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The Soyuz TMA-3 vehicle launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome
Function Orbital carrier rocket
Manufacturer Samara Progress
Country of origin Soviet Union
Height 34.54 metres (113.3 ft)
Diameter 2.95 metres (9 ft 8 in)
Mass 297,800 kilograms (656,500 lb)
Stages 2
Payload to
7,050 kilograms (15,540 lb)
Associated rockets
Family R-7 (Soyuz)
Launch history
Status Retired
Launch sites LC-1/5 & 31/6, Baikonur
Possibly Plesetsk
Total launches 66-92
Successes 66-90
Failures 0-2
First flight 23 December 1982
Last flight 3 or 29 September 1995
Notable payloads Soyuz

The Soyuz-U2 (GRAU index 11A511U2) was a Soviet, later Russian, carrier rocket. It was derived from the Soyuz-U, and a member of the R-7 family of rockets. It featured increased performance compared to the baseline Soyuz-U, due to the use of syntin propellant, as opposed to RP-1 paraffin, used on the Soyuz-U.[1]

The increased payload of the Soyuz-U2 allowed heavier spacecraft to be launched, while lighter spacecraft could be placed in higher orbits, compared to those launched by Soyuz-U rockets. In 1996, it was announced that the Soyuz-U2 had been retired, as the performance advantage gained through the use of syntin did not justify the additional cost of its production. The final flight had occurred in the previous year.[2]

The Soyuz-U2 was primarily used to launch Yantar reconnaissance satellites, and Soyuz and Progress spacecraft to the Mir space station. Due to the similarity between the Soyuz-U and U2, the exact number of Soyuz-U2 launches is in doubt, with estimates ranging from 66 to 92 launches. It is also unclear how many launches failed, however most sources suggest there were either zero or two failures.[1][2][3][4]

See also


  1. ^ a b Wade, Mark. "Soyuz 11A511U2". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  2. ^ a b "Soyuz-U2 (Russian Federation), SPACE LAUNCH VEHICLES - ORBITAL". Jane's. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  3. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Soyuz-U2 (11A511U2)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  4. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "R-7 family". Launch Lists. Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
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