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Soyuz 11A511M



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Soyuz LV
Credit: © Mark Wade
Russian orbital launch vehicle. Development of the Soyuz-M began in 1967 to launch the 6.6 metric ton Soyuz 7K-VI manned military spacecraft into a 65-degree inclination earth orbit. The spacecraft was cancelled, but development continued, and eight were Soyuz-M's were built and used to launch Zenit-4MT reconnaissance satellites in 1971-1976. The differences compared to the Soyuz-U are not known, and what (if anything) differentiated these Zenit-4MT missions from others is also a mystery.

The Kozlov filial of Korolev's OKB-1 was tasked with designing the Soyuz 7K-VI manned military spacecraft. In the first quarter of 1967 a substantially revised design was issued. The new spacecraft, with a crew of two, would have a total mass of 6.6 metric tons and could operate for a month in orbit. However the 11A511 launch vehicle could only put 6.3 metric tons into the 65 degree inclination design orbit. This would limit the crew to one. However the military objected to this. A second cosmonaut, without a spacesuit, but with life support systems and consumables would take another 400 kg of payload.

In order to meet the military requirements, Kozlov designed a new variant of the Soyuz launch vehicle, the 11A511M Soyuz-M. The project as reformulated was approved by the central committee on 21 July 1967 by the Central Committee of the Communist Party, with first flight to be in 1968 and operations to begin in 1969. However by the end of the year Kozlov's version of the spacecraft and the project had been taken over by Mishin's main office of OKB-1.

Development of the 11A511M continued for a time, perhaps to support planned solo flights of the Soyuz 7K-S military variant (cancelled in 1974). Eight of the 11A511M were built and eventually used to launch a few Zenit-4MT reconnaissance satellite missions from Plesetsk in the early 1970's (all other Zenit-4MT used the standard 11A511U). The differences compared to the 11A511U are not known, and what (if anything) differentiated these Zenit-4MT missions from others is also a mystery.

LEO Payload: 6,600 kg (14,500 lb) to a 300 km orbit at 65.00 degrees.

AKA: Soyuz; SL-4; 11A511M; Sapwood; A-2.
Status: Retired 1976.
Gross mass: 300,000 kg (660,000 lb).
Payload: 6,600 kg (14,500 lb).
Height: 50.00 m (164.00 ft).
Diameter: 2.95 m (9.67 ft).
Thrust: 4,054.00 kN (911,375 lbf).
Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).
First Launch: 1971.12.27.
Last Launch: 1976.03.31.
Number: 8 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Zenit-4MT Russian military surveillance satellite. 23 launches, 1971.12.27 (Cosmos 470) to 1982.08.03 (Cosmos 1398). Special version of Zenit developed for topographical photography. This was developed by OKB-1 Filial 1 based on the Zenit-4M. More...

See also
  • R-7 The world's first ICBM became the most often used and most reliable launch vehicle in history. The original core+four strap-on booster missile had a small third stage added to produce the Vostok launch vehicle, with a payload of 5 metric tons. Addition of a larger third stage produced the Voskhod/Soyuz vehicle, with a payload over 6 metric tons. Using this with a fourth stage, the resulting Molniya booster placed communications satellites and early lunar and planetary probes in higher energy trajectories. By the year 2000 over 1,628 had been launched with an unmatched success rate of 97.5% for production models. Improved models providing commercial launch services for international customers entered service in the new millenium, and a new launch pad at Kourou was to be inaugurated in 2011. It appeared that the R-7 could easily still be in service 70 years after its first launch. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Plesetsk Plesetsk was the Soviet Union's northern cosmodrome, used for polar orbit launches of mainly military satellites, and was at one time the busiest launch centre in the world. The collapse of the Soviet Union put the main launch site of Baikonur in Kazakh territory. It now seems that once the Proton rocket is retired, Baikonur will be abandoned and Plesetsk will be Russia's primary launch centre. Upgrades to existing launch facilities will allow advanced versions of the Soyuz rocket and the new Angara launch vehicle to be launched from Plesetsk. Plesetsk's major drawback was the lower net payload in geosynchronous orbit from a northern latitude launch site. However Russia is planning to remove the disadvantage by looping geosynchronous satellites around the moon, using lunar gravity to make the necessary orbital plane change. More...

Associated Stages
  • Molniya 8K78M-0 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 43,400/3,770 kg. Thrust 995.30 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 314 seconds. More...
  • Molniya 8K78M-1 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 100,600/6,798 kg. Thrust 976.70 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 315 seconds. More...
  • Soyuz 11A511U2-2 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 25,400/2,400 kg. Thrust 298.10 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 330 seconds. More...

Soyuz 11A511M Chronology


1971 December 27 - . 14:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC43/4. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511M.
  • Cosmos 470 - . Payload: Zenit-4MT no. 1. Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Zenit-4MT. Duration: 10.00 days. Decay Date: 1972-01-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 5727 . COSPAR: 1971-118A. Apogee: 259 km (160 mi). Perigee: 192 km (119 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 89.00 min. Summary: Military topography satellite; returned film capsule; deployed science capsule..

1972 July 13 - . 14:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511M.
  • Cosmos 502 - . Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Zenit-4MT. Duration: 12.00 days. Decay Date: 1972-07-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 6105 . COSPAR: 1972-055A. Apogee: 262 km (162 mi). Perigee: 203 km (126 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 89.10 min. Summary: Military topography satellite; returned film capsule; carried science package..

1972 December 27 - . 10:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511M.
  • Cosmos 541 - . Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Zenit-4MT. Duration: 12.00 days. Decay Date: 1973-01-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 6326 . COSPAR: 1972-105A. Apogee: 348 km (216 mi). Perigee: 218 km (135 mi). Inclination: 81.0000 deg. Period: 90.20 min. Summary: Military topography satellite; returned film capsule; separated science capsule..

1973 June 27 - . 11:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511M.
  • Cosmos 576 - . Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Zenit-4MT. Duration: 12.00 days. Decay Date: 1973-07-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 6713 . COSPAR: 1973-044A. Apogee: 332 km (206 mi). Perigee: 204 km (126 mi). Inclination: 72.9000 deg. Period: 89.80 min. Summary: Military topography satellite; returned film capsule; separated science capsule..

1973 December 17 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511M.
  • Cosmos 616 - . Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Zenit-4MT. Duration: 11.00 days. Decay Date: 1973-12-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 6979 . COSPAR: 1973-102A. Apogee: 332 km (206 mi). Perigee: 206 km (128 mi). Inclination: 72.9000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. Summary: Military topography satellite; returned film capsule; separated science capsule..

1974 June 29 - . 12:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511M.
  • Cosmos 664 - . Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Zenit-4MT. Duration: 12.00 days. Decay Date: 1974-07-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 7351 . COSPAR: 1974-049A. Apogee: 341 km (211 mi). Perigee: 205 km (127 mi). Inclination: 72.9000 deg. Period: 90.00 min. Summary: Military topography satellite; returned film capsule; separated science capsule..

1974 November 4 - . 10:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511M.
  • Cosmos 693 - . Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Zenit-4MT. Duration: 12.00 days. Decay Date: 1974-11-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 7509 . COSPAR: 1974-088A. Apogee: 243 km (150 mi). Perigee: 219 km (136 mi). Inclination: 81.3000 deg. Period: 89.10 min. Summary: Military topography satellite; returned film capsule; separated science capsule..

1976 March 31 - . 12:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511M.
  • Cosmos 811 - . Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Zenit-4MT. Duration: 12.00 days. Decay Date: 1976-04-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 8781 . COSPAR: 1976-030A. Apogee: 338 km (210 mi). Perigee: 206 km (128 mi). Inclination: 72.9000 deg. Period: 90.00 min. Summary: Military topography satellite; returned film capsule; also performed mapping, geodesy, earth resources; deployed capsule..

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