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.


About the author

Andrea Gini

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Andrea Gini is a content strategy consultant specialized in companies of the space sector. He is founder of Space Safety Magazine, where he held the position of Editor-in-Chief until March 2015. Between 2011 and 2013 he worked in the European Space Agency in the Independent Safety Office, which overviews the utilization of the International Space Station. He previously worked as Software Developer, IT Consultant, and trainer of Java-related technologies. Andrea holds a BSc and an MSc in computer science from the University of Milano, a Master in Communication of Science from the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste and a MSc in Space Studies from the International Space University.