Soyuz ...Sort-of

I took a break from preparing my armada for its assault on Laythe (lots of docking, refueling, and whatnot) by building a pseudo Soyuz for giggles. The ship is all stock, so it doesn't look all that much like a Soyuz, but I wanted it to at least WORK like a Soyuz. Below are pictures of the rocket on the pad and lifting off. It uses four side boosters, a central sustainer core, and an upper stage like the real Soyuz launcher. The nose cones on the side boosters are tilted inward by mounting them on tilted cubic struts with part clipping enabled. Not pretty, but it works.

The real fun of the booster is the engines, of course. The sustainer core and side boosters each have four LV-T45 engines (since the more scale-like LV-909s would not lift the beastie). The sustainer core has four Ant engines placed where the vernier engines go, and the side boosters each have two Ant engines as verniers.

Below we see the dropping of the side boosters. The side boosters to not feed fuel into the sustainer core (since that would be unlike the Soyuz launcher), but the sustainer core is longer than the side boosters, so it burns longer. I don't know that the side boosters of the Soyuz launcher use separation rocket motors, but I needed sepratrons to be sure rear end of the sustainer did not go up in a ball of flame at booster separation.

The sustainer core burned out, and then the upper stage with one poodleski engine took the spacecraft the rest of the way to orbit.

The upper stage placed the Soyuz in a 200 km orbit with fuel to spare. Spasebo, upper stage! You are now orbital debris.

Deploy the solar panels, and the Soyuz is ready for orbital operations.

Like any self-respecting Soyuz, mine has three components: The Orbital Module in front (with docking port) that provides extra space for the kerbal kosmonauts to do experiments... or to just get away from Jebediah when he's been eating too much borscht; the Reentry Module that can hold two or three kerbals, preferably wearing pressure suits; and the Service Module that has the propulsion systems, solar panels, and other equipment.

At the end of our mission, the Soyuz begins reentry by jettisoning the orbital module. Some versions of the Soyuz separated the orbital module before retro firing...other versions retained it until after retro firing. I dumped it so that I'd need less fuel for the retro firing...but it does become another piece of space debris.

And...oops... I noticed that I forgot to put on the two 24-77 radial engines I was going to use as for the retro rocket burn. So I brought along that fuel tank for nothing. But fear not, comrades, because the RCS is plenty strong enough to deorbit this Soyuz. It did take a few minutes of firing and used a third of the RCS fuel, but a reentry trajectory was achieved.

Ka-DOOSH! The service module is separated from the reentry module.

Reentry flames! The capsule was a bit off balance because I had a parachute on only one side.

Like any proper Soyuz, this one came down on land. Ochen horosho! I decided not to use sepatrons as braking motors before touchdown because I figured they'd just make the capsule flop around and potentially kill my brave kosmonauts right at the end of a successful mission.