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Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse The Soyuz Launch Vehicle for
showing us the success of the Russian's premier launch
vehicle and their very different engineering process.

The Soyuz Launch Vehicle
The Two Lives of an Engineering Triumph

The Soyuz Launch Vehicle by Christian Lardier and Stephan Barensky (2010) - 487 pages
The Soyuz Launch Vehicle at Amazon.com

The Soyuz launch vehicle has had a long and illustrious history. Built as the world's first intercontinental missile, it took the first man in space in April 1961, before becoming the workhorse of Russian spaceflight, launching satellites, interplanetary probes, every cosmonaut from Gagarin onwards, and, now, the multinational crews of the International Space Station.

This remarkable book gives a complete and accurate description of the two lives of Soyuz, chronicling the cooperative space endeavor of Europe and Russia. First, it takes us back to the early days of astronautics, when technology served politics. From archives found in the Soviet Union the authors describe the difficulty of designing a rocket in the immediate post-war period. Then, in Soyuz's golden age, it launched numerous scientific missions and manned flights which were publicized worldwide while the many more numerous military missions were kept highly confidential!

The second part of the book tells the contemporary story of the second life of Soyuz, gathered from Western sources and interviews with key protagonists. It addresses the sensitive issue of the strategic choices that led to the establishment of Soyuz in French Guiana, describing the role of a few visionaries in Russia and in Europe who decided to leave their respective isolation behind and bring Soyuz and Ariane together.

In the final analysis, this book is an in-depth treatment that pays homage to a formidable human adventure.

And the legend lives on.

12-9-15 Tim Peake: How he gets to space and back
Tim Peake: How he gets to space and back
UK astronaut Tim Peake will travel to the International Space Station (ISS) on 15 December. Since the space shuttle's retirement, the Russian Soyuz launch system is now the only way for crew members to get to the ISS. The basic design for the Soyuz capsule was laid down as far back as the 1960s. It was originally intended to serve as the craft that would carry cosmonauts to the Moon. When the US beat them to the lunar surface in 1969, the USSR's lunar programme was scrapped. But the Soyuz was retained, and became the Soviet - and subsequently Russian - vehicle of choice for launching humans to low-Earth orbit. It was the craft that carried the first crew to the International Space Station in 2000, and has been the only craft ferrying humans to the orbiting outpost since the retirement of the US space shuttle in 2011.

11-12-15 Cosmonaut training site: Oasis in an uncertain world
Cosmonaut training site: Oasis in an uncertain world
Lost in the birch forests an hour's drive outside Moscow is an oasis of diplomatic calm amid the turbulence surrounding Russia's relations with the outside world. While the headlines are raging about Russia's actions with its military or its athletes, one very stark and unavoidable fact remains: that Russia currently has the only means of getting people into orbit above Earth. When Western sanctions were first imposed on Russia, and questions were raised about whether Americans should still use Russian rockets, a Russian minister tweeted a picture of a Nasa trampoline - a reminder of the fact that the Americans had no choice. Ever since Nasa retired its space shuttles in 2011 - which were costing a vast amount for each launch - any manned spaceflight has had to involve Russia's venerable but highly dependable Soyuz rockets. I asked him which he'd prefer to ride: an American shuttle or a Russian Soyuz. He was too polite to answer directly but said his wife was happier to see him in a Soyuz because it was more reliable. Now the Soyuz route is a necessity, and will remain so until two American companies, SpaceX and Boeing, are ready with their own crew capsules, a prospect that keeps slipping.

And you can count on the SpaceX and
Boeing capsules killing a few astronauts.
Why?
Because in America making money
comes first and safety comes second.
You can bank on it.

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The Soyuz Launch Vehicle
The Two Lives of an Engineering Triumph

Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse The Soyuz Launch Vehicle for
showing us the success of the Russian's premier launch
vehicle and their very different engineering process.