Soyuz MS is off on its maiden flight

July 7, 2016

Today, July 7, the first transportation spacecraft of the new series Soyuz MS with the new expedition crew was successfully put into a low Earth orbit and is headed for the International Space Station (ISS).

The spacecraft carries onboard the crew consisting of a Roscosmos cosmonaut Anatoli Ivanishin, a JAXA astronaut Takuya Onishi and a NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins.

The launch vehicle Soyuz-FG with the manned transportation spacecraft Soyuz MS was launched from Area 1 (“Gagarin’s launch pad”) of the Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 7 at 04:36 Moscow Time. The payload fairing of the launch vehicle carries, along with the name of the upgraded spacecraft, the anniversary inscription “70 years of RSC Energia”.

According to telemetry data, the spacecraft insertion into low-Earth orbit and separation from the third stage of the launch vehicle occurred on schedule, deployment of all antennas and solar array panels was detected immediately after the separation. Systems and assemblies of the upgraded spacecraft operate normally. The crew reports a good health status.

“The work on the spacecraft is only starting. Now we are going to test the onboard equipment, checking everything. The first launch of Soyuz MS spacecraft was carried out using the two-day rendezvous profile in order to run the checks and tests on various systems. It is a spacecraft with a certain intermediate math, many of the solutions will later on be used in the development of the new-generation crew transportation spacecraft. Everything is evolving and developing”, - said the general director of RSC Energia Vladimir Solntsev after the spacecraft was reported to enter a low-Earth orbit.

He congratulated the team of RSC Energia on the successful first launch of the upgraded manned spacecraft and thanked everybody who took part in its development.

“I think that today we achieved a serious success. I want to thank the team of the Corporation for having successfully coped with the assigned task and I’m certain that we are going to continue working efficiently and achieving results. I congratulate everybody on the successfully completed work”, - said V. Solntsev.

The spacecraft Soyuz MS will use a classic 34-orbit flight profile to rendezvous with the ISS. The spacecraft will reach the station on July 9, 2016 after about two days of free flight. The docking with the Mini Research Module (MRM1) Rassvet is scheduled for 07:12:02 Moscow Time and is to be performed in the fully automatic mode.

The manned transportation spacecraft Soyuz MS developed and built by RSC Energia is designed to deliver the crews of up to three and their accompanying cargoes to the International Space Station (ISS), as well as to return them to Earth. When attached to the ISS, it also serves as a crew rescue vehicle and is kept permanently ready for emergency crew return to Earth.

The new-series spacecraft Progress MS and Soyuz MS were developed as a result of a radical upgrade of Progress M and Soyuz TMA spacecraft. The onboard command radio system Kvant-B was replaced with an integrated command and telemetry system with an additional telemetry channel. The new command radio link will make it possible to receive signals via relay satellites Luch-5, which will significantly increase the radio coverage zone for the spacecraft – up to 70% of an orbit. The spacecraft are equipped with an advanced onboard radio system for rendezvous and docking Kurs-NA. As compared with an earlier model, Kurs-A, it has improved mass and dimensions parameters and makes it possible to delete from the spacecraft hardware configuration one of the three radio antennas. Instead of the analog TV system Klyost, the spacecraft use a digital TV system, which makes it possible to maintain communications between the spacecraft and the station via a space-to-space RF link. Also included into the onboard equipment of the Soyuz MS and Progress MS series spacecraft to replace the equipment that is being phased out of production is a new Digital Backup Loop Control Unit developed by RSC Energia, an upgraded Rate Sensor Unit BDUS-3A and a LED headlight SFOK. Thanks to the use of new ground and onboard radio systems, it became possible to use state-of-the-art data transmission protocols, which resulted in improved operational stability of spacecraft control system.

Most of the engineering solutions incorporated into the design of Soyuz MS and Progress MS spacecraft will be used in the design of the new-generation Crew Transportation Spacecraft, which is currently under development at RSC Energia.

 

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Launches

July 20, 2019
The launch of LV Soyuz-FG with SC Soyuz MS-13 is planned
April 4, 2019
LV Soyuz-2.1a with CV Progress MS-11 is launched

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