IEEE: A Digital Soyuz

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IEEE: A Digital Soyuz

Post by bystander » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:14 am

A Digital Soyuz
IEEE Spectrum | 28 Sept 2010
Russian crew spacecraft replaces its computer and analog parts for a new mission
For almost 40 years, the Soyuz series of spacecraft has carried cosmonauts into orbit and back safely, if not always comfortably. The workhorse human transport vehicle has undergone a series of upgrades during that period, and it is now about to undergo its latest—and probably final—revision. At long last, Soyuz is all digital.

The next Soyuz launch, scheduled for 8 October, marks the culmination of a series of overhauls that will allow the launch rate of Soyuz crafts to double—a rate needed to maintain a crew of six aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in the absence of the retiring U.S. space shuttle fleet.

Although the craft’s outward appearance will not change, Nikolai Bryukhanov, deputy general designer for S.P. Korolev Rocket & Space Corp. Energia, told reporters at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan, that "the new Soyuz…will be more convenient for testing." And it’s the rapid testing that will allow for the more frequent launches required. The previous Soyuz contained five incompatible analog processors for monitoring different spacecraft systems—each with its own telemetry transmitters—plus the main guidance computer, the venerable Argon flight computer, a ruggedly reliable system that has been in use for more than 30 years.

The analog units will all be replaced by a single new digital device called MBITS (the Russian acronym for "small-sized onboard informational telemetry system"), but no performance specs have been released. MBITS promises to make transmission of spacecraft parameters much more efficient, resulting in significant time savings in prelaunch checkout and a major improvement in overseeing the vehicles in flight.

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NASA: Soyuz Rolls to the Pad

Post by bystander » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:08 pm

Soyuz Rolls to the Pad
NASA Image of the Day | 06 Oct 2010

The Soyuz TMA-01M spacecraft is rolled out by train to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010. The TMA-01M is a new modified Soyuz vehicle that features upgraded avionics and a digital cockpit display. The launch of three new Expedition 25 crew members--Soyuz Commander Alexander Kaleri, NASA Flight Engineer Scott Kelly and Russian Flight Engineer Oleg Skripochka--is scheduled to launch on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. EDT.

Image Credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi

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Space: Putting the Cart Before the (Rocket) Workhorse

Post by bystander » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:50 pm

Snapshot: Putting the Cart Before the (Rocket) Workhorse
Space.com | Space Flight | 07 Oct 2010
It's a scene of two eras colliding: A product of the Space Age – Russia's reliable Soyuz rocket stands ready to launch a brand-new spacecraft model on its maiden voyage while a rustic cart of metal sits in the foreground.

NASA photographer Carla Cioffi took the photo Tuesday (Oct. 5) as the Soyuz was prepared to launch two cosmonauts and an American astronaut toward the International Space Station from the Central Asian spaceport of Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Riding atop the rocket is a Soyuz TMA-01M spacecraft, the newest model of Russia's long-running line of Soyuz space capsules.

Russia's Soyuz rockets and space capsules are the workhorses of the country's human spaceflight program. The new Soyuz TMA-01M model features new guidance, navigation, control and data processing systems, and an improved cooling device for the electronics.

The Soyuz rocket and TMA-01M capsule is the orbital ferry for Russian cosmonauts Alexander Kaleri, Oleg Skripochka, and American astronaut Scott Kelly. The three men are set to launch late Thursday (Oct. 7) at 7:10 p.m. EDT (2310 GMT), though it will actually be 5:10 a.m. Friday local time at their launch site.

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Re: IEEE: A Digital Soyuz

Post by bystander » Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:14 pm

Ascent | NASA IOTD | 09 Oct 2010
  • The Soyuz TMA-01M rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday, Oct. 8, 2010 carrying Expedition 25 Soyuz Commander Alexander Kaleri of Russia, NASA Flight Engineer Scott J. Kelly and Russian Flight Engineer Oleg Skripochka to the International Space Station.
Credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi