Soyuz-U2 | Soyuz TM-20

Russian Federal Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS) launch of a Soyuz-U2 Rocket

Russian Federal Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS) was scheduled to launch a Soyuz-U2 rocket as part of the Soyuz TM-20 mission. The launch window for the Human Exploration mission was on Mon, Oct 3rd, 1994, 6:42 PM EDT from 1/5, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. The status of the launch was Success. Don’t miss this exciting rocket launch!

Crew

Yelena Kondakova

Yelena Kondakova

Flight Engineer - Russian

Yelena Vladimirovna Kondakova (Russian: Елена Владимировна Кондакóва; born March 30, 1957) was the third Soviet/Russian female cosmonaut to travel to space and the first woman to make a long-duration spaceflight. Her first trip into space was on Soyuz TM-20 on October 4, 1994. She returned to Earth on March 22, 1995 after a five-month stay at the Mir space station. Kondakova's second flight was as a mission specialist on the United States Space Shuttle Atlantis during mission STS-84 in May 1997. She was the last Russian female in space until her successor cosmonaut Elena Serova flew to the International Space Station (ISS) on 25 September 2014.

Ulf Merbold

Ulf Merbold

Research Cosmonaut - German

Dr. Ulf Dietrich Merbold (born June 20, 1941) is the first West German citizen and second German native (after Sigmund Jähn) to have flown in space. He is also the first member of the European Space Agency Astronaut Corps to participate in a spaceflight mission and the first non-US citizen to reach orbit in a US spacecraft. In 1983, he and Byron Lichtenberg became the first Payload Specialists to fly on the shuttle.

Aleksandr Viktorenko

Aleksandr Viktorenko

Commander - Russian

Aleksandr Stepanovich Viktorenko (Александр Степанович Викторенко) is a Soviet cosmonaut. He was born in Olginka, North-Kazakhstan Oblast, Kazakh SSR on March 29, 1947. He is married with two children. He was selected as a cosmonaut on March 23, 1978, and retired on May 30, 1997. During his active career he had been Commander of Soyuz TM-3, Soyuz TM-8, Soyuz TM-14 and Soyuz TM-20. He has spent a total of 489 days in space.

Mission

Soyuz TM-20

Soyuz TM-20 was the 20th mission and the 17th long-duration expedition to Mir space station. The mission began on October 3, 1994, 22:42:30 UTC, launching Commander Alexander Viktorenko, Flight Engineer Yelena Kondakova and Research Cosmonaut Ulf Merbold into orbit. They docked with Mir two days later. During their stay there, cosmonauts performed two EVAs, carried out various scientific experiments. Station crew was visited by several Progress resupply spacecrafts, and welcomed aboard the Soyuz TM-21 crew. During this mission the first rendezvous maneuver of the Space Shuttle STS-63 with the Mir space station was performed. The mission concluded with a safe landing back on Earth on March 22, 1995, 04:04:05 UTC.

Location

1/5, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan

Baikonur Cosmodrome, Republic of Kazakhstan

Rocket

Soyuz-U

The Soyuz-U2 was a Soviet, later Russian, carrier rocket. It was derived from the Soyuz-U, and a member of the R-7 family of rockets. It featured increased performance compared with the baseline Soyuz-U, due to the use of syntin propellant, as opposed to RP-1 paraffin, used on the Soyuz-U.

Soviet Space Program

The Soviet space program, was the national space program of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) actived from 1930s until disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Soviet Union's space program was mainly based on the cosmonautic exploration of space and the development of the expandable launch vehicles, which had been split between many design bureaus competing against each other. Over its 60-years of history, the Russian program was responsible for a number of pioneering feats and accomplishments in the human space flight, including the first intercontinental ballistic missile (R-7), first satellite (Sputnik 1), first animal in Earth orbit (the dog Laika on Sputnik 2), first human in space and Earth orbit (cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on Vostok 1), first woman in space and Earth orbit (cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova on Vostok 6), first spacewalk (cosmonaut Alexei Leonov on Voskhod 2), first Moon impact (Luna 2), first image of the far side of the Moon (Luna 3) and unmanned lunar soft landing (Luna 9), first space rover (Lunokhod 1), first sample of lunar soil automatically extracted and brought to Earth (Luna 16), and first space station (Salyut 1). Further notable records included the first interplanetary probes: Venera 1 and Mars 1 to fly by Venus and Mars, respectively, Venera 3 and Mars 2 to impact the respective planet surface, and Venera 7 and Mars 3 to make soft landings on these planets.