Soyuz (rocket family)

Soyuz (Russian: Союз, meaning "union", GRAU index 11A511) is a family of expendable Russian and Soviet carrier rockets developed by OKB-1 and manufactured by Progress Rocket Space Centre in Samara, Russia. With over 1,900 flights since its debut in 1966, the Soyuz is the most frequently used launch vehicle in the world as of 2021.[1]

A Soyuz-FG rocket carrying a Soyuz TMA spacecraft launches from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on 18 September 2006.
FunctionLaunch vehicle
Progress Rocket Space Centre
Country of originUSSR
Associated rockets
Launch history
Launch sites
First flight28 November 1966
Type of passengers/cargoSoyuz

For nearly a decade, between the final flight of the Space Shuttle program in 2011 and the 2020 first crewed mission of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, Soyuz rockets were the only launch vehicles able and approved for transporting astronauts to the International Space Station.

The Soyuz vehicles are used as the launcher for the crewed Soyuz spacecraft as part of the Soyuz programme, as well as to launch uncrewed Progress supply spacecraft to the International Space Station and for commercial launches marketed and operated by Starsem and Arianespace. All Soyuz rockets use RP-1 and liquid oxygen (LOX) propellant, with the exception of the Soyuz-U2, which used Syntin, a variant of RP-1, with LOX. The Soyuz family is a subset of the R-7 family.

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