Soyuz (Russian: Сою́з IPA: [sɐˈjʉs], Union, as in Сове́тский Сою́з, Sovetsky Soyuz, "Soviet Union") is a series of spacecraft designed for the Soviet space programme by the Korolyov Design Bureau (now RKK Energia) in the 1960s that remains in service today. The Soyuz succeeded the Voskhod spacecraft and was originally built as part of the Soviet Manned Lunar programme. The Soyuz spacecraft is launched on a Soyuz rocket, the most frequently used and most reliable launch vehicle in the world to date. The Soyuz rocket design is based on the Vostok launcher, which in turn was based on the 8K74 or R-7A Semyorka, a Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile. All Soyuz spacecraft are launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
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