Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 307

Soyuz MS-04



Patch Soyuz MS-04 Patch Soyuz MS-04

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unofficial patch Soyuz MS-04 unofficial patch Soyuz MS-04

Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  20.04.2017
Launch time:  07:13:43.171 UTC
Launch site:  Baikonur
Launch pad:  1
Altitude:  402 - 408 km
Inclination:  51.6°
Docking ISS:  20.04.2017, 13:18:30 UTC
Undocking ISS:  02.09.2017, 21:58:01 UTC
Landing date:  03.09.2017
Landing time:  01:21:41.3 UTC
Landing site:  47°22'53.1" N, 69°34'09.6" E

walkout photo

Crew Soyuz MS-04

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No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Yurchikhin  Fyodor Nikolayevich  Commander 5 135d 18h 07m 58s  2112 
2  Fischer  Jack David "2fish"  Flight Engineer 1 135d 18h 07m 58s  2112 

Crew seating arrangement

1  Yurchikhin
2  Fischer
Soyuz MS spacecraft
1  Yurchikhin
2  Fischer
3  Whitson

Backup Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Ryazansky  Sergei Nikolayevich  Commander
2  Bresnik  Randolph James "Randy"  Flight Engineer
Crew Soyuz MS-04 backup

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Launch vehicle:  Soyuz-FG (No. 2M139S U15000-065)
Spacecraft:  Soyuz MS-04 (MS No. 735)


Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. ISS Expedition 51 / 52. Landing 147 km southeast of Dzheskasgan.

Following a six-hours solo flight Soyuz MS-04 docked to ISS on April 20, 2017. Fyodor Yurchikhin and Jack Fischer became the ISS Expedition 51 (together with ISS Expedition 50 crew members Oleg Novitsky, Thomas Pesquet and Peggy Whitson). With the arrival Expedition 51 became a five-person-crew.

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 279 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.

Graphics / Photos

Soyuz MS Soyuz MS
Soyuz MS crew in training
Soyuz MS-04 integration Soyuz MS-04 rollout
Soyuz MS-04 erection Soyuz MS-04 on the launch pad
Soyuz MS-04 launch Soyuz MS-04 launch
Soyuz MS-04 landing Soyuz MS-04 landing
Soyuz MS-04 recovery Soyuz MS-04 recovery


Last update on March 29, 2020.