Soyuz 4 Taxi Flight Crew
From left are, Soyuz Commander Yuri Gidzenko, European astronaut
and Flight Engineer Roberto Vittori and South African space flight
participant Mark Shuttleworth.
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 their, they 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 an hour-and-a-half
later the hatches swung open between the Soyuz and the ISS. The
Soyuz 4 crew exchanged seat liners from the just arrived Soyuz
to the six-month old Soyuz TM-33 they would ride home in. After
the Expedition Four crew 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. Making his first flight, Roberto Vittori, an Italian
astronaut representing the Italian Space Agency and working for
the European Space Agency, launched 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.
participant Mark Shuttleworth 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.
The entrepreneur also brought onboard several science experiments
that kept him busy each day during the mission.
up their 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
(1231 GMT, May 5) on May 4, 2002 they undocked from the Pirs Docking
Compartment with Soyuz Commander Yuri Gidzenko firing the engines
separating their vehicle from the ISS. Gidzenko then conducted
a four-minute deorbit burn beginning a descent toward Earth with
the crew landing in Kazakhstan at around 10:52 p.m. CST (0452
GMT, May 5) the same night.