Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 229

Soyuz TM-34

Soyuz TM-33



Patch Soyuz TM-34 Patch Marco Polo

hi res version (347 KB)


Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  25.04.2002
Launch time:  06:26:35.117 UTC
Launch site:  Baikonur
Launch pad:  1
Altitude:  383 - 402 km
Inclination:  51.64°
Docking ISS:  27.04.2002, 07:55:50 UTC
Undocking ISS (Crew):  05.05.2002, 00:31:08 UTC
Landing date (Crew):  05.05.2002
Landing time (Crew):  03:51:40 UTC
Landing site (Crew):  50°01'29.82" N, 67°10'46.5" E
Undocking ISS (Soyuz TM-34):  09.11.2002, 20:44:05 UTC
Landing date (Soyuz TM-34):  10.11.2002
Landing time (Soyuz TM-34):  00:04:20 UTC
Landing site (Soyuz TM-34):  50°59'23.34" N, 67°38'31.32" E

walkout photo

Crew Soyuz TM-34

hi res version (851 KB)

alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo


No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Gidzenko  Yuri Pavlovich  Commander 3 9d 21h 25m 05s  156 
2  Vittori  Roberto  Flight Engineer 1 9d 21h 25m 05s  156 
3  Shuttleworth  Mark Richard "Buranov"  Spaceflight Participant 1 9d 21h 25m 05s  156 

Crew seating arrangement

1  Gidzenko
2  Vittori
3  Shuttleworth
Soyuz TM spacecraft
1  Zalyotin
2  De Winne
3  Lonchakov

Backup Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Padalka  Gennadi Ivanovich  Commander
2  Kononenko  Oleg Dmitriyevich  Flight Engineer
Crew Soyuz TM-34 (prime and backup)

hi res version (776 KB)


Launch vehicle:  Soyuz-U (No. 36M130S F15000-675)
Spacecraft:  Soyuz TM-34 (7K-STM No. 208)


Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and landing 31 km southeast of Arkalyk / Kazakhstan.

Soyuz TM-34 carried the third taxi crew to the ISS. Following a two-day solo flight Soyuz TM-34 docked to the ISS on April 27, 2002 and common work with Expedition 4 was performed. The ISS' escape craft (Soyuz TM-33) was replaced; Soyuz TM-34 served as a new lifeboat.

Mark Shuttleworth from South Africa became the second space tourist. He was in better condition than Dennis Tito before and carried out a small research program (studying ocean life and biological experiments to combat AIDS and other diseases).

The Soyuz spacecraft is composed of three elements attached end-to-end - the Orbital Module, the Descent Module and the Instrumentation/Propulsion Module. The crew occupied the central element, the Descent Module. The other two modules are jettisoned prior to re-entry. They burn up in the atmosphere, so only the Descent Module returned to Earth.
The deorbit burn lasted 261.2 seconds. Having shed two-thirds of its mass, the Soyuz reached Entry Interface - a point 400,000 feet (121.9 kilometers) above the Earth, where friction due to the thickening atmosphere began to heat its outer surfaces. With only 23 minutes left before it lands on the grassy plains of central Asia, attention in the module turned to slowing its rate of descent.
Eight minutes later, the spacecraft was streaking through the sky at a rate of 755 feet (230 meters) per second. Before it touched down, its speed slowed to only 5 feet (1.5 meter) per second, and it lands at an even lower speed than that. Several onboard features ensure that the vehicle and crew land safely and in relative comfort.
Four parachutes, deployed 15 minutes before landing, dramatically slowed the vehicle's rate of descent. Two pilot parachutes were the first to be released, and a drogue chute attached to the second one followed immediately after. The drogue, measuring 24 square meters (258 square feet) in area, slowed the rate of descent from 755 feet (230 meters) per second to 262 feet (80 meters) per second.
The main parachute was the last to emerge. It is the largest chute, with a surface area of 10,764 square feet (1,000 square meters). Its harnesses shifted the vehicle's attitude to a 30-degree angle relative to the ground, dissipating heat, and then shifted it again to a straight vertical descent prior to landing.
The main chute slowed the Soyuz to a descent rate of only 24 feet (7.3 meters) per second, which is still too fast for a comfortable landing. One second before touchdown, two sets of three small engines on the bottom of the vehicle fired, slowing the vehicle to soften the landing.


crew in training crew in training
Soyuz TM-34 rollout Soyuz TM-34 on launch pad
Soyuz TM-34 launch traditional in-flight photo Soyuz TM-34
Soyuz TM-34 recovery Soyuz TM-34 recovery


Last update on March 29, 2020.