Russia To Resume Soyuz Launches On October 1st

A cluster of three Glonass satellite, while being coupled with a booster (Souce: Roscosmos).

A Soyuz-2.1B rocket  carrying a Glonass-M navigation satellite is scheduled to lift off from Plesetsk space center on October 1, 2011. The launch has been postponed, following the failure of a Soyuz rocket carrying a Progress cargo spacecraft on August 24. After an investigation, which pointed to a faulty gas generator as the cause of the failure, the Russian space agency Roscosmos announced resumption of Soyuz flights. The launch of October 1 will pave the way to the next ISS increment, announced for November 14. The ISS is currently undercrewed, following the reentry Soyuz TMA-21 of September 16. Should crew launches be delayed further, the ISS would risk remaining without a crew on board for the first time in 10 years.

The Glonass satellite navigation system is Russia’s equivalent to US GPS. The current fleet of 27, with only 23 operational, still lacks one operational satellite and a couple more spares in order to insure global coverage. Russia had lost three Glonass satellites in December, 2010, for a failure of a Proton-M rocket.

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About the author

Andrea Gini

Andrea Gini

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Andrea Gini is a scientific journalist and a professional of the space industry, working as a contractor on ISS Payload Safety. He is the Editor-in-chief of the Space Safety Magazine. Andrea is also Chairman of the Information and Communication Committee of the International Association for Advancement in Space Safety (IAASS), publisher of the Space Safety Magazine, and he is responsible for the communication strategy of the association, Andrea holds a BSc and an MSc in computer science from the University of Milano, a Master in scientific journalism from the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste and a MSc in Space Studies from the International Space University.