SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Soyuz 2.1a rocket launch. Launch of a Russian Soyuz 2.1a spacecraft. The Soyuz-2 is a three-stage rocket capable of launching payloads of up to 7,800 kilograms into low-Earth orbit. The 2.1a version includes conversion from analog to digital flight control system and uprated engines on the booster and the first stage with improved injection systems. The new digital flight control and telemetry systems allow the rocket to be launched from a fixed launch platform and for its heading to be adjusted in flight. Photographed at Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhztan, in 2011.
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