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Soyuz rocket missions in 2004
January 29: Soyuz-U rocket successfully launched a cargo ship to resupply the crew of the International Space Station, ISS. The Progress M1-11, No. 260, cargo ship (Mission 13P) blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome's Site 1 on January 29, 2004, at 14:58:08 Moscow Time.
In preparation for the new arrival, a previous transport craft, the Progress M-48, left the the ISS on January 28, 2004, and was deorbited the same day.
The launch of Progress M1-11 was previously expected on Nov. 11, Nov. 18 and in December 2003.
February 18, 10:05:55 Moscow Time (07:05 GMT): A Molniya-M booster successfully launched a military communications satellite from Plesetsk. Upon reaching its final highly elliptical orbit at 11:02 Moscow Time, the payload, (apparently a Molniya-1T No. 100) was initially identified in the Russian sources as Cosmos-2405, however it was later renamed Molniya-1T.
Aug. 11: Russia successfully launched a cargo ship to resupply the crew of the International Space Station, ISS. The Progress M-50, No. 350, cargo ship (Mission 15P) blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome's Site 1 on Aug. 11, 2004 at 09:03:07 Moscow Time.
The launch of Progress M-50 was previously planned for June 20 and July 28, 2004.
September 24: Russian military launched a new generation of military spacecraft.
A Soyuz-U rocket blasted off from the nation's Northern Cosmodrome in Plesetsk on September 24, 2004, at 20:50 Moscow Time, and successfully delivered a military payload designated as Cosmos-2410 nine minutes later. A State Commission led by Lt. General Vladimir Popovkin, Commander of the Russian Space Forces, KVR, oversaw the launch. According to KVR, ground control established contact with the spacecraft at 21:01 Moscow Time.
Russian media reported that the payload initiated flight testing of the new generation of spacecraft developed by TsSKB Progress in Samara and OAO MZ Arsenal in St. Petersburg. Such reports support the theory that Russia has finally introduced a long-awaited family of spacecraft, known as Liana, capable of providing electronic intelligence over both land and sea. Previously, Russia had used two specialized systems -- Tselina-2, and US-PM -- to intercept electronic signals from land and sea, respectively.
In communication with the publisher of this web site, Ted Molczan, a prominent satellite observer, reported that Cosmos-2410 was circling the Earth in a 170 by 360-kilometer orbit, which would be too low for most electronic intelligence purposes and too elliptical for practical radar observations. If Cosmos-2410 will not maneuver into higher circular orbit in the following days, its flight profile would resemble that of a photo-reconnaissance satellite, such as Kobalt.
Onboard were Commander Leroy Chiao, a NASA astronaut, Russian Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov and Test Cosmonaut Yuri Shargin, representing Russian Space Forces. Expedition 10 was scheduled to live and work on the ISS for six months. Shargin would return to Earth with Expedition 9 onboard Soyuz TMA-4.
The Soyuz TMA-5 separated from the upper stage of the launch vehicle at 07:15 Moscow Time on October 14, 2004.
December 24: The Soyuz-U rocket with the Progress M-51 No. 351 (ISS mission 16P) blasted off from Site-1 in Baikonur Cosmodrome at 01:19:31 Moscow Time on December 24, 2004. The vehicle successfully reached the initial orbit nine minutes later. The Progress M-51 was scheduled to dock to the aft docking port of the Zvezda service module of the ISS at 03:31 Moscow Time on December 26, 2004.
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Last update: October 23, 2012
The Soyuz FG rocket with the Soyuz TMA-4 spacecraft blasts off from Baikonur on April 19, 2004. Credit: RKK Energia