Soyuz (rocket)

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Soyuz 11A511
Soyuz rocket rolled out to the launch pad.jpg
A later variant of the Soyuz rocket being rolled out to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Function Carrier rocket
Manufacturer OKB-1
Country of origin USSR
Height 45.6 metres (150 ft)
Diameter 10.3 metres (34 ft)
Mass 308,000 kilograms (679,000 lb)
Stages 2
Payload to LEO 6,450 kilograms (14,220 lb)
Associated rockets
Family R-7 (Soyuz)
Launch history
Status Retired
Launch sites Baikonur Sites 1/5 & 31/6
Total launches 32[1]
Successes 30
Failures 2
First flight 28 November 1966
Last flight 14 October 1976
Notable payloads Soyuz
Boosters - Block A/B/V/G
No. boosters 4
Engines 1 RD-107
Thrust 994.3 kilonewtons (223,500 lbf)
Specific impulse 315 sec
Burn time 118 seconds
Fuel RP-1/LOX
First stage - 11S59
Engines 1 RD-108
Thrust 977.7 kilonewtons (219,800 lbf)
Specific impulse 315 sec
Burn time 292 seconds
Fuel RP-1/LOX
Second stage - 11S510
Engines 1 RD-0110
Thrust 294 kilonewtons (66,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 330 sec
Burn time 246 seconds
Fuel RP-1/LOX

The Soyuz (Russian: Союз, meaning "union", GRAU index 11A511) was a Soviet expendable carrier rocket designed in the 1960s by OKB-1 and manufactured by State Aviation Plant No. 1 in Kuybyshev, Soviet Union. It was commissioned to launch Soyuz spacecraft as part of the Soviet human spaceflight program, first with 8 unmanned test flights, followed by the first 19 manned launches.[1] The original Soyuz also propelled four test flights of the improved Soyuz 7K-T capsule between 1972 and 1974. In total it flew 30 successful missions over 10 years and suffered two failures.[1]

The Soyuz 11A511 type, a member of the R-7 family of rockets. first flew in 1966. Derived from the Voskhod 11A57 type, It was a two-stage rocket, with four liquid-fuelled strap-on boosters clustered around the first stage, with a Block I second stage. The new, uprated core stage and strap-ons became standard for all R-7 derived launch vehicles to replace the numerous older variants in use on the 8A92, 11A57, and 8K78M types.[2]

Starting in 1973, the original Soyuz rocket was gradually superseded by the Soyuz-U derivative type, which became the world's most prolific launcher, flying hundreds of missions over 43 years until its retirement scheduled for 2016. Other direct variants were Soyuz-L for low Earth orbit tests of the LK lunar lander (3 flights) and Soyuz-M built for a quickly abandoned military spacecraft and used for reconnaissance satellites instead (8 flights).

The aborted Soyuz 18-1 launch in 1975 was the final manned flight of the 11A511 and as it occurred shortly before the ASTP mission, the United States requested that the Soviets provide details about this failure. They stated that Soyuz 19 would be using the newer 11A5511U booster model (i.e. Soyuz-U) so that the Soyuz 18-1 malfunction had no bearing on it.

Soyuz rockets were assembled horizontally in the MIK Building at the launch site. The rocket was then rolled out, and erected on the launch pad.[citation needed]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Krebs, Gunter. "Soyuz (11A511)". Gunter's space page. Retrieved 6 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. ""Soyuz" - series launch vehicles". Samara Space Centre.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>