Soyuz-2 vertical at Baikonur sporting new colour scheme

In commemoration of the first human spaceflight in history, Russia’s GK Launch Services have given its Soyuz-2 rocket a new colour scheme.
The first Soyuz-2 to sport the commemorative colour scheme will be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on March 20 | Image credit: GK Launch Services

Russian state-owned commercial launch provider GK Launch Services is preparing to launch a unique Soyuz-2 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight.

The Soyuz-2 is manufactured by Russia’s Progress Rocket Space Centre and has flown over 100 successful missions since its maiden flight in 2004.

Traditionally, the Soyuz 2 is painted in grey with orange accents on the first and second stages. A March 20 launch of the vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan carrying a cluster of 38 satellites will break with that tradition.

To commemorate the 60th anniversary of Vostok 1, the first human spaceflight in history, GK Launch Services have substituted the grey and orange for white and blue. According to a statement from the Russian launch provider, the new colour scheme was inspired by the Vostok LV prototype that carried Gagarin to space.

The blue and white colour scheme is expected to be utilized for all Soyuz-2 missions launched by GK Launch Services this year.

The first Soyuz-2 to sport the new paint job went vertical at Baikonur on March 17. The mission’s primary payload is the CAS500-1 Earth observation satellite for the Korea Aerospace Research Institute. However, the flight will also carry an additional 37 payloads for customers from Russia, Japan, Italy, Germany, Canada, Spain, Brazil, Thailand and more.

The mission is slated to be launched at 06:07 UTC on March 20.

Andrew Parsonson is a space enthusiast and the founder of Rocket Rundown. He has worked as a journalist and blogger for various industries for over 5 years and has a passion for both fictional and real-life space travel. Currently, Andrew is the primary writer for Rocket Rundown as we look to expand our reach and credibility.