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Soyuz rocket missions in 2008
February 5: A Russian cargo ship blasted off toward the International Space Station, ISS, ahead of a critical Shuttle mission to deliver a European laboratory module to the orbital outpost.
The mission was delayed from Aug. 1, 2007 and Jan. 29, 2008 and then advanced from Feb. 12, 2008. On Jan. 10, 2008, in coordination with NASA, the launch was further advanced from Feb. 7 to Feb. 5, 2008, to enable the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on Feb. 7, 2008.
April 8: The Soyuz FG rocket carrying the Soyuz TMA-12 spacecraft, blasted off from the launch pad at Site 1 in Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, April 8, 2008, at 6:16 Houston Time (15:16:39 Moscow Time) as scheduled.
April 27: The Soyuz-FG rocket with the Fregat upper stage blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome's Pad No. 6, on April 27, 2008, at 02:16 Moscow Time, (22:16 UTC on April 26) carrying a GIOVE-B satellite for Europe's future global positioning system.
Preliminary information showed that the vehicle successfully reached its initial orbit and the Fregat upper stage initiated its maneuvers to insert the satellite into the final orbit. Total three firings of the Fregat upper stage were planned before the separation of the satellite at 29,600-kilometer orbit with the inclination 56 degrees toward the Equator three hours 45 minutes after liftoff.
The mission was previously expected to take place on April 14, Nov. 27, Nov. 30, 2006, and the end of February 2007. At the end of 2006, the mission was delayed from April 2007, by the failure of the onboard computer. It was further delayed from Dec. 29, 2007, February, March and April 14, 2008.
May 15: A Russian cargo ship blasted off toward the International Space Station, ISS, carrying supplies for the Expedition 17 crew.
The launch followed a standard trajectory, delivering the 7,270-kilogram spacecraft into a 244 by 194-kilometer orbit with the inclination 51.65 degrees toward the Equator, according to mission control in Korolev, Russia. The vehicle carried around two and half tons of propellants, air, scientific equipment and other supplies for the crew of the station, including the Sokol KV-2 entry suit for one of the crew members. The original suit was damaged during the launch in April 2008. Progress M-64 was scheduled to dock to the station on May 17, 2008, at 01:37:30 Moscow Time (21:37:30 GMT on May 16).
October 12: The Soyuz FG rocket blasted off from Site 1 at Baikonur Cosmodrome on Oct. 12, 2008 at 11:01:33 Moscow Time (07:01:33 GMT), carrying the Soyuz TMA-13 spacecraft. Onboard were members of Expedition 18 Russian cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov, NASA astronaut Michael Fincke, along with an American space tourist Richard Garriott.
November 14: Russian military launched a secret payload from the nation's northern launch site, the official media said. The Soyuz-U rocket lifted off from Plesetsk on Nov. 14, 2008, at 18:50 Moscow Time and successfully delivered its payload into orbit nine minutes later, the representative of the Russian space forces said. The spacecraft was officially identified as Kosmos-2445.
November 26: The Progress M-01M cargo ship, carrying 2,676 kilograms of supplies to the station launched on time onboard the Soyuz- U rocket from Baikonur's Site 1 at 15:38 Moscow Time on Nov. 26, 2008, and successfully reached orbit some nine minutes later.
December 2: Russian military launched a military payload from the nation's northern launch site, the official media reported. The Molniya-M rocket lifted off from Plesetsk Cosmodrome on Dec. 2, 2008, at 08:00 Moscow Time. The classified payload received an official name Kosmos-2446. A Western radar detected the satellite in the 518 by 39,048-kilometer orbit with the inclination 62.835 degrees toward the Equator.
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Last update: October 23, 2012
The Soyuz FG rocket with the Soyuz TMA-12 spacecraft is being erected on the launch pad on April 6, 2008. Credit: RKK Energia