View of launch pad at the Baykonur Cosmodrome showing Soyuz spacecraft
S75-32339 (28 Jan. 1974) --- A low-angle view of a launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan showing the installation of a Soyuz spacecraft and its launch vehicle. The 49.3-meter-high (162 feet) space vehicle is composed of the three-stage booster, a three-module, two-man Soyuz spacecraft and a launch escape system. The weight of the space vehicle at launch is approximately 300,000 kilograms. The first stage vacuum thrust is about 1,000,400 newtons, the second stage is 956,500 newtons, and the third stage is 299,000 newtons. This earlier Soyuz mission illustrates the approximate launch configuration of the Soviet Union?s Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) Soyuz space vehicle. PHOTO COURTESY: USSR ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
Over its sixty-year history, primarily classified military The Soviet space program was responsible for a number of pioneering accomplishments in space flight, including the first intercontinental ballistic missile (R-7), first satellite (Sputnik 1), first animal in Earth orbit (the dog Laika on Sputnik 2), first human in space and Earth orbit (cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on Vostok 1), first woman in space and Earth orbit (cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova on Vostok 6), first spacewalk (cosmonaut Alexey Leonov on Voskhod 2), first Moon impact (Luna 2), first image of the far side of the moon (Luna 3) and unmanned lunar soft landing (Luna 9), first space rover (Lunokhod 1), first sample of lunar soil automatically extracted and brought to Earth (Luna 16), and first space station (Salyut 1). Further notable records included the first interplanetary probes: Venera 1 and Mars 1 to fly by Venus and Mars, respectively, Venera 3 and Mars 2 to impact the respective planet surface, and Venera 7 and Mars 3 to make soft landings on these planets.