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The Soyuz launch sequence explained

The Soyuz launch sequence explained


The Baikonour Cosmodrome located in the middle of the
deserted steppes of Kazakhstan is the Russian space launch facility used to start the journey towards
the International Space Station It is a huge complex that comprises
several technical buildings: some for assembling
and preparing the rockets and others to accommodate the technicians
engineers and the crews It was from Baikonur that Yuri Gagarin began his extraordinary journey
around the Earth more than 50 years ago! Today every launch of the Soyuz vehicle brings three new crew members onboard the International Space Station They prepare for their mission in Star City the training centre of the cosmonauts
located near Moscow Before stepping onto the launch pad all the crew members have to undergo
hundreds of training hours both theoretical and practical to be able
to operate and control
the Soyuz spacecraft in any situation The practical part of the training makes use of realistic models
of the spacecraft that allow the cosmonauts to feel almost as
if they were in a real situation They all follow the path of many others who flew before them from Baikonour Let’s discover how a Soyuz rocket works The rocket has a total length
of approximately 50 m and a diameter of up to 10 m The total mass is about 310 tons It consists of 3 parts called stages A mixture of kerosene
and liquid oxygen is used in order to generate
the required propulsion On top of the rocket stands
the Soyuz spacecraft itself encapsulated within the structure
of the rocket’s nose On the launch pad four green arms ensure that the rocket
is positioned properly before lift-off The arms will mechanically rotate away to release the rocket while
it leaves the ground The training being successfully completed
the crew members
are ready for the launch and the rocket stands
on the launch pad Two and a half hours
before lift-off the crew finally enter the spacecraft and start preparing it for the launch
in collaboration with
the ground controllers They are now set for the launch The cosmonauts are now sitting on top
of 300 tons of propellant What happens if anything
goes wrong? The Soyuz rocket is equipped with a robust and powerful system
designed to save the crew in case the rocket were
to start burning
or explode on the launch pad: this is the
launch escape tower The launch escape tower is itself a small yet powerful rocket made up of several engines
which use solid propellant It is capable of quickly extracting
the crew compartments from
the rest of the rocket in case of an imminent
threat to the crew like an explosion for instance. The mechanism may be
triggered automatically or upon command from
the ground controllers On only one occasion in the history
of Russian cosmonautics was
this escape system put to use In September 1983 while the rocket was ready to lift-off
to bring two Soviet cosmonauts to the Salyut 7 station
a valve failed to close just 90 seconds before
final ignition causing kerosene to spill onto the pad and ignite Fortunately, it was quickly realized that the crew was endangered and the ground controllers
activated the escape system Explosive bolts fired to separate the crew compartments from the rest of the spacecraft and the escape motor fired dragging the crew compartments
free of the boosters Although the two crew members experienced an acceleration
of 14 to 17 g for 5 seconds they landed safely onboard
their capsule some 4 kilometres away from the launch pad The g-load is a
common way to express the acceleration or in
other words the force that the crew may feel
during changes in velocity. The two cosmonauts
Strekalov and Titov would go on to fly several
highly successful missions in later years This incident proved how reliable the launch
escape system really is Let’s go through the
launch sequence now At T-:00 We have lift-off Full thrust is provided
by the 4 side boosters and the central block
of the rocket The core block is ignited at
the same time as the 4 boosters to provide an additional thrust The rocket then initiates a manoeuvre
called the pitch manoeuvre to get the proper orientation
towards the desired orbit The acceleration on the crew members starts to slowly increase to 1.5 g 45 seconds later the rocket has already
reached an altitude of 11 km and a velocity of 1,640 km/h This is the moment the rocket must withstand the maximum
pressure on its structure The cosmonauts feel twice
their normal weight on the ground Looking at the projection
of the track on the ground we can observe that the rocket has
already crossed 16 km. After almost two minutes into the
flight the rocket is at an altitude
of more than 40 km high enough to get rid
of the launch escape tower. A few seconds later
the four strap-on boosters stop firing having consumed
all the propellant they contained Being of no use now
they are jettisoned from the main core which continues to fire and is now called
the second stage In case of a severe malfunction
at this point the spacecraft can still separate from the rest of the rocket and come back safely to the ground
without the need for
additional propulsion The debris follow a trajectory
that leads it to hit the ground in an uninhabited area located
more than 350 km from
the launch pad Soon the crew members will
experience the maximum acceleration
on their bodies 3.5 times their own weight but only for a few seconds This is the most physically demanding moment for
the cosmonauts In the meantime the second stage continues
to fire for 3 more minutes The structure that protects the spacecraft
is then jettisoned Once again the debris
will follow a safe trajectory to hit the ground 530 km
away from the launch site The spacecraft is now
fully exposed to space The light from outside can now enter the crew compartment
through the small windows It’s now been approximately
5 minutes since lift-off Two seconds before the extinction of the second stage the third stage is ignited then the second stage separates
from the rest of the rocket The engine of the third stage will continue firing
for the next 4 minutes As with the 4 boosters
the second stage follows a safe trajectory
down to Earth The rocket is already at an altitude of 170 km and travelling at a velocity
of 13,250 km/h Then the circular section that
links the second stage with the third stage is jettisoned while the rocket goes on to reach
the targeted orbit around 220 km above
the surface of the Earth Once on the desired orbit
approximately 9 minutes
into the launch the last engine is cut-off The spacecraft finally
separates from the rocket the cosmonauts can now feel
the microgravity Moments later the antennas and the solar arrays are deployed The spacecraft is now on its way to the International Space Station

100 thoughts on “The Soyuz launch sequence explained

  1. 4:31 from what we are told you DID not got it right. guys on the ground did nothing . system did every thing in auto but it did take some time for the system to work

  2. I was thinking how cool it will be for the Falcon9B5, but then I was thinking the BFR will be able to dock with ISS. And that's funny, because since the BFR has more cabin space and more mass than the ISS, it's basically a space station itsself. The ISS docks with it lol.

  3. 3:43 In case you are wondering those 4 "paddles" are used for steering. (fins on rockets are usually not used for steering only for stability and controlling roll)

  4. This video does not explain what happens to the third stage. I have found out elsewhere that the 3rd stage returns to Earth, but this video shows that it's at orbital velocity on separation – so my question is, how does the third stage return to Earth under those conditions? Orbital decay only, or some other means?

  5. Cant even imagine how they made this possible! Holy cow! Those humans are good humans i hope they survive the apocalypse. 🙂

  6. Soyuz is still by far the safest and most reliable spacecraft there is. I'd choose to ride on a Soyuz over a Falcon any day.

  7. Thought the news wouldve used these animations for what happened today. Glad they're safe and the escape system worked successfully

  8. 4:13 correction: today Soyuz MS-10 has failed and now has made three times crew used an escape system to get out of a failure (don't worry they lived). 7:29 they escaped and the failure happened around there. It also makes all three abilities used. One with the tower, one with the fairings, and one with just the capsule.

  9. Saluting the Soyuz today <3 the escape system worked flawlessly. The rocket sensed something was wrong and activated the escape system automatically!

  10. Where was Princess Ardala obviously flying a Maurader bomber dan un sureal phenomenon, this is a good presentation.Ich Gefule l Improvement series abstammung bag un necessare.Meanwhile Dr KTO est brilliance.

  11. At 7:05 the narrator says the escape tower is jettisoned prior to booster separation but the graphic at 8:22 indicates the escape tower is jettisoned at the same time as shroud jettison well after booster separation. Which is correct?

  12. This video doesn't go into detail about the separation mechanism for the boosters. Which is one of the neatest aspects of the design.

  13. Err… why to you show the rocket going to left=west? There are good reasons rockets launch to the east (восток) 😉

    Suggestion: learn the basics:)

  14. Amazing engineering and science knowledge and imagination from the Soyuz Team and the Russian people. Thank you from an American. One can see that the prophesy is true, that “Peace will come from the Bear in the East”. Salome.

  15. 4:09 "On only one occasion in the history of Russian Cosmonatics was this escape system put to use." I like to make a correction. as of 2018, this system has put to use agian. on MS-10, a failed oxygen valve failed to open during booster separation. this cause one of the boosters to crash into the second stage and the mission was automatically terminated with the abort system activated.

  16. When emergency escape rockets kick in that would have 14G or more force. Wonder what would that be like? Eve thought it only for 5 sec it must be scariest 5 seconds ever knowing it is life or death
    situation.

    God bless to those cosmonaut died and survived so far.

  17. Isn't a secondary burn necessary at apogee ? (somewhere over the south pacific) – otherwise the spacecraft is going to re-enter the atmosphere and land somewhere around where it took off from – or somewhere in china !

  18. Dear ESA, do you have a video showing toys that are used as indicators of weightlessness at the moment when weightlessness appears? I.e., a video showing the transition of a toy from "gravity" to "no gravity". Thanks!

  19. How can these incredible and interesting videos have such little views but the likes of Justin beiber and Rihanna have billions?! …it's boderline criminal

  20. Honestly I'm not a person who watch this documentary /education experiment…but this mission really make me into to space matter.. It's make me feel when I was in schools again…tq for the awesome video & knowledge that I get more about this magnificent world ♥♥♥

  21. That plummy accent is so veddy propah- at 6:27 the "rocket must withstand the maximum pressah on its structah." Snerk.

  22. Is it the most reliable rockets in the history of space flight so far? Can anyone share some launch success/fail stats from all countries? As far as I can tell the only accident of Soyuz was the one occurred last October, in which the crew were saved by its abort system – thus I still count it as a success since no lives were lost

  23. Incorrect – Did not happen during last flight. Tower saved astronauts after booster failure. – Escape tower did not jettisoned after booster sep.

  24. Russia, FIRST INTO SPACE. now because of NATO's obsession with world domination ironically Russia has essentially replaced NASA even for astronauts from the Americas.

  25. wth, TsSKB? this was meaningless nothing. Vertical speed, Z acceleration, engine throttle, downrange distance, flight path angle, etc. Please?? You give us KSP players nothing to go on.

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