Progress MS-23 (84P) | Soyuz 2.1a

Lift off time
May 24, 2023 – 12:56 UTC | 15:56 MSK
Job Name
Progress MS-23 (84P), A resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
Issue Provider
(Which rocket company launched it?)
(Who paid for this?)
Soyuz 2.1a
Starting point
Launch Complex 31/6, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Payload mass
~2,491 kg cargo
Where did the spaceship go?
It is Rendezvous with the ISS, ~400 km in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at an inclination of 51.65°
Did they try to restore the first stage?
No, this is not a Soyuz capability
Where did the first phase land?
The boosters hit the steppes of Kazakhstan
Did they try to rescue the exhibits?
No, this is not a Soyuz capability
Are these decorations new?
It was:
– 23rd launch of Progress MS spacecraftD
– 176th breakthrough launch

5th Launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome The year is 2023
75202’s orbital launch attempt3
Where to look again
Official Reprint

How did it go?

Progress MS-23 (84P) is a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Atop a Soyuz 2.1A launch vehicle, Roscosmos launched it using an uncrewed Progress MS spacecraft. The rocket lifted off from the launch complex at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 31/6. This mission marked the 23rd flight of the Progress MS capsule.

The Progress MS spacecraft is ready for the 84P resupply mission to the ISS. (Credit: ROSCOSMOS)

The Soyuz 2.1a rocket assigned to this mission was decorated with images paying tribute to two significant milestones: the 300th anniversary of the city of Perm and the 60th anniversary of the first woman’s space flight.

Progress MS-23 (84P)


Progress carried MS-23 propellant, water for the Rodnick system, food, and new clothing for the astronauts. The uncommissioned spacecraft also provided a workstation that would be installed on its outer surface Star Vol. Also, the cargo included a launch device with a nano-satellite Parus-MGTU Experiment (conducted by NE Bauman Moscow State Technical University). Astronauts will launch it to test the technology for deploying the solar sail.

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Finally, the breakthrough MS-23 brought a video-spectral system for monitoring the Earth’s surface Cyclone Experiment, a glove box Clawbox-S Test, as well as some equipment for conducting Aseptic, Correction, Neuroimmunity, SeparationAnd Vampire Experiments. Overall, the mission delivered about 2,491 kg of cargo to the ISS.

Progress MS-23 (84P) Task Specification

The MS separated from the third stage of Soyuz 2.1a at ~9 min after launch. It spontaneously docked with the Poisk module (Poisk is the Russian word for „exploration”) 3.5 hours later, at 16:18 UTC (19:18 MSK). It is used as a research facility and a docking station for both the Soyuz spacecraft and the Progress capsule.

Approximate timeline

Hour: Minute: Second
From lift-off
– 00:00:15 Engine starting sequence
00:00:00 Lift-off
+ 00:01:58 First stage separation
+ 00:03:03 Fairing jettison
+ 00:04:47 Secondary separation
+ 00:04:57 Tail section separation
+ 00:08:45 Tertiary main engine cutting
+ 00:08:49 Progression MS separation

What is Soyuz 2.1a?

ROSCOSMOS’s Soyuz is a multi-purpose medium-lift launch vehicle introduced in 1966 and has been the workhorse of the Soviet/Russian space program ever since. It is capable of sending civilian and military satellites, as well as cargo and crews to the ISS. Over the decades, several variants of the Soyuz rocket have been developed. The Soyuz 2.1a is one of its latest iterations of the Soyuz-2 rocket family.

Soyuz 2.1a, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Progress MS-16
Soyuz 2.1a begins its breakthrough MS-16 mission (Credit: ROSCOSMOS)

The rocket has three stages, all of which are expendable. When launched to the ISS, Soyuz-2 can be flown by either a Progress capsule or a Soyuz spacecraft. In the Progress MS-23 mission, the Progress MS module was used to deliver cargo to the ISS.

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Soyuz 2.1a is about 46.3 meters (152 ft) tall and 2.95 meters (9 ft) in diameter. The vehicle’s gross lift-off mass is approximately 312,000 kg (688,000 lb). The rocket’s payload lift capacity to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) ranges from 6,600 to 7,400 kg depending on the launch site.


First stage Secondary Third stage
machine 4 RD-107A RD-108A RD-0110
Total motivation 840 kN (188,720 lbf),
At sea level
1,020 kN (229,290 lbf),
792 kN (178,140 lbf),
At sea level
922 kN (207,240 lbf),
298 kN (67,000 lbf),
Specific Inducer (ISP) 263 V, sea level
320 V, vacuum
258 V, sea level
321 V, vacuum
326 V, Void

Side boosters

The first stage of the Soyuz 2.1a rocket consists of four side boosters powered by RD-107A engines. Each of the boosters is conical in shape and has a dry weight of 3,784 kg. It is approximately 19.6 meters long and 2.7 meters in diameter. Each side booster has two vernier thrusters which are used for flight control.

The The RD-107A engine runs on rocket grade kerosene (RP-1) and liquid oxygen (LOx). The propellants are stored in pressed aluminum alloy tanks, the kerosene tank is located in the cylindrical section of the booster, and the LOx is in the conical section. Each of those engines has four combustion chambers and is capable of generating thrust of 840 kN at sea level and 1,020 kN in vacuum.

"Korolev cross"Progress MS-16 mission, Soyuz 2.1a
The „Korolev Cross” progression was observed during the Phase I division of the MS-16 task. (Credit: Livestream of ROSCOSMOS)

Perhaps the most spectacular moment of the launch of the Soyuz-2 rocket was the separation of the first stage. This happens two minutes after launch. The boosters perform a pattern known as the „Korolev Cross” (named after Sergei Korolev, a very important figure in the USSR space program and history).

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Second and third levels

The center center stage is powered by a single RD-108A engine, and the upper stage is equipped with a single RD-0110 engine. Both these engines run on rocket grade kerosene and LOx and have four combustion chambers. The second stage has a length of 27.10 meters, a diameter of 2.95 meters and a dry weight of 6,545 kg. It has four vernier thrusters for three-axis flight control.

The third stage of the Soyuz-2 rocket is 6.7 meters high, 2.7 meters in diameter and weighs 2,355 kg. An interesting point about the engine at this stage is that it begins its ignition sequence before stage separation. This process is called „Hot Fire Staging”.

Progress MS spaceship

A progress module is a space „truck” for delivering cargo to the ISS. Its design is largely derived from the Soyuz spacecraft used to transport astronauts to the ISS. The Progress capsule is 7.9 meters long and 2.7 meters in diameter. It consists of three parts: a pressurized cargo module, a propulsion compartment and an aft service module (like the Soyuz space shuttle).

Unlike Cargo Dragon 2, it is not designed to bring cargo to Earth. Because three blocks in progress cannot be separated before re-entry. So, after unloading the cargo, the crew gradually fills it only with garbage. At the end of its mission, the spacecraft separates from the ISS, performs a deorbit burn, and burns up completely upon re-entry. Earth’s atmosphere.

Progress MS-11 (72P), approaching the ISS Pirs node, Expedition 59
Progress MS-11 (72P) approaches the ISS (Credit: NASA).

The MS series is the latest modernized variant of the Progress spacecraft that began flying in December 2015. Upgrades introduced include improved orbital debris shields, new flight control and navigation systems, and a new outer compartment. Satellite deployment.

Kurz-NA automatic docking system

Like the Soyuz spacecraft, the Progress MS is equipped with the Kurs-NA automatic docking system, which was first tested on the Progress M-15M mission in July 2012. Compared to its ancestor Kurs-A, the new system has only one AO-753A. Junction antenna. Kurz-A had five (two 2AO-VKA and three AKR-VKA). This antenna broadcasts radar pulses that determine the spacecraft’s altitude and relative position to the ISS. Also, Kurz-NA consumes less power than Kurz-A.

Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov and the TORU system
Expedition 64 commander Sergei Ryzhikov practices using the tele-robotic operated Rendezvous Unit (TORU) (Credit: NASA)

Additionally, the Progress MS spacecraft can be manually docked to the ISS via a docking system called the Tele-Robotically Operated Rendezvous Unit (TORU). This manual system acts as a backup to Kurs-NA in emergency situations and is located inside the Zvezda service module. On the Progress MS-16 mission, control of the capsule had to be transferred to TORU due to signal strength problems with the Kurz system.

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