The R7 launcher has been in used in the Soviet Union and then in Russia since 1957. By adding different upper stage, it was given the name of the payload. We then have today the Vostok, Molnya or Soyuz launcher as we had in the past the Sputnik launcher. All have in common to use the same first and second stages (consisting of the four strap-on boosters) develloped by Serguey Korolyov. More than 2000 R7 (also know as Zemiorka) booster have been launched since 1957 giving the current launcher an impressive reliability.
This model was entirely scratch built and is made of cartboard and balsa wood (see building information). This is the launcher of the Soyuz TM 15 mission with the French Astronaut Michel Tognini. I used Data from the CNES French Space Agency to add the Antares logo mission. One of the most difficult item to find was the Kasakstan flag seen on the shroud. I had to find an up-to-date atlas that was not easy task. This is a model of the launcher while in flight as the white sections are due to ice on the rocket body.
This model is autographed by Michel Tognini who flew on this mission, Jean Pierre Haigneré who was Michel Tognini's back up and who flew on the next French Russian mission. and Claudie Haigneré who was herself back-up for Jean-Pierre Haigneré anf flew on a leter mission.
The Soyuz booster is at the same scale as my Titan II / Gemini IV Booster and my Mercury / Restone 1/48 booster they start from the same height which allows a better comparison of both models as shown on the first two photographs.
I originally painted the model in green as a lot of photographs are showing a green booster, however it
happens this is due only to filtering or printing. Depending also on the light the booster appears green
but is undoubtly grey. Having seen the very nice work of Martin who is building a 1/48 model of the
Vostok booster I decided that it has been too long to have a wrong colored booster and I decided to
repaint it in Grey, you can still see pictures on the previous green booster here.
Other photos can also be found on the Sven Knudson Ninfinger Productions web site
Astronaut Michel Tognini is signing the model of the rocket on which he made his first flight in outer space. He is accompanied by Yves Trempat, Director of the Toulouse Space Center
Astronaut Jean Pierre Haigneré is seen next to the model, Jean Pierre Haigneré made two flight to MIR in the Soyuz booster and was the flight engineer of the last crew aboard MIR. His last flight lasted 6 months.