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Soyuz rocket missions in 2005
February 28: The Soyuz-U rocket with the Progress M-52 No. 352 (ISS mission 17P) blasted off from Site-1 in Baikonur Cosmodrome at 22:09 Moscow Time on February 28, 2005. The vehicle successfully reached the initial orbit nine minutes later.
April 15: The Soyuz rocket with Soyuz TMA-6 spacecraft blasted off at 04:46 Moscow Time on April 15, 2005, carrying Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, NASA astronaut John Phillips of Expedition 11 and Italian astronaut Roberto Vittori, representing European Space Agency, ESA.
May 31: The Soyuz-U rocket, carrying the Foton-M2 science satellite, blasted off from Site 1 at Baikonur Cosmodrome at 12:00 UT (18:00 local time) on May 31, 2005. After a nine-minute powered flight, the Foton-M2 spacecraft has entered low-earth orbit where it is to remain for 16 days before its scheduled landing close to the Russian/Kazakh border.
June 17: The Soyuz-U No. 94 rocket with the Progress M-53 No. 353 (ISS mission 18P) blasted off from Site-1 in Baikonur Cosmodrome at 03:09 Moscow Time on June 17, 2005. The vehicle successfully reached its initial orbit and separated from the third stage of the launch vehicle at 03:18 Moscow Time.
June 21: The 315-ton Molniya-M rocket, carrying Molniya-3K military communications satellite, blasted off from Russia's northern cosmodrome in Plesetsk on June 21, 2005 at 04:49 Moscow Time.
The spacecraft was expected to reach its final orbit at 05:43 Moscow Time, however it had never established communications with ground control. Preliminary data showed that the launch vehicle failure took place around six minutes in flight, during the burn of the third stage, Russian officials said. Another report said that the failure took place five minutes in flight during separation between the second and the third stage. The latest information revealed that the flight was nominal for 340 seconds, when the telemetry from the vehicle was lost. Apparently, the second and the third stage did not separate and the engine on the third stage, which normally ignites before the separation, shot down.
The payload apparently carried a self-liquidation system typical for military missions.
The remnants of the launch vehicle and its payload were expected to impact in a remote region of Tyumen Oblast. Later information narrowed the impact area to the Tobolsk range, a routine site for the third stage impact during a nominal flight.
A special team of the Ministry for Emergencies, MChS, was expected to use Mi-2 helicopter to search for the impact site. Later reports said that initial observations of the area from the airplane did not yielded the results, as bad weather hampered the effort. The search was resumed on June 22, 2005 at 06:00 Moscow Time, when Mi-2 helicopter and Yak-52 aircraft departed for the impact area. The search was fruitless again and was resumed at 08:30 on June 23, 2005. This time a Mi-8 helicopter and the An-2 airplane was used. Finally, within 48 hours after the launch attempt, the debris from the crash were found in Uvat Region of the Tyumen Oblast, Russian Space Forces said on June 23. According to the official statements most of the fragments burned up during the reentry.
Immediately following the launch failure Chief Military Prosecution Office opened a criminal investigation under Article 351 of the Criminal Codex of the Russian Federation entitled: "Violation of flight rules and their preparations." Two days after the accident, Russian press reported that the preliminary investigation cleared military launch personnel from the responsibility for the failure. A full investigation was expected to last for two weeks.
The launch vehicle and the payload were reportedly insured for 900 million rubles.
August 14: Russian Soyuz rocket orbited a communications satellite after a successful launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome.
A Soyuz FG (No. 011) rocket with the Fregat (No. 007) upper stage blasted off from Pad 6 at Site 31 in Baikonur Cosmodrome at 03:28:28 Moscow Time on August 14, 2005, (23:28 UTC on August 13) carrying the Galaxy 14 spacecraft.
One hour and 37 minutes after the the liftoff, and two orbital burns the Fregat upper stage accurately injected Galaxy 14 into the targeted geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).
With a liftoff mass of 2,087 kilograms, Galaxy 14 is the second in a series of new-generation satellites ordered by PanAmSat from Orbital Sciences Corporation to provide additional power, greater flexibility and service availability to its customers. It is based on the Star 2 Bus model. This all C-band spacecraft is designed to deliver digital video programming, high-definition television (HDTV), VOD and IPTV service throughout the continental U.S. Galaxy 14 is equipped with 24 C-band transponders, and will join the Galaxy 12 spacecraft at 125 degrees West - one of PanAmSat's key orbital positions for the North American continent.
Galaxy 14 is the 19th satellite orbited by the Arianespace family of launchers for PanAmSat. PanAmSat began operations in the late 1980s with its first spacecraft, PAS-1, which was orbited in June 1998 on the maiden flight of Arianespace's Ariane 4 launcher.
It was the 1,699th launch in the Soyuz family of rockets. The mission was delayed from February, March 16, June 17 and July 28, 2005. PanAmSat previously planned to launch the Galaxy 14 onboard the Ariane-5 rocket.
September 2: Russia launched a classified military payload, believed to be a photographic reconnaissance satellite to replenish the country's dwindling military assets in orbit. The Soyuz-U rocket blasted off from Site 31 in Baikonur on Sept. 2, 2005 at 13:50 Moscow Time (09:50 UTC). Official Russian space agency sources said that the launch went smoothly and the control over the spacecraft was transferred to space forces.
According to independent Russian media, the payload was the 11F660 Yantar-1KFT/Kometa imaging reconnaissance satellite built by TsSKB Progress in Samara. Previous launch of the spacecraft of this type took place on Sept. 29, 2000.
September 8: The Soyuz-U No. 95 rocket with the Progress M-54 No. 354 (ISS mission 19P) blasted off from Site-1 in Baikonur Cosmodrome at 17:07 Moscow Time on Sept. 8, 2005. The vehicle successfully reached its initial orbit and separated from the third stage of the launch vehicle 529 seconds after the launch.
The launch was previously scheduled for August 24, 2005.
After a two-day flight, the Progress M-54 was expected to dock to the ISS on Sept. 10, 2005, at 18:49 Moscow Time.
October 1: The Soyuz TMA-7 spacecraft blasted off from Site 1 in Baikonur Cosmodrome at 07:54:53 Moscow Time, and successfully reached orbit nine minutes later. Russian flight controllers reported the spacecraft's solar arrays had deployed as scheduled, and that all appeared normal.
December 21: The Soyuz-U rocket with the Progress M-55 No. 355 (ISS mission 20P) blasted off from Site-1 in Baikonur Cosmodrome at 21:39 Moscow Time. The vehicle successfully reached its initial orbit and separated from the third stage of the launch vehicle at 21:47 Moscow Time on the same day.
December 28: The Soyuz-FG rocket with the Fregat upper stage, carrying the GSTB-V/2A satellite for the Galileo global positioning system, blasted off from Site 31 in Baikonur Cosmodrome at 08:19 Moscow Time on Dec. 28, 2005.
The mission, first announced in March 2004, was originally scheduled for Dec. 26, 2005, however it was postponed on the request of the customer.
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Last update: October 23, 2012
An early sunrise over the Kazakh steppe provided a spectacular backdrop for the launch of the Soyuz TMA-6 spacecraft. Credit: RKK Energia (top); NASA TV