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Soyuz 2 Taxi Flight Crew

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IMAGE: The Soyuz 2 Taxi Flight Crew in their Russian space suits.
From left are: Soyuz Commander Talgat Musabayev, Flight Engineer Yury Baturin and Space Flight Participant Dennis Tito. Photo credit: Russian Space Agency.

Soyuz CommanderTalgat Musabayev (Rosaviakosmos)
Flight EngineerYury Baturin (Rosaviakosmos)
Space Flight ParticipantDennis Tito

The Soyuz 2 Taxi Flight was the second flight of a Soyuz spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station, or ISS. However, this was the first crew to launch aboard a new Soyuz vehicle and return aboard a previously docked Soyuz. Russian flight rules dictate that a Soyuz remains docked to the ISS and replaced by a fresh Soyuz every six months. Should the station's resident crew encounter an emergency requiring them to disembark the orbital outpost, they would enter the Soyuz lifeboat, undock from the station and de-orbit for a landing on Earth. The Russian spacecraft is certified to remain in space no longer than six months due to the degradation of its propellant over time and space radiation hazards to the vehicle.

Soyuz Commander Talgat Musabayev, Flight Engineer Yury Baturin -- both cosmonauts representing Rosaviakosmos -- and American Space Flight Participant Dennis Tito blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 2:37 a.m. CDT (0737 GMT) on April 28, 2001. They docked to the station two days later on April 30, 2001, at 2:58 a.m. CDT (0758 GMT) to begin nearly eight days of docked operations with the Expedition Two crew. The crews transferred gear and equipment from the new Soyuz to the orbital outpost, as well as into the older Soyuz spacecraft in which the visiting crew would return home.

Wrapping up its visit to the International Space Station, the three-member crew, which included the first paying visitor on a space mission, undocked from the aft docking port of the Zvezda Service Module in the Soyuz TM-31 on May 6, 2001, at 9:21 p.m. CDT (May 7 at 0221 GMT). Two-and-a-half hours later, Musabayev fired the Soyuz's engines beginning their crew's descent to Earth where they landed on the Kazakh Steppes at 12:42 a.m. CDT (0542 GMT) on May 7, 2001.

* The previous Taxi Flight crew to the International Space Station was actually the Expedition One crew which had launched aboard a Soyuz TM-31 spacecraft.

Crew Time in Orbit

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Agency Patch

This is the insignia representing the Russian space agency Rosaviakosmos.

This is the insignia representing the Russian space agency Rosaviakosmos.

Mission Overview
Mission:Soyuz 2 Taxi Flight
Soyuz TM-32
Baikonour Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Launch:April 28, 2001
2:37 a.m. CDT
Docking:April 30, 2001
2:58 a.m. CDT
Soyuz TM-31
Undocking:May 6, 2001
9:21 p.m. CDT
Landing:May 7, 2001
12:42 a.m. CDT

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 09/05/2002
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