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Soyuz Question

Anyone out there know what they're using for comm these days? Do they have a TDRSS system as part of the ISS operations agreement? Or something else? Or both?

[Update about 1 PM EDT]

Via an email from Jim Oberg:

Mir used to have a TDRSS-like system called 'Luch', and a dish antenna capable of communicating with the GEO relay satellite is installed on the Service Module now linked to ISS.

But it's never worked. The old system broke down and wasn't replaced in the 1990's. There are one or two payloads already built, at the Reshetnev plant in Krasnoyarsk, but they won't deliver them until the Russian Space Agency pays cash -- and by now, their components have probably exceed their warranties anyway.

The Russians have a voice relay capability through the NASA TDRSS, but can't relay TV or telemetry, so they conduct how-criticality operations such as dockings or spacewalks only when passing over Russian ground sites. They don't even have ocean-going tracking ships any more -- all sold for scrap [one is in drydock as a museum].


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Leland wrote:

No TDRS. Try this link.

Larry J wrote:

According to this site, voice communications is via the VHF Rassvet system.

The Rassvet (Dawn) radio communications system provides audio communication between the crew and the ground. Two-way voice communication between the crew and ground station is achieved via Very High Frequency, VHF radio. The cosmonauts can also talk to each other from all habitable compartments and with the crew onboard the station, as well as record and playback voice.

The Russians did develop their own Satellite Data Relay Network (SDRN). From, one such satellite in the network was Luch. It says the last one was launched in 1995. I don't know what they currently use. I'm pretty sure TDRSS won't work on the VHF frequencies used for Soyuz voice communications.

Michael wrote:

And we're scrapping the only fleet of real spaceships in existence in order to ride on these rowboats until, maybe, years in the future, we build our own rowboats.

FC wrote:


Better a rowboat than the Titanic.

Jim Bennett wrote:

Hey, the Titanic class has out-performed the Shuttle-class ships, Titanic class lost one of three to design flaws; Shttle has lost two of five.

Dennis Ray Wingo wrote:


NASA of course uses TDRSS and has almost 100% coverage. The Russians use their own ground station network and like I read earlier, everything is timed to use the Russian control centers for critical events. I don't know of anything else.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on May 20, 2008 9:18 AM.

Lunar Property Rights was the previous entry in this blog.

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