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

Site 31/6
A Soyuz-2 rocket at LC-31/6
Map
Launch siteBaikonur Cosmodrome
LocationKazakhstan
OperatorRVSN, VKS, Roscosmos
Total launchesTBC
Launch pad(s)1
Orbital inclination
range
49° – 99°
Launch history
StatusActive
Launches431
First launch14 January 1961
R-7A
Last launch15 February 2024
Soyuz 2.1a / Progress MS-26
Associated
rockets
R-7A
Vostok
Voskhod
Polyot
Molniya
Soyuz
Soyuz-L
Soyuz-U
Soyuz-U2
Soyuz-FG/Fregat
Soyuz-2 (current)

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. Since Roscosmos' change from flying crew on the Soyuz-FG to the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle for crewed flights in 2020, it has served as the primary launch site for Soyuz flights to the International Space Station. It took over from Site 1/5 (Gagarin's Start) since it failed to receive funding to modernize it for the slightly larger Soyuz-2 rocket.[1]

Before that, it only saw a handful of crewed flights when Site 1/5 was unavailable (Soyuz TMA-06M, Soyuz TMA-15M, Soyuz MS-02).

It was first used on 14 January 1961, for an R-7A ICBM test mission. As of 2023 it is currently used for Soyuz-2 launches. In the 1970s and early 1980s, several crewed missions were launched from the site.

A diagram showing the layout of site 31. Note the big black box on the bottom left is МИК 40 (The hall where the rocket is assembled).
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 also

References

  1. ^ Berger, Eric (16 October 2023). "After six decades, 'Gagarin's Start' will meet its end as a launch pad". Ars Technica. Retrieved 24 October 2023.

Further reading