Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.


Russia launches upgraded Soyuz rocket

Published time: December 28, 2013 18:19
Edited time: December 28, 2013 22:36
image from

image from

Russia launched an upgraded version of its Soyuz rocket on Saturday, successfully delivering a scientific satellite into space. The Soyuz-2.1v light class rocket includes a new engine design.

“The operational crew at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome [in Russia’s Arkhangelsk Region] has successfully conducted a unique launch of a light-class Soyuz-2.1v rocket carrier with Volga upper stage and Aist spacecraft,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said.

The Soyuz-2.1v blasted off at 12:30 GMT, with the Aist satellite being put into orbit at 14:09 GMT.

The new rocket represents a major development in the Soyuz program, which began in 1966.

The booster features a completely reworked first stage, powered by a NK-33 (14D15) rocket engine which has twice the thrust in comparison with its predecessors.

The new carrier and its Volga upper stage are designed to inject various spacecrafts into circular orbits of up to 1,500 kilometers and sun-synchronous orbits of up to 850 kilometers. The light class booster is able to carry up to 2,800 kilograms of payload.

image from

The Soyuz-2.1v was developed in response to an increasing demand to launch small satellites and end the use of Tsiklon and Kosmos boosters - as well as in response to insufficient numbers of Rokot boosters.

The Aist satellite which the new rocket launched into orbit was created by students and young scientists at Samara State Aerospace University and Progress Central Assembly and Design Engineering Bureau.

The spacecraft is aimed at testing the technologies that are used during the construction of microsatellites, which weigh between 10 and 100 kilograms.

The Soyuz-2.1v launch was originally planned for late 2012, but was delayed several times.

The launch was then scheduled for December 23, 2013, but was again postponed due to additional checks.

Earlier on Saturday, Russian defense official Colonel Dmitry Zenin said that the Soyuz-2.1v would not be travelling to space in 2013.

But the state commission, which gathered at Plesetsk, decided to go ahead with the launch.

Soyuz boosters have performed over 1,700 launches since 1966, making them the most widely used rockets in the history of space exploration.

The Soyuz rocket, along with China’s Long March 2F, is one of the two rockets in the world capable of sending people into orbit.

Comments (13)


fran7 29.12.2013 09:17

Marvellous Russian Ingenuity. It was Russia who first launched Sputnik into orbit and the first man into space ( Yuri Gagarin ) Prompting a frenzied USA space programme to try to keep up.
What a great and modest man Mr Kalashnikov was who created the AK 47 rifle to help protect his country's borders.
The T34 Tank was another marvellous achievement of Russian ingenuity which defeated Hitler in the Great Tank Battle of Kursk in World War 2 which was a turning point of the war and helped to bring it to a speedy conclusion.


Scott Concertman 29.12.2013 06:52

Hatchet Jack, your missing out on all of the Orion manned module preparation, capsule hover and land testing, and a NASA rocket engine test that blew the doors off all previous power plant records. NASA is preparing to send Astronauts back to the Moon, then on to Mars by 2027 or sometime. USA is also planing to corral an asteroid for private mining. So don't miss our space program "make progress and do something useful" for the future! And congratulations to the Russians for their continued "Model" Soyuz program throughout these decades!


Iqbal Halani 29.12.2013 05:55

As usual the Chinese have the cheapest solution on how to make the Great Satan, the Biblical Beast, deaf,dumb and blind. They ALREADY have satellites in elliptical orbit that can be adjusted and exploded to create a swath of ceramic particles moving at 30,000kph destroying ALL US satellites beaming down to N America in the Clarke belt. A very cheap deterrent as the devils seated in the East Pentagon found out,their super war simulation computer showing a blue screen of death, as soon as they input this new info, Peter !

View all comments (13)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or



Show password


or Register

Request a new password


or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:


or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile



New password

Retype new password

Current password



Follow us