Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 312

Soyuz MS-09



Patch Soyuz MS-09 Horizons logo

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Patch Soyuz MS-09

Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  06.06.2018
Launch time:  11:12:39.519 UTC
Launch site:  Baikonur
Launch pad:  1
Altitude:  401 - 408 km
Inclination:  51.6°
Docking ISS:  08.06.2018, 13:01:08 UTC
Undocking ISS:  20.12.2018, 01:40:22 UTC
Landing date:  20.12.2018
Landing time:  05:02:48.7 UTC
Landing site:  47°29'32'' N, 69°41'41'' E

walkout photo

Crew Soyuz MS-09

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original crew photo

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original crew photo

alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo


No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Prokopyev  Sergei Valerievich  Commander 1 196d 17h 50m 09s  3152 
2 Germany  Gerst  Alexander  Flight Engineer 2 196d 17h 50m 09s  3152 
3  Auñón-Chancellor  Serena Maria  Flight Engineer 1 196d 17h 50m 09s  3152 

Crew seating arrangement

1  Prokopyev
2  Gerst
3  Auñón-Chancellor
Soyuz MS spacecraft
1  Prokopyev
2  Gerst
3  Auñón-Chancellor

Backup Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Kononenko  Oleg Dmitriyevich  Commander
2 Canada  Saint-Jacques  David  Flight Engineer
3  McClain  Anne Charlotte "Annimal"  Flight Engineer
Crew Soyuz MS-09 backup

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alternative crew photo

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Launch vehicle:  Soyuz-FG (No. 1M139S U15000-064)
Spacecraft:  Soyuz MS-09 (MS No. 739)


Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. ISS Expedition 56 / 57. Landing 153 km southeast of Dzheskasgan.

Originally NASA Astronaut Jeannette Epps was assigned as Flight Engineer for Expeditions 56 and 57, becoming the first African American space station crew member and the 15th African American to fly in space, but on January 16, 2018, NASA announced that Epps had been replaced by her backup Serena Auñón-Chancellor with no announced explanation as to why. But she was considered for assignment to future missions.

Following a two-day solo flight Soyuz MS-09 docked to ISS on June 08, 2018. Sergei Prokopyev, Alexander Gerst and Serena Auñón-Chancellor became the ISS Expedition 56 (together with ISS Expedition 55 crew members Oleg Artemyev, Andrew Feustel and Richard Arnold). With the arrival Expedition 56 became a six-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 265 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
crew in training Epps in training
crew in training Soyuz MS-09 integration
Soyuz MS-09 rollout Soyuz MS-09 erection
Soyuz MS-09 on the launch pad Soyuz MS-09 on the launch pad
Soyuz MS-09 launch Soyuz MS-09 launch
Soyuz MS-09 launch Soyuz MS-09 recovery
Soyuz MS-09 recovery  


Last update on March 29, 2020.