The Soyuz Years
The Soyuz Years
The Soyuz Spaceships are seen by many as the most successful of all the space ships designed and launched into space. With the design still in use today, VideoJug presents a deeper look into this most famous of space craft.
The most successful of all the space ships designed and launched into space has to be the Russian Soyuz craft.
First launched in November 1966 the same basic design is still in operation today, supplying the International Space Station.
Soyuz was designed to be the main stay in the soviet union's quest for the Moon in the late 1960's
Unlike American Saturn V launch vehicles that have 5 very large engines in the first stage, the Soyuz rockets have an array of twenty smaller engines to achieve the same thrust.
Able to carry a crew of three for up to 30 days the Soyuz is made from 3 separate parts.
The spherical orbital module is were the crew sit for most of the time, this contains a toilet and dinning facility.
The re-entry module just behind is surrounded by heat shield and parachutes for the return to earth. The Cosmonauts sit here for launch and re-entry.
And finally a service module containing life support systems, an engine and all communications.
It is about the same size as an Apollo command and service module but better distribution of equipment gives it more space inside.
Unlike American space craft that are designed to land in water, Russian craft are meant to land on dry land.
Before re-entry, the ship is turned engine first and the service module engine is fired a whole 180º before touchdown.
The orbital module and the service module are then detached leaving the crew inside the re-entry module.
Parachutes slow the craft down and a final solid rocket is fired just before touchdown to bring the craft to a safe landing.
Unmanned Soyuz craft have supplied every space station from Soyuz through MIR.
On July 19th 1975 the barriers between the Soviet Union and United States were finally broken when a Soyuz craft successfully docked within an Apollo's space craft.
This union paved the way for co-operation between the two nations in space.