Baikonur Cosmodrome Site 31

Coordinates: 45°59′46″N 63°33′51″E / 45.99611°N 63.56417°E / 45.99611; 63.56417

Baikonur Site 31, also known as Site 31/6 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan, is a launch site used by derivatives of the R-7 Semyorka missile. From 2011 onwards, it was supposed to be the launch site for crewed Soyuz missions to the International Space Station, when launches switched from the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle to the Soyuz-2, which was unable to use the launch pad at Site 1/5. However, Site 1/5 has undergone modifications that allow the crewed ISS missions to be launched from it. Only a few crewed missions to the International Space Station (ISS) are launched from Site 31/6 (Soyuz TMA-06M, Soyuz TMA-15M, Soyuz MS-02), when Site 1/5 is unavailable.

Site 31/6
Soyuz 2 metop.jpg
A Soyuz-2 rocket at LC-31/6
Launch siteBaikonur Cosmodrome
LocationKazakhstan
OperatorRVSN, VKS, Roscosmos
Total launchesTBC
Launch pad(s)1
Orbital inclination
range
49° – 99°
Launch history
StatusActive
Launches410
First launch14 January 1961
R-7A
Last launch29 June 2021
Soyuz 2.1a / Progress MS-17
Associated
rockets
R-7A
Vostok
Voskhod
Polyot
Molniya
Soyuz
Soyuz-L
Soyuz-U
Soyuz-U2
Soyuz-FG/Fregat
Soyuz-2 (current)

It was first used on 14 January 1961, for an R-7A ICBM test mission. It is currently used for commercial Soyuz-FG/Fregat missions, and Soyuz-2 launches. In the 1970s and early 1980s, several crewed missions were launched from the site.

A panorama of the Baikonur Cosmodrome Site 31 taken from atop the Soyuz support structure. A Zenit facility can be seen in the distance.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • "Baikonur LC31". Encyclopedia Astronautica.

Further readingEdit