JVZ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JVZ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Soyuz launcher. Russian Soyuz spacecraft (white) on an SL-4 rocket (dark green) being taken to a launch pad by rail before a mission to the Mir space station. There have been over 1000 SL-4 launches since the first in 1963, the rocket being used in a variety of missions. Manned Soyuz/SL-4 launchers are 49.52 metres long and weigh about 310 tonnes. SL-4 launchers are taken to the launch site horizontally before being erected for firing. Soyuz spacecraft are capable of carrying three cosmonauts. Photographed before the Soyuz-TM 14 mission which took German Klaus-Dietrich Flade, and Russians Alexander Viktorenko and Alexander Kaleri, into orbit on 17 March 1992.
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