Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Soyuz Programme, ISS
Mains level: Space missions and their objectives
Mission to ISS
- A Soyuz rocket carrying Russian, American and Canadian astronauts took off from Kazakhstan and reached orbit in the first manned mission since a failed launch in October.
- It was the first manned launch for the Soviet-era Soyuz when a rocket carrying astronauts failed just minutes after blast-off, forcing the pair to make an emergency landing.
- They escaped unharmed but the failed launch as first such incident in Russia’s post-Soviet history raised concerns about the state of the programme.
- The Soyuz is the only means of reaching the ISS since the U.S. retired the space shuttle in 2011.
About Soyuz Programme
- The Soyuz programme (meaning “Union”) is a human spaceflight programme that was initiated by the Soviet Union in the early 1960s.
- It was originally a part of Moon landing project intended to put a Soviet cosmonaut on the Moon.
- It was the third Soviet human spaceflight programme after the Vostok and Voskhod programme.
- The programme consists of the Soyuz spacecraft and the Soyuz rocket and is now the responsibility of the Russian Roscosmos.
- Since the retirement of the US Space Shuttle in 2011, all human spaceflights to and from the International Space Station have been carried out using Soyuz.