Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 306

Soyuz MS-03



Patch Soyuz MS-03 Proxima logo

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Patch Soyuz MS-03

Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  17.11.2016
Launch time:  20:20:13.099 UTC
Launch site:  Baikonur
Launch pad:  1
Altitude:  402 - 409 km
Inclination:  51.6°
Docking ISS:  19.11.2016, 21:58:17 UTC
Undocking ISS:  02.06.2017, 10:47:04 UTC
Landing date:  02.06.2017
Landing time:  14:10:30,2 UTC
Landing site:  47°27'10.92" N, 69°36'58.5" E

walkout photo

Crew Soyuz MS-03

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alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo


No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Novitsky  Oleg Viktorovich  Commander 2 196d 17h 50m 18s *  3061 
2 France  Pesquet  Thomas Gautier  Flight Engineer 1 196d 17h 50m 18s *  3061 
3  Whitson  Peggy Annette  Flight Engineer 3 289d 05h 01m 29s *  4551 

* including a leap second on December 31, 2016 at 23:59:60 UTC

Crew seating arrangement

1  Novitsky
2  Pesquet
3  Whitson
Soyuz MS spacecraft
1  Novitsky
2  Pesquet

Backup Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Yurchikhin  Fyodor Nikolayevich  Commander
2  Fischer  Jack David "2fish"  Flight Engineer
3 Italy  Nespoli  Paolo Angelo  Flight Engineer
Crew Soyuz MS-03 (backup)

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alternative crew photo


Launch vehicle:  Soyuz-FG (No. 13M137S R15000-060)
Spacecraft:  Soyuz MS-03 (MS No. 733)


Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. ISS Expedition 50 / 51. Landing 148 km southeast of Dzheskasgan.

Following a two-days solo flight Soyuz MS-03 docked to ISS on November 19, 2016. Oleg Novitsky, Thomas Pesquet and Peggy Whitson became the ISS Expedition 50 (together with ISS Expedition 49 crew members Sergei Ryzhikov, Andrei Borisenko and Shane Kimbrough). With the arrival Expedition 50 became a six-person-crew.
During their two-day transit from the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the station, the crew tested a variety of upgraded systems on their Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft. The modified Soyuz is equipped with upgraded thrusters that are fully redundant, additional micrometeoroid debris shielding, redundant electrical motors for the Soyuz' docking probe and increased power with more photovoltaic cells on the spacecraft's solar arrays.

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.
The deorbit burn lasted 277 seconds. Having shed two-thirds of its mass, the Soyuz reached Entry Interface - a point 400,000 feet (121.9 kilometers) 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 (230 meters) per second. Before it touched down, its speed slowed to only 5 feet (1.5 meter) 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 (230 meters) per second to 262 feet (80 meters) per second.
The main parachute was the last to emerge. It is the largest chute, with a surface area of 10,764 square feet (1,000 square meters). 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 (7.3 meters) 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.


Peggy Whitson landed on September 03, 2017 at 01:21:41.3 UTC with Soyuz MS-04.

Soyuz MS upgrades

Soyuz MS upgrades Soyuz MS upgrades
Soyuz MS upgrades Soyuz MS upgrades
Soyuz MS upgrades Soyuz MS upgrades
Soyuz MS upgrades

Graphics / Photos

Soyuz MS Soyuz MS
Soyuz MS crew in training
crew in training crew in training
Soyuz MS-03 integration Soyuz MS-03 rollout
Soyuz MS-03 erection Soyuz MS-03 on the launch pad
Soyuz MS-03 on the launch pad Soyuz MS-03 launch
Soyuz MS-03 launch crew onboard ISS
Soyuz MS-03 landing Soyuz MS-03 landing
Soyuz MS-03 landing Soyuz MS-03 recovery
Soyuz MS-03 recovery


Last update on March 29, 2020.