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Soyuz rocket missions in 2011
2011 Jan. 28: The Soyuz-U rocket lifted off from Site 1 in Baikonur, on Jan. 28, 2011, at 04:31 Moscow Time. The vehicle carried the Progress M-09M cargo ship with 2,600 kilograms of supplies bound to the International Space Station, ISS. According to the Russian space agency, Roskosmos, the launch and orbital insertion went as planned.
2011 April 27: A Soyuz-U rocket lifted off from Site 1 in Baikonur on April 27, 2011, at 17:05:21 Moscow Time. The vehicle carried the Progress M-10M cargo ship (No. 410) with 2,600 kilograms of supplies bound to the International Space Station, ISS.
2011 June 8: The Soyuz FG rocket carrying the Soyuz TMA-02 spacecraft lifted off from Site 1 in Baikonur Cosmodrome on June 8, 2011, at 00:12:45 Moscow Summer Time (June 7, 20:12:45 GMT). According to mission control, the spacecraft successfully reached the orbit.
2011 June 21: A Soyuz-U rocket lifted off from Site 1 in Baikonur on June 21, 2011, at 18:38:15 Moscow Time. The vehicle carried the Progress M-11M cargo ship (No. 411) with 2,600 kilograms of supplies bound to the International Space Station, ISS.
2011 June 27: A Soyuz-U rocket lifted off from Pad 2 at Site 16 in Plesetsk on June 27, 2011, at 20:00 Moscow Time. Eight minutes later, the spacecraft successfully separated from the upper stage in its planned orbit within the range of Russian ground control stations. The payload received an official designation Kosmos-2472 (Kobalt-M).
2011 July 13: Arianespace successfully orbited a second batch of six spacecraft for Globalstar's second-generation satellite network on a mission performed with the medium-lift Soyuz-2 launcher from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Arianespace said. The flight was carried out on Arianespace's behalf by its Starsem affiliate, lifting off on July 13, 2011, at 06:27:04 Moscow Summer Time from Site 31. Soyuz' Fregat upper stage then performed two successive firings, followed by the orbital injection of the six satellites one hour and 38 minutes after liftoff.
2011 Aug. 24: A Soyuz-U rocket, carrying the Progress M-12M cargo ship bound to the International Space Station, ISS, lifted off from Site 1 in Baikonur into a cloudless sky on Aug. 24, 2011, at 17:00:08 Moscow Summer Time. The separation of the cargo ship from its rocket was expected at 17:09. However shortly after the launch, Russian space agency, Roskosmos, announced that a failure of the propulsion system on the third stage of the launch vehicle led to its premature emergency shutdown 325 seconds after a liftoff and the loss of the payload. The time of the failure indicated that the engine on the third stage fired for less than a quarter of its planned duration.
According to NASA, mission control in Houston received a report about "off-nominal situation" during the launch five minutes 50 seconds after the liftoff. At the time, the agency had already posted a note about the successful launch on its web site.
The official RIA Novosti news agency reported that the remnants of the cargo ship or its launch vehicle had crashed in the Choisk Region of Russia's Altai Republic around 17:25 Moscow Time. Later during the day, the impact point was narrowed down to the Bezhel Bik forest, some 40 kilometers from the nearest town. The agency quoted local residents reporting a huge explosion in the hard-to-reach wooded area resulting in broken windows as far as 100 kilometers from the epicenter. There were no reports of casualties.
2011 Oct. 3: A Soyuz-2.1b rocket with a Fregat upper stage lifted off from Launch Pad No. 4 at Site 43 in Plesetsk Cosmodrome on Oct. 3, 2011, at 00:15 Moscow Time. It carried the Uragan-M satellite for the GLONASS-M constellation of navigation satellites.
2011 Oct. 21: A Soyuz-ST-B rocket with a pair of European navigation satellites lifted off on Oct. 21, 2011, at 10:30:26 GMT (06:30 EST, 14:30 Moscow Time), opening a new era in its operations from its brand-new launch pad in Kourou, French Guiana. The rocket carried a first pair of four In-Orbit-Validation (IOV) satellites for the European Galileo navigation network.
2011 Nov. 14: The Soyuz FG rocket carrying the Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft lifted off from a snow-covered Site 1 in Baikonur Cosmodrome on November 14, 2011, at 08:14:03 Moscow Time (Sunday, November 13, 11:14 p.m. EST). Less than 10 minutes later, the Soyuz TMA-22 reached its initial orbit.
2011 Dec. 21: The Soyuz-FG rocket carrying the Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome's Site 1 on Dec. 21, 2011, at 17:16:14 Moscow Summer Time (13:16 GMT, 8:16 a.m. EST). The Soyuz TMA-03M is piloted by Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, along with NASA astronaut Don Petit and European astronaut André Kuipers.
2011 Dec. 23: A Soyuz-2-1b rocket with the Fregat upper stage lifted off from Pad 4 at Site 43 in Plesetsk on Dec. 23, 2011, at 16:08 Moscow Time. The launch vehicle carried a Meridian No. 5 communications satellite for the Russian military. The Titov Test Space Center started tracking the mission at 16:11 Moscow Time, a representative of Air and Space Defense Forces, VKO, told the official Russian media. According to the flight program, the satellite was expected to establish contact with Russian ground stations at 18:28 Moscow Time. However during the firing of the launch vehicle's third stage, 421 seconds after the liftoff, an emergency command shut down the engine, a VKO representative said.
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Last update: October 23, 2012
The Soyuz FG rocket with Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft shortly after its rollout to the launch pad in Baikonur on April 2, 2011. Credit: RKK Energia