4 Taxi Flight Crew
From left are, Soyuz Commander Yuri Gidzenko, Flight Engineer
Roberto Vittori and South African Space Flight Participant Mark
crew including a former Expedition crew member, an Italian astronaut
and a South African businessman launched to the International
Space Station, or ISS, on April 25, 2002, at 1:27 a.m. CST (0627
GMT). Once there, the Soyuz 4 Taxi crew conducted joint operations
with the Expedition Four
crew, performed educational and science activities and traded
Soyuz space vehicles.
Expedition Four crew poses with Soyuz 4 Taxi Flight crew (in
front) inside the International Space Station.|
crew rocketed from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, to deliver
a fresh Soyuz spacecraft to the station for use as a lifeboat.
The brand new Soyuz TM-34 spacecraft docked to the space station
on April 27, 2002, at 2:56 a.m. CST (0756 GMT). About 1.5 hours
later, the hatches swung open between the Soyuz and the ISS. The
Soyuz 4 crewmembers exchanged seat liners from the new Soyuz to
the 6-month-old Soyuz TM-33 in which they would ride home. After
the Expedition Four crewmembers briefed the visiting crew on safety
issues, they began nearly eight days of docked operations.
Yuri Gidzenko, on his third mission to space, is the first member
of an Expedition crew to revisit the station. Gidzenko was a flight
engineer during Expedition
One, the first resident crew to live and work aboard the orbital
outpost. On his first flight, Roberto Vittori -- an Italian astronaut
representing the Italian Space Agency and working for the European
Space Agency -- served as a flight engineer for the Soyuz crew.
Under contract with Rosaviakosmos and representing South Africa
as a space flight participant was businessman Mark Shuttleworth,
also on his first flight.
was the second private individual to pay for a mission to space.
While onboard the outpost, Shuttleworth spoke to South African
President Thabo Mbeki, Nobel Peace laureate Nelson Mandela and
students from Bishops College in Cape Town, South Africa. The
entrepreneur also brought onboard several science experiments
that kept him busy each day during the mission.
up its mission to the orbital outpost, the Soyuz 4 crew entered
the Soyuz TM-33 docked since October of 2001. At 7:31 p.m. CST
May 4, 2002 (1231 GMT May 5), the taxi crew undocked from the
Pirs Docking Compartment with Gidzenko firing the engines separating
the vehicle from the ISS. Later that day, Gidzenko conducted a
four-minute de-orbit burn, beginning a descent toward Earth with
the crew landing in Kazakhstan at about 10:52 p.m. CST May 4,
2002 (0352 GMT May 5).