Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 271

Soyuz TMA-18



Patch Soyuz TMA-18 Patch Soyuz TMA-18

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Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  02.04.2010
Launch time:  04:04:33.061 UTC
Launch site:  Baikonur
Launch pad:  1
Altitude:  351 - 360 km
Inclination:  51.65°
Docking ISS:  04.04.2010, 05:24:50 UTC
Undocking ISS:  25.09.2010, 02:02:12 UTC
Landing date:  25.09.2010
Landing time:  05:23:10.8 UTC
Landing site:  50°01'27.29" N, 66°57'59.20" E

walkout photo

Crew Soyuz TMA-18

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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  Skvortsov  Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Jr.  Commander 1 176d 01h 18m 38s  2772 
2  Korniyenko  Mikhail Borisovich  Flight Engineer 1 176d 01h 18m 38s  2772 
3  Caldwell-Dyson  Tracy Ellen  Flight Engineer 2 176d 01h 18m 38s  2772 

Crew seating arrangement

1  Skvortsov
2  Korniyenko
3  Caldwell-Dyson
Soyuz TMA spacecraft
1  Skvortsov
2  Korniyenko
3  Caldwell-Dyson

Backup Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Samokutyayev  Aleksandr Mikhailovich  Commander
2  Borisenko  Andrei Ivanovich  Flight Engineer
3  Kelly  Scott Joseph  Flight Engineer
Crew Soyuz TMA-18 (backup)
Patch Soyuz TMA-18 (backup)

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alternative crew photo

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Launch vehicle:  Soyuz-FG (No. 7M134S Yu15000-028)
Spacecraft:  Soyuz TMA-18 (TMA No. 228)


Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Landing 25 km south of Arkalyk. The landing was delayed one day due to a problem opening hooks in the docking port. ISS Expedition 23 / 24.

Following a two-day solo flight Soyuz TMA-18 docked to ISS on April 04, 2010. Aleksandr Skvortsov, Mikhail Korniyenko and Tracy Caldwell-Dyson became the ISS Expedition 23 (together with ISS Expedition 22 crew members Oleg Kotov, Soichi Noguchi and Timothy Creamer).

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 261 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 TMA spacecraft Soyuz TMA landing module
crew in training Soyuz TMA-18 rollout
Soyuz TMA-18 on launch pad Soyuz TMA-18 launch
Soyuz TMA-18 in orbit Soyuz TMA-18 landing
Soyuz TMA-18 landing Soyuz TMA-18 recovery


Last update on August 13, 2020.