back to article Vostochny cosmodrome caught on Soyuz rocketcam

Russian space agency Roscosmos has released an impressive rocketcam video shot from the Soyuz-2.1a which last month became the first mighty lifter to depart the country's new Vostochny cosmodrome. The edited highlights footage shows the rocket leaving the pad, the separation of two of its four liquid-fuelled boosters, then …

  1. phuzz Silver badge

    Huh, looks like the Russians are suffering from the same bug in MechJeb that I have, where the spacecraft rolls rapidly right after liftoff.

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      And the wobbly stack, too. Needs more struts.

  2. frank ly

    I was wondering why it did what appeared to be a rapid controlled roll through 180 degrees on take off. Does anyone know?

    1. Julz Silver badge

      It was the wrong way around on the launch pad?

      1. TitterYeNot

        "It was the wrong way around on the launch pad?"

        I know you're joking, but you're probably right.

        I'm not sure about the Soyez vehicle, but I'm guessing it's similar to some other rocket stack launches in that it requires a roll programme after clearing the tower. Umbilical and support connections usually require that a vehicle has a fixed orientation relative to the tower before launch, but the location of telemetry and comms equipment within the vehicle may mean that after liftoff it's not in an optimal orientation relative to the ground, hence the roll to correct its position.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It was the wrong way around on the launch pad?

        Wouldn't it have come out somewhere near Australia then? :)

        1. Stuart21551

          Hmmm. Woomera II!

    2. Crisp

      PhysX glitch?

    3. Chemical Bob

      It's shirt was on backwards.

  3. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    Hey, they got it up

    Well done those engineers. Of course we knew they could do it, they have done it many times before, but an inaugural launch must mean lots more than usual can go wrong. I do not doubt some glasses of vodka were raised afterwards, and justly so!

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    So, what's with the rumors of money disappearing down the drain for this?

    ...Not sure whether all planted by George Soros?

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: So, what's with the rumors of money disappearing down the drain for this?

      Well, four people have been arrested over alleged corruption, so I wouldn't call it rumours, I'd call it an ongoing investigation.

      (Link to Russia Today to avoid claims of anti-Russian bias)

  5. Mike Flugennock


    Man, I'm a fool for footage like this. It really looks like you're riding that damn' thing.

    Too bad they didn't have camera tech like this back in the Saturn V days.

    ...and yeah -- I don't know the exact reason, but that's probably the kind of "roll program" I've seen on nearly every launch going back to at least Gemini. The Shuttle did one to "heads down" attitude to take the stress off of the orbiter/main tank mounts, but I'm not real clear about the roll program on "traditional" boosters.

    Saturn V also did a very slight yaw manuver off the pad to eliminate the possibility of the booster accidentally striking a tower swing-arm on the way up. It looks like an optical illusion in the fotos, but that monster really is leaning off the pad just a slight little bit.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge


      > Too bad they didn't have camera tech like this back in the Saturn V days.

      They did, but unfortunately it was film, and not a lot of the ejected pods were successfully recovered. Those that were, became stock space footage. For example, there's the interstage ring that comes off the Apollo 6 (IIRC) S-II and glows from the S-II exhaust. That's been used to death. There's also the S-IVB separation viewed from the S-II, showing the single engine and the 3 separation solid motor plumes.

      The roll is because usually the guidance computer is not very bright, executing such-and-such programmed turn in (say) the X-Z plane, so it rolls so that the X-Z plane is where it wants to go.

      (Except for the Shuttle, which rolled heads-down to place the wings under the least aerodynamic stress.)

      On the Saturn V, there was a little window, where the guidance system viewed the light from a reference point outside the pad, and aligned those final 10ths of a degree.

      1. Mike Flugennock


        Yeah, that's right, now that you mention it... they did have the film cameras in the sealed boxes mounted at the bases and tops of the stages to shoot the staging. That Apollo 6 staging footage with the falling interstage catching fire from the S-II blast is something I can watch over and over. They had those cams mounted inside the stages, just behind the engine nozzles, but they didn't have any outboard back-facing cams that I know of.

        Btw, in most documentaries, that shot of the S-IVB pulling away from the S-II is usually cut way early; in the documentary For All Mankind, they use much more of that shot, showing the view from the S-II as it starts tumbling and falling. The effective POV is of someone hanging on for dear life to the inside of the engine fairing; it's really crazy-looking.

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