Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 267

Soyuz TMA-16

Cepheus

Russia

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Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  30.09.2009
Launch time:  07:14 UTC
Launch site:  Baikonur
Launch pad:  1
Altitude:  345 - 354 km
Inclination:  51.64°
Docking ISS:  02.10.2009, 08:35:07 UTC
Undocking ISS:  18.03.2010, 08:03 UTC
Landing date:  18.03.2010
Landing time:  11:24 UTC
Landing site:  50°46'51.4" N, 67°27'53,3" E

walkout photo

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alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Surayev  Maksim Viktorovich  Commander 1 169d 04h 10m  2669 
2  Williams  Jeffrey Nels  Flight Engineer 3 169d 04h 10m  2669 
3  Laliberté  Guy  Spaceflight Participant 1 10d 21h 17m  171 

Crew seating arrangement

Launch
1  Surayev
2  Williams
3  Laliberté
Landing
1  Surayev
2  Williams
3  

Animations: Soyuz

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with friendly permission of www.marscenter.it

Double Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Skvortsov  Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Jr.  Commander
2  Walker  Shannon  Flight Engineer
3  Barrett  Barbara McConnell  Spaceflight Participant
 

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alternate crew photo

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Flight

Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing 63 km northeast of Arkalyk; ISS Expedition 21 / 22 (Maksim Surayev and Jeffrey Williams).

Guy Laliberté became another space tourist. Following a two day solo flight Soyuz TMA-16 docked to ISS on October 02, 2009. Jeffrey Williams and Maksim Surayev became the ISS Expedition 21 (together with ISS Expedition 20 crew members Frank De Winne, Roman Romanenko, Robert Thirsk and Nicole Stott).

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.
Having shed two-thirds of its mass, the Soyuz reached Entry Interface - a point 400,000 feet 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 per second. Before it touched down, its speed slowed to only 5 feet 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 per second to 262 feet per second.
The main parachute was the last to emerge. It is the largest chute, with a surface area of 10,764 square feet. 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 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.

Note

Guy Laliberté landed on October 11, 2009 at 04:31 UTC with Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft.

Drawings / Photos

 

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Last update on November 22, 2014.