Soyuz craft

Soyuz craft

(sŏ-yooz ) A series of Soviet crewed spacecraft, the first of which – Soyuz 1 – was launched Apr. 23 1967. The flight of Soyuz 1 ended tragically when its parachute became entangled during reentry and it crashed in Kazakhstan, killing its cosmonaut pilot Vladimir Komarov, the first person to die during a space mission. The program continued, however, and Soyuz 4 and 5 carried out the first docking of two spacecraft, and a transfer of crew, on Jan. 16 1969. In Oct. 1969 Soyuz achieved one of its most notable records, with three craft being launched in as many days, resulting in a total of seven cosmonauts being in space at the same time. In June 1971 three cosmonauts died aboard Soyuz 11 during a return trip from the space station Salyut 1. Further Soyuz launches were put on hold for three years.

In 1975, the Soyuz 19 spacecraft docked with the US Apollo 18 craft in the first international space effort, the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project. From then to the end of the 1990s, Soyuz craft ferried cosmonauts to and from the remaining Salyut stations, and then from the Mir space station. From 1998, they shared the job of transporting personnel and materials to and from the International Space Station with US space shuttles and carried on the task alone following the loss of Columbia in 2003 until shuttle flights resumed in 2005.

The Soyuz craft has undergone various design changes over the years, although it still carries some similarities to the Vostok and Voshkod craft of the early Soviet space era. The first notable changes came in 1980 with the introduction of the Soyuz T, which was equipped with more advanced electronics and navigation facilities and could carry three people instead of just two. In 1987 another upgrade, the Soyuz TM, was introduced for servicing Mir. It could act as a ‘lifeboat’ if Mir's computers failed and was equipped with life-support systems for the station's crew. The Soyuz TMA, now used for servicing the International Space Station, was introduced in 2002. It consists of three parts: the orbital module (the topmost and largest section, providing living accommodation and a working environment for the crew while in space), the reentry module (the central section, with room for three crew members and equipped with a climate control system, parachutes and retrorockets for the return to Earth), and the service module (the bottom section that carries the rocket fuel, oxygen tanks, thrusters, and communications and navigations equipment). Solar panels on the outside of the service module supply power to the whole craft while it is in space. Upgrades of the Soyuz, including the Soyuz-Fregat, are marketed by a Franco-Russian company, Starsem.

Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
On Saturday, NASA had said the Soyuz craft was "unable to lock onto its target at the station".
Capsules have no wings and fall to the earth, their descent slowed only by parachutes -- much like the Russian Soyuz craft, which land in the steppes of Kazakhstan.
(TAP) - Three members of the International Space Station's crew returned safely to Earth on Thursday, landing in Kazakhstan on a Russian Soyuz craft, NASA reported.
Three members of the International SpaceStation's crew returned safely to Earth on Thursday, landing in Kazakhstan on a Russian Soyuz craft, Nasa reported.
The Soyuz craft is the only vehicle now used to ferry crews to the ISS after the retirement of the US space shuttle fleet.
Big at the box office: Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels 1988 There is relief in the Soviet space programme as a Soyuz craft bringing two cosmonauts back from the Mir space station lands safely after technical problems had stranded the crew in orbit for a full day without sanitary facilities.
He even went along with the jolly jape which covers for a lack of ablution facilities aboard a Soyuz craft by 'christening' the rear wheel of the delivery vehicle, said to be a custom started by Yuri Gagarin but really dating back to Laika the space dog.
As the hype reached a crescendo over the release of the latest Star Wars movie, British astronaut Tim Peake was launched into space aboard the Soyuz craft, heading for the International Space Station.
This would prove to be useful as the American Shuttle would be going into retirement and the Soyuz craft is capable of docking with the ISS.
They are set to ride in a Russian Soyuz craft on Sunday, November 9th.
The trio also conducted their final "fit check" dress rehearsal in their Soyuz craft Sept.
Other attractions include the only Soyuz craft in Europe, dry ice-generating rockets over the cafe, 150 interactive displays and a colour blindness test - because astro-nauts must never press the wrong buttons!