A Soyuz-U rocket launches Progress M-19M on April 24. Credit: Roskosmos
Soyuz rocket missions in 2013
In 2013, TsSKB Progress, the manufacturer of Soyuz rockets, planned a total of 26 launches within the legendary family. 13 rockets were scheduled to fly from Baikonur, four from Kourou and the rest from Plesetsk.
More than two years after starting the deployment of the Globalstar-2 satellite constellation, a Russian Soyuz-2 rocket lifted off on its fourth and final mission to deliver a six-satellite cluster. The launch will conclude more than two decades of commercial operations of the Soyuz rocket in Baikonur, yielding to a new launch facility in Kourou, French Guiana.
The liftoff of the Soyuz-2-1a/Fregat rocket took place as scheduled on Feb. 6, 2013, at 20:04:24 Moscow Time (16:04 GMT, 11:04 a.m. EST) from Pad 6 at Site 31 in Baikonur. The vehicle was carrying six 700-kilogram Globalstar-2 satellites (Flight Models No. 19-24) completing the 24-satellite mobile-phone communications constellation.
The separation of the first pair of satellites from the Fregat upper stage was scheduled for 21:43 Moscow Time (12:43 EST), followed by four remaining spacecraft a minute later. Around 21:50 Moscow Time (12:50 EST), Roskosmos confirmed that the payloads had been released marking the success of the mission.
The rocket was carrying the 7,290-kilogram Progress M-18M cargo ship (production No. 418). It will be the first mission heading to the ISS in 2013. The launch vehicle followed a standard ascent trajectory to enter an initial Earth orbit, which was reached successfully.
A fully automated docking of Progress M-18M with the outpost is scheduled for Feb. 12, 2013, at 00:40:06 Moscow Time (3:40 p.m. EST on Monday, February 11.) or four orbits after launch.
This mission was previously scheduled for Dec. 26, 2012.
The launch of the Soyuz-FG rocket carrying Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft from Baikonur to the International Space Station, ISS, took place as scheduled on March 29, 2013, at 00:43:20 Moscow Time (4:43 p.m. EDT on March 28). After a liftoff from Site 1, the launch vehicle ascended along a standard trajectory delivering Soyuz TMA-08M into its initial orbit.
The Soyuz-2-1a rocket carrying the Bion-M No. 1 satellite lifted off on April 19, 2013, at 14:00 Moscow Time (6 a.m. EDT) from Baikonur Cosmodrome's Site 31. The spacecraft was expected to be inserted into a 290 by 575-kilometer elliptical orbit, with an inclination 64.9 degrees toward the Equator. The same mission would also release into orbit a cluster of "hitchhiker" payloads, including small satellites from Russia, Germany, the United States and South Korea. According to Roskosmos, secondary payloads would be released from the main satellite in the initial phase of the flight from 4th to 35th orbit around the Earth.
The launch of the Soyuz-U rocket from Site 1 in Baikonur took place as scheduled on April 24, 2013, at 14:12:16 Moscow Time (6:12 a.m. EST). The rocket was carrying the 7,290-kilogram Progress M-19M cargo ship (production No. 419) with 2,366 kilograms of supplies. The launch vehicle followed a standard ascent trajectory to enter an initial Earth orbit, which was reached successfully.
After a 17-month break, Russia successfully launched the 48th mission to replenish its global positioning satellite constellation. The liftoff of the Soyuz-2-1b rocket with a Fregat upper stage from Pad 4 at Site 43 in Plesetsk took place as scheduled on April 26, 2013, at 09:23:41 Moscow Summer Time. The vehicle carried a single GLONASS-M No. 47 satellite. Titov Chief Test Space Center of the Russian space forces started tracking the launch at 09:26 Moscow Time and established control over the satellite at 12:55 Moscow Time.
The launch of the Soyuz-FG rocket carrying the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft from Baikonur to the International Space Station, ISS, took place as scheduled on May 29, 2013, at 00:31 Moscow Time (4:31 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 28). Onboard were Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, Flight Engineer Karen Nyberg of NASA and Flight Engineer Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency.
According to a representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense, quoted by RIA Novosti news agency, the Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle lifted off from Site 43 at Russia's northern cosmodrome in Plesetsk on June 7, 2013, at 22:37 Moscow Time. Russian tracking network was expected to start controlling the satellite within the range of the nation's ground stations at 00:13 Moscow Time, the agency quoted Colonel Dmitry Zenin from the press-service directorate of the Air and Space Defense Forces. Zenin also confirmed a successful separation of the spacecraft from the third stage of the launch vehicle and its insertion into the Earth orbit. According to unofficial reports, the liftoff took place on June 7, 2013, at 22:37:59 Moscow Time, with Persona No. 2 (Kosmos-2486) satellite onboard.
In a rare coincidence, two Russia's legendary Soyuz rockets blasted off from different continents within two hours from each other.
The Russian space agency, Roskosmos, successfully launched a Soyuz-2-1b rocket (No. 15000-013) delivering the Resurs-P1 flagship remote-sensing satellite from Baikonur in Kazakhstan at 21:28:48 Moscow Summer Time (1:28 p.m. EDT) on June 25, while Europe's Arianespace consortium fired a very similar rocket from the ELS launch facility in Kourou, French Guiana, with a cluster of O3b communications satellites on the same day.
Following a 24-hour delay due to high winds in Kourou, the launch of the Soyuz-ST-B rocket (No. 372RN21B) with a Fregat-MT upper stage (No. 1041) was re-scheduled for June 25, 2013. The new launch time was 12 seconds later than the original launch time of 22:53:51 Moscow Time on June 24.
On June 25, the launch team also had another opportunity to launch the O3b mission 33 minutes after the first, according to Arianespace. Indeed, a 33-minute delay was announced at T-11 minutes in the countdown due to bad weather. The mission designated VS05 lifted off at 19:27:03 GMT (23:27:03 Moscow Summer Time, 3:27 p.m. EDT).
Personnel at Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site in Kazakhstan had a busy weekend launching a fresh cargo ship to the International Space Station, ISS, tonight, the first Russian space mission after a spectacular crash of the Proton rocket earlier this month.
The liftoff of the Soyuz-U rocket from Site 31 in Baikonur took place as scheduled at 00:45:08 Moscow Time on July 28, 2013, (4:45 p.m. EST on July 27). The launch vehicle was carrying the 7,282-kilogram Progress M-20M (No. 420) cargo transport spacecraft bound to the ISS.
The liftoff of the Soyuz-FG rocket with the Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft took place as scheduled on Sept. 26, 2013, at 00:58:50 Moscow Time (4:58 p.m. EST on Sept. 25, 2013).
The liftoff of the Soyuz-FG rocket with the Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft took place as scheduled on Nov. 7, 2013, at 08:14:15 Moscow Time (11:14 p.m. EST on November 6) from launch pad No. 5 at Site 1 on Nov. 5, 2013.
A Russian cargo ship was launched to the International Space Station, ISS. A Soyuz-U rocket carrying Progress M-21M (No. 421) spacecraft lifted off from Pad No. 6 at Site 31 in Baikonur Cosmodrome on Nov. 26, 2013, at 00:53:06 Moscow Time (20:53:06 GMT, 3:53 p.m. EST on November 25). The docking of the spacecraft with the station is scheduled for Nov. 30, 2013. The launch was previously scheduled for July 30 and Oct. 16.
A Russian-built Soyuz-2 rocket sent a European spacecraft 1.5 million kilometers from Earth Thursday on a ground-breaking mission to map the Milky Way. Besides its launch vehicle, the Gaia mission has little-known Russian roots.
The launch of the Soyuz-ST-B (Soyuz-2) rocket with a Fregat upper stage took place as scheduled on Dec. 19, 2013, at 13:12:19 Moscow Time (04:12 a.m. EST, 06:12 local, 09:12 GMT) from the Soyuz launch facility in Kourou, French Guiana. The rocket boosted the 2,034-kilogram Gaia astronomy satellite toward the second Lagrange point located 1.5 million kilometers from our planet where gravitational forces of the Sun and Earth reach a shaky equilibrium. There, Gaia will start a five-year mission to catalog up to one billion stars as faint as the 20th magnitude within our galaxy.
It was the 29th mission of the Soyuz-2 rocket and the 77th orbital launch attempt around the world in 2013.
Russia's brand-new Soyuz-2-1v rocket started its first test mission on December 29 at 16:30 Moscow Time from Pad 4 at Site 43 in Plesetsk Cosmodrome with the Aist satellite and a pair of radar calibration spheres.
Launches of rockets in the Soyuz family in 2013 (as of February 5, 2014 ):
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Last update: February 5, 2014
Soyuz-2 lifts off on Feb. 6, 2013, with the fourth batch of six Globalstar-2 satellites from Baikonur. Credit: TsENKI
Progress M-18 is being installed on the launch pad in February 2013. Credit: RKK Energia
Progress M-18 lifts off on Feb. 11, 2013. Credit: NASA TV
A Soyuz-2.1a rocket lifts off on April 19, with Bion-M No. 1. Credit: Roskosmos
A Soyuz FG rocket lifts off with Soyuz TMA-09M on May 29. Credit: Roskosmos
Soyuz-2-1b rocket launches the second Persona satellite on June 7, 2013. Credit: Russian Ministry of Defense
A Soyuz-2-1b rocket launches the Resurs-P No. 1 satellite on June 25. Credit: Roskosmos
Soyuz-ST-B rocket launches a quartet of O3b satellites on June 25. Credit: Arianespace