Did You Know?

  • "Soyuz" means "union."

  • There is a maximum height to fly on the Soyuz Capsule. You must be under six feet three inches tall to fit safely. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA)'s tallest astronaut, Jeremy Hansen, just barely fits the Soyuz!

  • A passenger (or space tourist) sometimes flies in the third seat of the Soyuz. However, that person is required to complete primary Soyuz training, which takes nearly a year.

  • Docking and undocking maneuvers are usually automatic, but the crew is trained to perform them manually.

  • Seat-liner contours are custom-molded for each crewmember. They provide maximum comfort during ascent and descent phases while reducing the risk of injury. Shock absorbers underneath each seat help soften the impact of landing.

  • The Soyuz spacecraft is built by the Russian company OAO RSC Energia.

  • Each Soyuz spacecraft is designed for only one flight. They can never be reused.

  • The Sokol suit is a pressure suit that the astronauts wear inside the Soyuz during launch and landing. "Sokol" is Russian for "falcon."

  • The current Soyuz spacecraft is a TMA-M, which has been in use since October 2010. The chief difference between the TMA-M and its predecessor, the TMA, is that it has been upgraded with a slew of interior digital components. Chris Hadfield will be the first Canadian astronaut to fly on a Soyuz TMA-M.