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Launch facts

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ESA / Education / Young Engineers Satellites
Launcher Soyuz with Foton scientific S/C
Launch site Baikonur Cosmodrome, Russia
Orbit • Low Earth Orbit: 230-300km altitude
• Period ~90min
• Inclination: 63 deg
Date 14 September 2007

Launch site - Baikonur

Baikonur Cosmodrome
Baikonur Cosmodrome

The Baikonur Cosmodrome is one of the worlds largest space launch facilities.

It is leased by the Kazakh government to Russia and managed by the Russian Federal Space Agency and was originally built by the Soviet Union as the base for its space program from the late 1950s to the 1980s.

Baikonur is fully equipped with facilities for launching both manned and unmanned space vehicles. It supports several Russian spacecraft including the Soyuz, Proton and Zenit spacecraft and after the Columbia Disaster in 2003 it played an essential role as a site for the launch of supplies and parts for the International Space Station.

Launcher - Soyuz

Soyuz launch pad
Soyuz launch pad

The Soyuz rocket is the work horse of the Russian Space Program. It has been in service since the mid-1960's and is derived in design from the Vostock launcher, which sent Yuri Gegarin into Space. It is manufactured by TsSKB-Progress in Samara, Russia and consists of three stages:

  • The first stage of Soyuz rockets consists of four liquid booster rockets, strapped to the second stage. Each booster has a single rocket motor.
  • The second stage of the Soyuz booster has one motor at the base. The stage gets somewhat wider near the top.
  • The final stage is where the payload is carried.

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