Four O3B network communications satellites were launched from the Sinnamary launch site near Kourou, French Guiana by a Soyuz ST-B (Fregat M) at 1927 GMT on 25 June. Earlier the same day, at 1728 GMT a Soyuz 2-1b Fregat launched the Resurs P1 high resolution Earth observation satellite from the Baikonur launch site, near Tyuratam, Kazakhstan.
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NASA has decided to fork out more cash to buy extra Soyuz seats to take its crews to the International Space Station. The deal signed with Roscosmos is valued at $424 million is for six “seats” and training and adds to an earlier deal to carry NASA astronauts until 2016. The new deal extension equates to a per seat price of $70.7 million – an increase of $10 million over the previous NASA Soyuz seat buy. NASA found itself forced into this position as its commercial crew capability will now not be ready until 2017 at the earliest and NASA needed to book these seats to cover itself until mid-2017.
A Russian Soyuz 2-1B Fregat launch vehicle successfully launched the Glonass M47 satellite at 0523 GMT on 26 April from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in Northern Russia. The satellite which had a launch mass of 1415 kg and a design life of seven years will be placed in Plane One of the Glonass constellation to provide navigation services primarily for Russian Military forces. This launch will bring the number o navigation satellites in the Glonass constellation to 30 including those satellites that are in testing, maintenance and spares.
Successful Soyuz launch of Progress M-019M is marred by sticky KURS antenna which may prevent docking (Updated)
A Soyuz U launch vehicle successfully launched Progress M-019M (ISS-51P) on its mission to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome located near Tyuratam in Kazakhstan. Aboard were cargo and supplies for the astronauts aboard the International Space Stataion. Due to orbital alignments, the passage to the space station will take the slower route lasting two days rather than the shorter six hour trip. Soon after launch an issue was reported involving the failure to deploy of one of the antennas needed for the KURS automatic docking system. Engineers are attempting to recover the antenna.
A Soyuz 2-1A/Fregat was successfully launched at 1000 GMT on 19 April from the Baikonur launch base near Tyuratam in Kazakhstan. On board was the Bion M1 spacecraft which itself was carrying an animal payload (mice, gerbils, geckos, snails and fish) in a re-entry capsule which is expected to return in May after a 30 day flight. In addition the following nanosatellites were also carried on the launch which will be released later from the outside of Bion M1. AIST satellite was built by TsSKB Progress to test out the new Stork bus design.Beesat 2 and 3 were earth obseravation cubesat satellites which are also testing out new technologies for cutesats. Dove 2 is a technology test cubesat. OSSI-1 is an amateur research cubesat satellite incorporating a random number generator.SOMP is a small cubesat taking measurements of atomic and molecular oxygen.
The Soyuz TMA-08M/ISS-34S mission carrying NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Misurkin and Pavel Vinogradov was launched successfully on a Soyuz FG rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome (near Tyuratam) in Kazakhstan at 2043 GMT on 28 March 2013. Using a faster approach multi-burn rendezvous profile, the vessel managed to rendezvous and dock with the International Space Station’s Poisk module at 0228 GMT, only 5 hours 45 minutes after launch from Baikonur. This launch was the first time the rapid rendezvous technique was used for a manned launch, cutting two days from the usual rendezvous time. This new technique was first tested on three previous Progress cargo craft launches.
The planned undocking and return to Earth of the three-man Soyuz TMA-06M/ISS-32M spacecraft which is currently docked with the International Space Station, was delayed one day to 15 March due to poor weather (snow storm) at the planned landing site in Kazakhstan. Such delays have happened before. Soyuz TMA-13/ISS-17S was similarly delayed in April 2009.
A Soyuz 2-1a Fregat launch vehicle successfully launched seven Globalstar second generation spacecraft on 6 February from the Baikonur launch site, near Tyuratam in Kazakhstan. The launch into low Earth orbit took place at 1604 GMT and about 100 minutes after lift off the last four of the six spacecraft aboard were successfully deployed. The completion of the 24 satellite second gereration constellation on four Soyuz launches will mean that complete and uninterupted voice communications can again be offered by the Globalstar mobile communications service. The orignal service was disrupted after S-band antenna faults on the first generation series of satellites.
Having been launched on a Soyuz FG rocket at 1212 GMT from the Baikonur launch site, near Tyuratam, Kazakhstan on 19 December 2012, the Soyuz TMA-07M/ISS-33S spacecraft docked with the Rassvet module of the International Space Station at 1409 GMT on 21 December. Aboard the craft were: Roman Romanenko of Russia, Chris Hadfield of Canada, and Tom Marshburn of NASA (USA).
A Soyuz FG rocket carried the Soyuz TMA-07M/ISS-33S spacecraft into orbit from the Baikonour space port near Tyuratam, Kazakhstan at 1212GMT on 19 December 2012. Aboard the craft were, the Russian Cosmonaut, Roman Romanenko, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, and US astronaut Tom Marshburn who were being ferried to the International Space Station (ISS).
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