The launch of the “Soyuz MS” spacecraft on the” Soyuz-2.1a” rocket is scheduled for August 2019.
The flight of the ship will pass in unmanned mode, which will allow several times to increase the payload due to the lack of a part of the instruments and units, necessary to support the work of the crew.
Currently, the unmanned version of the “Soyuz MS” spacecraft is at the stage of assembling the compartments.
Eugeny Mikrin, General Designer of RSC ”Energia”,underlined that the unmanned ship “Soyuz MS” is not a new modification of the manned spacecraft:
“From an ordinary serial ship, this variant of the”Soyuz MS” is distinguished by a modernized traffic and navigation system with the appropriate modification of on-board systems. Our task is to test
this system, and also to check the integration of the ship with the “Soyuz-2.1a” launch vehicle.
The results of the flight tests of the modernized system can be used in the production of a new cargo spacecraft “Soyuz GVK”, which RSC “Energia” is developing on the basis of the “Soyuz” spacecraft.
In the “Soyuz GVK” it will be a deeper modification of the onboard systems, another head fairing (without emergency rescue system). The cargo spacecraft can deliver 2 tons of cargo to orbit and
return 500 kg to the Earth, while in the separated compartment of the ship it will be possible to place another 1 ton of the cargo destined for utilization, which will burn in dense layers of the
atmosphere. To launch the ship, it is planned to use a rocket carrier of higher carrying capacity – “Soyuz-2.1b”.
Creation of the ship “Soyuz GVK” is planned to be completed in 2022.