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Soyuz rocket missions in 2007
2007 Jan. 18: Russia launched its first space mission of 2007, sending a 7,290-kilogram cargo ship toward the International Space Station, ISS. The Soyuz U rocket, carrying the Progress M-59 spacecraft, lifted off from Site-1 in Baikonur Cosmodrome on January 18, 2007, at 05:12:13 Moscow Time (02:12 GMT; 09:12 p.m. EST on Jan 17).
The mission also honored the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sergei Korolev, carrying his portrait on the payload fairing.
2007 April 7: The Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft bound for the ISS blasted off as scheduled from Site 1 in Baikonur Cosmodrome, on Saturday April 7, 2007, at 21:31:14 Moscow Time (1:31 p.m. EDT). The Soyuz FG rocket followed a standard trajectory to reach orbit with the inclination 51.6 degrees to the Equator.
2007 May 12: The Soyuz U rocket, carrying the 7,290-kilogram Progress M-60 cargo ship, lifted off from Cosmodrome Baikonur's Site 1 on May 12, 2007, at 07:25:38 Moscow Time (03:25 GMT). The launch vehicle followed a standard trajectory to reach a 193 by 245-kilometer orbit, with the inclination 51.6 degrees toward the Equator.
Russian space agency, Roskosmos, said the spacecraft successfully separated from the upper stage of its launch vehicle, which was scheduled to take place at 07:34:25 Moscow Time.
The Soyuz-FG rocket with the Fregat upper stage, carrying four 450-kilogram Globalstar satellites built by Space Systems/Loral, lifted off from Cosmodrome Baikonur's Site 31 on May 30, 2007, at 00:31 Moscow Time.
The launch vehicle followed eastbound trajectory to reach the 931 by 923-kilometer orbit with the inclination 51.9 degrees toward the Equator. Fregat fired twice before releasing the satellites into their final orbits and the third firing was conducted to send the stage on the reentry trajectory.
According to the Russian space agency, Roskosmos, all payloads successfully reached their operational orbits at 02:15 Moscow Time on May 30, 2007.
The mission was originally expected as early as March 26, 2007, and it was later delayed from March 30, May 14 and May 20, 2007.
According to Globalstar, four new satellites and four ground spares with the total cost of $120 million will serve as a "bridge" to a second-generation satellite constellation. In December 2006, Globalstar signed a EURO 661 million (approximately $865 million) contract with Thales Alenia Space for the design, manufacture and delivery of 48 new satellites for the second-generation Globalstar satellite constellation, with deliveries scheduled to begin in the summer of 2009. The satellites are being designed to provide service until at least 2025.
As it transpired in 2012, a valve onboard Fregat tasked to reduce pressurization of propellant tanks from 320 bars to 38 bars had leaked. As a result, the pressurization system worked below specifications during the mission, failing to provide needed pressure into the propellant tanks during the Fregat maneuvers. Fortunately, it was still enough to deliver propellant for all firings of the main engine and keep the vehicle on the right trajectory. A similar problem took place onboard Fregat during the launch of the Globalstar satellites on May 30, 2007.
The investigation later concluded that specific design of the valve and the loss of flexibility in its membrane had been likely culprits. One source claimed that KBKhM design bureau, which built the Fregat's propulsion system possible used a new materials, later reverted back to previous design, thus solving the problem.
2007 June 7: The Russian military launched its first military payload Thursday, from nation's northern cosmodrome. The Soyuz-U rocket lifted off from Plesetsk on June 7, 2007, at 22:00 Moscow Time, (18:00 GMT) carrying a classified military payload, identified as Kosmos-2427 in the official Russian sources.
Based on information from the US radar, the satellite was circling the Earth in the 180 by 360-kilometer orbit with the inclination 67.15 degrees toward the Equator. Orbit parameters match those of optical reconnaissance satellites, identified in the open Russian press as Kobalt-M. According to various sources, the satellite is designed for 60-120-day operational life span and uses reentry capsules to deliver film with the images of the Earth surface.
Following previous launch of the Kobalt-M satellite, which took place on May 3, 2006, the commander of space forces, KVR, Col-Gen Vladimir Popovkin, promised to launch one satellite of this type annually.
In the aftermath of the latest launch, emergency crews on Russia's Yamal Peninsula were searching for the stage of the Soyuz U rocket, the Russian official news agency ITAR-TASS reported. The stage reportedly impacted 60-80 kilometers from the settlement of Yar-Sale, as planned. On the eve of the launch, 65 people were evacuated from this sparsely populated area.
The launch followed a standard trajectory, delivering a 7,270-kilogram spacecraft into a 268 by 191-kilometer orbit with the inclination 51.64 degrees toward the Equator, according to mission control in Korolev, Russia.
After a three-day flight, Progress M-61 was expected to dock to the station on Aug. 5, 2007, at 22:40 Moscow Time.
To make a room for the new arrival, the Progress M-59 cargo ship undocked from the ISS on Aug. 1, 2007 at 18:07:05 Moscow Time. Upon a command from the Russian mission control, the vehicle fired its braking engine at 22:42 Moscow Time. It then reentered Earth atmosphere and its debris impacted a remote region of the Pacific Ocean some 5,000 kilometers east of Wellington, New Zealand, on the same day around 23:27 Moscow Time.
The launch of Progress M-61 was delayed from May 12, 2007, and then advanced from Sept. 3 to Aug. 16, 2006. In the wake of computer problems onboard the ISS in mid-June 2007, officials considered advancing the launch date as far as July 23, 2007.
2007 Sept. 14: The Soyuz U rocket (No. 098) lifted off from Site 1 in Baikonur Cosmodrome, on Sept. 14, 2007, at 15:00 Moscow Time (11:00 GMT). Nearly nine minutes later, the Russian Foton-M No. 3 spacecraft separated from the rocket's upper stage and was inserted into a 300 km orbit that will carry it around the Earth once every 90 minutes, the European Space Agency said.
Onboard is a crew of three, including Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, NASA astronaut Peggy A. Whitson, and a citizen of Malaysia Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, flying under an agreement with the Russian space agency, Roskosmos.
After a nine-minute powered flight, Soyuz TMA-11 had reached the orbit and all its elements were successfully deployed, mission control in Korolev said.
The launch vehicle was scheduled to deliver itsd payload to the initial parking orbit, after which the satellites would used their own propulsion systems to enter 1,414-kilometer final orbits.
The mission was previously scheduled to take off on Sept. 24 and Oct. 20, 2007.
2007 Dec. 14: Russia launched a Canadian satellite designed to provide all-weather imagery of the Earth surface. The Soyuz FG rocket with the Fregat upper stage lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome on December 14, 2007, at 16:17 Moscow Time, carrying the RADARSAT-2 spacecraft for the Canadian Space Agency. Following the liftoff, the rocket headed north to reach a 798-kilometer sun-synchronous circular orbit with the inclination 98.6 degrees toward the Equator. The Fregat was expected to fire twice to deliver the satellite and the third engine burn would be used to deorbit the upper stage after the separation from its payload at the end of the deployment mission. According to reports from Russia, the launch of the satellite went flawlessly.
The 2,200-kilogram RADARSAT-2 satellite is equipped with a powerful radar, designed to provide images of the Earth surface with the resolution up to three meters. To achieve such resolution, the spacecraft features a deployable radar antenna measuring 15 by 1.5 meters. It emits signals at the frequency of 5.405 GHz within C-band of radio spectrum. RADARSAT-2 is expected to work in orbit for at least seven years, providing imagery primarily for Canadian federal agencies.
The RADARSAT-2 launch was previously scheduled for August, October and November 2007.
The launch followed a standard trajectory, delivering the 7,270-kilogram spacecraft into a 252 by 194-kilometer orbit with the inclination 51.64 degrees toward the Equator, according to mission control in Korolev, Russia. The vehicle carried around two and half tons of propellants, air, scientific equipment and other supplies for the crew of the station.
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Last update: September 14, 2021
Soyuz FG launches Globalstar satellites on May 30, 2007. Credit: Roskosmos
Soyuz FG rocket launches the Foton M3 spacecraft on Sept. 14, 2007. Credit: ESA
The Soyuz-FG rocket is being installed on the launch pad at Site 31 in Baikonur on Oct. 18, 2007. Credit: Roskosmos