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The Soyuz TMA, like the Progress cargo ship, is comprised of three compartments: a
propulsion module, landing module and a utility module. Up to three cosmonauts can be
carried into orbit (somewhat cramped accommodations for three full-grown men!) for 3
days or 34 orbits until docking with the ISS. The Soyuz remains docked as an emergency
lifeboat for up to 200 days or 6 months until being replaced by a new ship. Up to 100 kg of
cargo can be carried as well, and 50 kg returned to Earth (150 kg if only 2 crew members).
Soyuz TMA: basic data Article number 11F732
Manufacturers designation 7K-STMA
Crew size
Design life
14 days
Orbital storage
200.00 days
Typical orbit
407 km circular orbit, 51.6 inclination
Length 6.98 m
Basic diameter
2.20 m
Maximum diameter
2.72 m
10.70 m
Habitable volume 9.00 m
7220 kg
Main engine
Main engine thrust
400 kgf
Main engine propellants
Main engine propellants
900 kg
Main engine isp 305 sec
Spacecraft delta v 390 m/s
Electrical system Solar panels, span 10.60 m, area 10.00 sq. m
Electric system
0.60 average kW
Associated launch vehicle Soyuz FG
Instrumentation/Propulsion Module
Soyuz TMA: Instrumentation/Propulsion Module data Length
2.26 meters
Basic diameter
2.15 m
2900 kg
RCS coarse thrust
16 10 kgf
RCS fine thrust
8 10 kgf
RCS coarse backup thrust
No separate backup translation engines
RCS propellants
Main engine
Main engine propellants weight
310 kg
Main engine thrust
632 kgf
Main engine propellants
Main engine propellants weight
880 kg

Main engine isp 302 sec

Electrical system Solar panels, span 10.60 m, area 10.00 m.
Electric system
0.60 average kW
The rear module of the Instrumentation/Propulsion Module (PAO) is itself divided into
three components:
The Intermediate Compartment provides the structural attachment to the Descent
Module and contains oxygen storage tanks and attitude control thrusters. The
compartment is a cylindrical pressure vessel containing avionics, communications and
control equipment. The service section is the structural interface with the launch vehicle
and includes the propulsion system, batteries, solar arrays and radiators.
Inside the Instrumentation Compartment are avionics equipment containing the primary
guidance, navigation, control and computer systems for the entire Soyuz spacecraft. The
compartment is a sealed pressure vessel containing nitrogen, and the equipment within it
is cooled by circulation of the gas. It also contains the primary thermal control system,
including the body-mounted radiator with an area of 8 m (86.1 ft).
The propulsion system inside the Propulsion Compartment performs all orbital
maneuvers, including those needed for rendezvous with the ISS and the deorbit maneuver
required at the end of the mission. The propellants are nitrogen tetroxide (oxidizer) and
unsymmetric-dimethylhydrazine (fuel). The propulsion system shares its propellant tanks
with the reaction control system that provides attitude control throughout the orbital
phase of flight.
The PAO is separate from the other two compartments, and cant be accessed by the
cosmonauts. Its functions are controlled remotely by TsUP, Moscow Mission Control.
Soyuz propellants
The propellants (fuel and oxidizer) in the Soyuz are:
Unsymmetric Dimethyl Hydrazine (UDMH). The propellant fuel.
Nitrogen Tetroxide (N2O4). An oxidizer (provides a source of oxygen so the fuel can
ignite and burn, as there is no oxygen in orbit).
Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2). Another oxidizer, used in the Descent Modules Reaction
Control System. Used in the main engine of the Propulsion Module and also its RCS.
The Soyuzs stay in orbit is limited as the H2O2deteriorates over time, as this ISS On-Orbit
Status Report from 2 September 2004 notes:
Update on Soyuz 9S: Launch of CDR Leroy Chiao and FE Salizhan Sharipov continues to
be set for 10/9. Their Soyuz TMA-5 spacecraft is the first with two new features that are
welcome improvements of the reliable old crew transport: two additional forwardpointing braking thrusters (#27, #28) besides the two engines (#17, #18) already near the
Orbital Modules docking ring; and a thermo-electric cooler for the Descent Modules
Hydrogen Peroxide tankage, to extend the life of the H2O2 which tends to deteriorate in
time to H2O and O. (H2O2 is one of the most powerful oxidizers known stronger than
chlorine, chlorine dioxide, and potassium permanganate, but it has been [and still is, until
certification] limiting Soyuz orbital stay time).
As noted in that extract, the addition of the cooling system for the H2O2 only extends the
stay-in-space to 180-210 days (6-7 months) rather than a year as intended in the original
more extensive Soyuz upgrade (called Soyuz TMM). This would have also included the
installation of improved storage batteries and the oxidizer tanks to be made from steel
rather than the current aluminum alloy.
Descent Module

Soyuz TMA: Descent Module data Length

2.24 m
Basic diameter
2.17 m
Maximum diameter
2.17 m
Habitable volume 3.50 m
2950 kg
Crew mass
255 kg
Payload 1355 kg
Return payload
50 kg (crew of 3), 150 kg (crew of 2)
RCS coarse thrust
6 10 kgf
RCS propellants
RCS propellants
40 kg
Main engine propellants
45 kg
The Descent Module (SA) is the command center of the Soyuz craft; this middle section
contains all the mission-critical controls and displays. The spacecraft is operated by a
digital computer, and displays are presented on two amber digital screens in the TMA
During ascent and descent, the two or three crew recline in Kazbek-U, - seats;
each crew member has a special seat liner moulded to his or her physical dimensions when
seated on their back with knees up. The module is stuffed with life support equipment for
every conceivable environment and situation that might be encountered upon landing.
The environmental system keeps the temperature around 18-20C, and humidity at 40%.
The atmosphere is a nitrogen/oxygen mix, like that of Earths.
Two small windows, 20cm in diameter, are set to port and starboard, at the elbows of the
crew in the left and right-hand seats. (These windows have outside covers which are
deployed during the hot plasma phase of reentry, then are jettisoned.) The commander
sits in the middle, the first flight engineer to his left, and the second FE or space tourist to
his right.
The commander ( , , KE) is responsible for overall operations and
decisions. He controls and flies the Soyuz during all flight maneuvers, and communicates
with the ground. Docking is usually automated, but the commander can take over manual
control if the system malfunctions for some reason.
The Soyuz is controlled by two joysticks on either side of the commander:
The attitude control on the right enables the pilot to roll, pitch (up-and-down) or yaw
(side-to-side) the Soyuz around its axis.
The translation controller allows the pilot to move the Soyuz up, down, forward, back,
left and right.
The first flight engineer (, , BI) on the commanders left and is responsible
for thrusters, attitude control, navigation, life-support systems and general vehicle
The third seat on the right is occupied by the second FE, or a guest cosmonaut-researcher
( ) or space flight participant (
) (paying private visitor). In the Soyuz TM they were responsible for monitoring
communications, navigation and life support systems, but in the TMA these have been
shifted to the first Flight Engineer.

There is no forward-facing window for the commander to look out of, so between his
knees is a periscope, through which he can observe the docking mechanism at the forward
end, and also look downwards to see the Earths surface. To reach the controls he must
use a stick to poke at the buttons! (I do not know the name of the stick.)
Like the PAO, the SA has a guidance, navigation and control system; the SA one is
independent and less complex. Eight hydrogen peroxide thrusters are used to control the
ships attitude; these are only employed in the descent phase (as are power batteries for
the SA equipment). The propellant tanks are in a separate pressurized volume, sealed with
an access cover, as are the primary and backup parachute containers.
The huge primary parachute has concentric orange-and-white stripes. Its release is
preceded by two pilot and one drogue chutes. There is a slightly smaller reserve
After the modules separate, only the SA returns to Earth (hopefully!) intact. Landings can
be rather rough, especially if there is a wind to catch the parachute and pull the capsule
over and along after touchdown! The crew is then hauled out through the single top hatch
(or, if the module has ended up on its side, they can crawl out). The hatch, 70cm in
diameter, can be opened from either side.
The Soyuz improvements were based on NASA requests to accommodate its taller
astronauts (perhaps they should eat less American junk food!!). These included:
Three longer Kazbek-UM impact-absorbing crew seats were installed with new fourmode dampers that adjust the seat adjustment depending on the astronaut mass.
Re-arrangement of equipment in the capsule above and below the seats to
accommodate the longer seats and enlarge the passage area through the forward access
hatch. The items modified to accomplish this included a new decreased-height control
panel, a new cooling-drying ECS subassembly, and a revised data storage system. The SA
primary structure right and left of the seat footrests had to be stamped out 30 mm deep to
allow for the longer seats. The primary structure and the routing of pipes and cables had
to be changed to accommodate this. The crew cabin was cleared of projecting items.
Two (of six single-mode) soft landing engines (SLE) were replaced with two new threemode engines (SLE-M) to improve soft landing performance. The touchdown speed was
reduced to from 2.6 to 1.4 m/s versus 3.6/2.6 for the Soyuz TM. Landing with only the
reserve parachute was reduced to 4.0 to 2.4 m/s versus 6.1 to 4.3 m/s for the Soyuz TM.
An improved Kaktus-2V gamma-altimeter replaced the Kaktus-4 in the soft-landing system.
As a result of these changes, astronauts of from 150 to 190 cm height, up to 99 cm
sitting height, and from 50 to 95 kg mass could be accommodated in the Soyuz TMA
capsule (previous limits were 164 to 184 cm height, 94 cm sitting height, and 56 to 85 kg
From 2009, with the doubling in Soyuz flights from 2 to 4 per year due to the ISS crew
being increased to 6, the previously single-use Kazbek-UM seats are to be reused. Their
manufacturer, NPP Zvezda, is to make modifications to enable this. After landing of the
Descent Module, the seats will be returned to Zvezda so their condition can be evaluated
and the seats repaired.
Orbital Module

Soyuz TMA: Orbital Module data Length

2.98 m
Basic Diameter
2.26 m
Maximum Diameter
2.26 m
Habitable Volume 5.00 m
1370 kg
Docking system
Lightweight male/female with flange-type probe, internal transfer
tunnel. Kurs automatic rendezvous and docking system with two Kurs antennae, no tower
Docking collar length
0.22 m
Probe length
0.50 m
Base diameter
1.35 m
Ring diameter
1.35 m
One blister window at the front to provide a forward view
The Orbital Module (BO) provides living space during the orbital phase of the Soyuz flight.
Systems in the living quarters are analogous to those in the Zvezda Service Module, though
in more compact form. The pressurized sphere contains food lockers, remote controls and
the all-important space toilet (albeit a very basic one). The crew attach sleeping bags to
the curved walls and sleep in these.
At the forward end of the BO is the docking equipment: Kurs apparatus, connecting hatch
and rendezvous antennas. A crew member is stationed at the small blister window to aid
the commander during docking.
There is a third hatch in the side of the BO through which the crew enter when boarding at
the launch pad. It can also serve as exit/entry for EVAs with the BO used as an airlock (the
other two main hatches are sealed off for this).
The pressurized, spherical BO is connected at its rear to the SA by a sealable hatch. Like
the Instrument Module, the BO separates from the SA after retrofire during the deorbit
maneuver, and disintegrates and burns up upon entering the atmosphere.
Soyuz launch escape system
The Soyuz launch escape system has the acronym , SAS (
, Sistema Avariynogo Spaseniya) and is activated should anything go wrong on
the launch pad, or on the ride into orbit. It is attached to the shroud covering the Soyuz
spaceship during launch. The main events that would trigger the system during launch are
loss of control, premature booster stage separation, loss of pressure in the combustion
chambers, lack of velocity and loss of thrust.
The system can also be triggered from the ground by remote radio control (,
, Komandnaya Radioliniya Command Radio-Line). The command
is sent from the Kvant ground control station at Site 23, 30 kilometers away from the
Soyuz launch site.
The SAS is activated and ready from 15 minutes before launch to 157 seconds from launch.
On activation, three floating struts on the payload fairing fixate to the lower structural ring
of the Soyuz Descent Module to transfer loads from the payload fairing. The main escape
motors fire for 2-6 seconds, taking with them the top two sections of the Soyuz spaceship
(Habitation and Descent Modules; the Instrumentation Module remains with the rest of
the rocket). The rockets can lift the SAS to a height of 1-1.5 kilometers from the ground.
The Descent Module is then disconnected from the fairing, a separation motor fires and
the Descent Module falls out of the bottom of the fairing, deploys its parachute and lands
in the normal manner.

This extract from Mir Hardware Heritage describes the only time the SAS has been used, so
Pad Abort September 26, 1983
Vladimir Titov, Gennadi Strekalov
Crew code name: Okean
Refer to figure 1-29. Shortly before liftoff, fuel spilled around the base of the Soyuz
launch vehicle and caught fire. Launch control activated the escape system, but the control
cables had already burned. The crew could not activate or control the escape system, but
20 sec later, ground control was able to activate the escape system by radio command. By
this time the booster was engulfed in flames. Explosive bolts fired to separate the descent
module from the service module and the upper launch shroud from the lower. Then the
escape system motor fired, dragging the orbital module and descent module, encased
within the upper shroud, free of the booster at 14 to 17 gs of acceleration. Acceleration
lasted 5 sec. Seconds after the escape system activated, the booster exploded, destroying
the launch complex (which was, incidentally, the one used to launch Sputnik 1 and Vostok
1). Four paddle-shaped stabilizers on the outside of the shroud opened. The descent
module separated from the orbital module at an altitude of 650 m, and dropped free of
the shroud. It discarded its heat shield, exposing the solid-fuelled land landing rockets, and
deployed a fast-opening emergency parachute. Landing occurred about 4 km from the
launch pad. The aborted mission is often called Soyuz T-10a in the West. This was the last
failed attempt to date to reach a space station to date.
Soyuz abort sequence
An account from Leaving Earth by Robert Zimmerman:
It was not to be. Ninety seconds before blast-off, with Titov and Strekalov waiting at the
top of their fully-fueled Soyuz rocket, a fuel valve at the base of the rocket malfunctioned,
opening and spilling fuel uncontrollably onto the launchpad. A fire broke out and flames
engulfed the rocket with its 180 tons of very flammable fuel. At that moment, the
automatic launch-escape system should had kicked in, executing the following steps: First,
explosive bolts fire, flinging the Soyuz T capsule free of the three-stage rocket. One second
later, solid-fuel engines in a tower attached to the top of the capsule ignite, lifting the
Soyuz T orbital module and descent module away and clear. Five seconds after that, more
explosive bolts fire to separate the manned descent module from everything else. Its
parachutes then release and its retro-rockets fire, slowing the capsule enough for a safe
The automatic launch-escape system did not kick in, however. The fire had burned the
systems wiring, preventing it from being activated automatically. Feeling strange
vibrations and seeing black smoke and yellow flames outside their window, Titov and
Strekalov tried to fire the launch-escape system manually, only to get no response. To fire
the escape system manually from mission control required each of two different
operators, located in two separate rooms, to press separate buttons at the same time.
With flames rising from the launchpad and the entire rocket already leaning 20 degrees to
the side, controllers scrambled madly to get the system to free.
Just 10 seconds after the flames first appeared, controllers miraculously managed to
somehow do this, activating the escape system and throwing Titov, Strekalov and the
Soyuz T capsule more than 3000 feet into the air. For five seconds the emergency engines

fired, subjecting the two men to forces exceeding 15 gs. Then the engines cut off, the
descent module separated, and its parachutes unfolded.
At that moment, the entire rocket and launchpad exploded. The blast was so intense
that the capsule, three miles away, was thrown sideways, and launchpad workers in
underground bunkers felt the pressure wave.
Strekalov and Titov landed safely, their capsule hitting the ground with a hard bump that
shook both men up but did them no damage. Rescuers quickly pulled them from the
capsule, then gave them a glass of vodka to calm their nerves as everyone watched the
nearby launchpad crumble in flames and clouds of smoke. It took 20 hours to put the fires
Soyuz abort parameters Breakout altitude in the event of launch failure
850 meters
Breakout distance in the event of launch failure 110 m
G-load on humans
during EDS operations, no more than: 10 g
in emergency 400 seconds into the mission: 21 (K = 0)
Initial mass of separating nose section, not more than
7635 kg
Total EDS thruster burns
123 TF-S
Maximum EDS thruster propulsion unit thrust 76 TF
SoyCOM: 3.20. () (Launch Escape System)
CAC system purpose and composition
The CAC System is designed for bringing the crew modules away from the failed Launch
Vehicle and providing conditions for guarantied operation of the landing aids while at the
launch site and in the orbit injection phase.
The system is fully automatic. In case of the Launch Vehicle failure the
( Launch Vehicle Failure) red light illuminates (-3) and also the Central
Light goes ON and the intermittent audio signal sounds.
Having received these signals the crew reports to the Launch Control and prepares to
withstand the accelerations associated with the launch escape procedures.
General CAC System design is shown in Fig.1.
The CAC System consists of:
CAC Propulsion System;
Aerodynamic Cap covering the crew modules;
CAC Automatic Equipment.
( ) (CAC Propulsion System)
The is an active aid which enables the spacecraft rescued part to escape in case of
the Launch Vehicle failure both at the launch site and in the orbit injection phase.
The consists of:
() (Central Rocket Engine);
Four () (Attitude Control Rocket Thrusters);
() (Separation Rocket Thrusters).
The engine is designed for the spacecraft crew module (-) escape from the failed
Launch Vehicle and climb up to the altitude necessary for the parachute system operation
in case of emergency at the launch site or in launch vicinity conditions.
The thrusters are designed for executing the preset spacecraft crew module escape
trajectory in case of emergency at the launch site or in the vicinity of the launch site.
The thrusters are designed for executing the evasive trajectory of the CAC System
after its nominal jettison in the spacecraft orbit injection phase. The thrusters are also

used to take the Cap+ cluster away from the CA at the climb portion of the spacecraft
rescued part launch escape trajectory.
Apart from the Propulsion System the following thrusters are located on the
Aerodynamic Cap:
() (Cap Thrusters);
() (Section Jettison Thrusters).
The thrusters are designed for raising the climb altitude of the spacecraft rescued part
in case of emergency in launch vicinity conditions and also for taking the rescued part
away in the orbit injection phase after the nominal jettison and prior to the Cap
The thrusters are designed for taking the Cap sections away from the spacecraft
during its nominal jettison procedure in the orbit injection phase.
Crew Module Aerodynamic Cap
The Crew Module Aerodynamic Cap is the structural base for the escaping crew modules.
CAC System Automatic Equipment
The CAC Automatic Equipment is designed for joint operation with the spacecraft and the
Launch Vehicle systems in generating signals and executing commands for the crew
module escape from the failed Launch Vehicle in case of emergency at the launch site or in
the orbit injection flight phase.
CAC system operational procedure
The CAC System total operational period is subdivided into six portions:
From the moment of the (CAC arming) command for configuring the
CAC System for operation up to the ( Lift-Off Contact).
From the up to 20 seconds of flight elapsed time.
From the FET 20 s up to the jettison programmed time.
From the programmed jettison up to the Cap () jettison.
From the programmed jettison up to the (
preliminary separation) command.
From the command up to the Launch Vehicle 3rd stage Propulsion System Shut Off
command. First Portion Procedure
In this CAC System operational period portion the emergency signal can be issued only by
the Launch Director via the system from the Launch Control vault.
On receiving the (Emergency) signal the following commands are issued:
for the spacecraft separation at the - interface;
for the engine 1-2 chamber ignition.
In 1.8 s after the signal is issued the thrusters are fired under the program
control which depends on the wind direction and the location of the launch facilities.
In 4 s after the the thrusters are fired.
At the escape trajectory peak the Automatic Equipment issues commands:
for the jettison;
for the / separation.
After the jettison the a thruster is fired and carries the Cap+ cluster away from
the so as to prevent their collision. At the preset time moment the parachute system is
put to operation and follows a reduced time program.
Second Portion Procedure

This portion features low flight altitudes. So the failed Launch Vehicle Propulsion System is
not cut off to carry the Launch Vehicle away from the launch facilities as far as possible.
The parachute system operates under the control of reduced time programs.
Third Portion Procedure
When the signal arrives the following commands are issued:
The Launch Vehicle Propulsion System emergency ignition;
Execution of all the commands according to the First portion program of the CAC
operation with exceptions:
only the first chamber is ignited (the altitude clearance is sufficient for the
complex operation;
the is not fired (altitude sufficient for the operation);
only one thruster is burnt, the one located in plane II.
At the preset moment the Complex is put to operation.
Fourth Portion Procedure
This portions peculiar feature consists in using the thrusters as active aid for the crew
module escape. On the signal the spacecraft is separated at the -
interface and two thrusters are ignited. In 0,32 s after the command the
second thruster group is ignited to take the crew modules away from the failed
Launch Vehicle trajectory. According to the preset program the CAC automatic equipment
issues commands for the jettison and for the / separation.
At the preset moment the Complex is put to operation following the nominal time
Fifth Portion Procedure
There are no active aids used in this portion for the crew module evasive maneuver away
from the failed Launch Vehicle. So the nominal spacecraft separation aids are employed.
On the signal the automatic equipment issues commands for the Launch
Vehicle Propulsion System emergency cut off and for the spacecraft crew module nominal
separation. The operation follows the nominal time program.
Sixth Portion Procedure
It is this portions peculiarity, that in case of emergency separation the spacecraft injection
to off-nominal orbits is possible. So based on the long duration (>30 min) crew life support
requirement for the offnominal orbit flight the crew rescue is executed within the
integrated spacecraft. On the signal the CAC automatic equipment translate
command for the spacecraft nominal separation from the Launch Vehicle 3rd stage. The
separation is accomplished followed by the spacecraft descent. The integrated spacecraft
separation is executed nominally at the atmosphere reentry. The spacecraft landing aids
operate on the nominal program.
Fig. 1. CAC System Diagram:
I-III, II-IV Stabilization Planes.
View A:
Balance Weight;
Attitude Control Thrusters;
Separation Thrusters;
CAC Propulsion System;
Central Rocket Engine;
Aerodynamic Cap;
Section Jettison Thrusters;

Upper Support;
Cap Thrusters;
Habitable (Crew Resting) Module;
Descent Module;
Lower Support;
Cosmonaut Visual System.
Le systme d'atterrissage du vaisseau Soyouz
Le systme d'atterrissage KSP ( ) rassemble les diffrents
lments qui assurent le retour du Compartiment de Descente (SA), depuis l'instant o il
se spare des deux autres compartiments jusqu' l'instant du contact avec le sol.
Il peut tre utilis soit dans le cas d'une rentre dans l'atmosphre aprs un vol orbital,
soit dans le cas d'une jection du vaisseau par le systme de secours SAS suite un
accident avec le lanceur. Le KSP est constitu :
- du systme de parachute primaire (OSP),
- du systme de parachute secondaire (ZSP),
- des moteurs d'atterrissage en douceur (DMP),
- des couchettes Kazbek,
- du systme de commande AKSP.
1. Le systme de parachute primaire (OSP)
Le systme de parachute primaire OSP ( ) permet au
Compartiment de Descente (SA), dont la masse est comprise entre 2800kg et 3100kg,
d'atterrir avec une vitesse de 6,5m/s [1]. Il est constitu :
- du parachute de tirage VP ( ),
- du parachute de freinage TP ( ),
- du parachute principal OP ( ).
Ces trois parachutes sont fournis par le NII Parachioutostroenia (anciennement NIEI PDS)
de Moscou. Ils sont situs dans un container hermtique, plac l'extrieur du SA, mis la
pression atmosphrique avant le dcollage.
Aprs la rentre dans l'atmosphre, alors que le SA tombe avec une vitesse de 230m/s, le
couvercle du container est ject au moyen de 16 boulons pyrotechniques, ce qui
provoque automatiquement le dploiement des parachutes de tirage, rattach au
couvercle par une corde. Ces parachutes de petites tailles (4,2m et 0,62m [2])
permettent d'extraire le parachute de freinage qui, avec une voile de 24m [2], abaisse la
vitesse de chute 90m/s [1].
Cette vitesse autorise le dploiement du parachute principal, dont la voile de 1000m
permet d'abaisser encore la vitesse 7,61,5m/s [2].
Le container tant situ sur le ct du SA, celui-ci est inclin lors de la descente. Cet angle
lui permet de mieux vacuer la chaleur accumule lors de la rentre dans l'atmosphre. Au
bout d'un certain laps de temps, une deuxime suspente est libre et permet de revenir
une configuration symtrique.
Lors de la descente, aprs le dploiement du parachute principal, un ballon est gonfl dans
le compartiment de l'OSP. Son rle est d'assurer la flottaison du SA en cas d'amerrissage
[1]. Sans lui, en effet, de l'eau s'engouffrerait dans le compartiment et alourdirait le SA, qui


Ce ballon est gonfl grce une bouteille d'air sous pression. Si la descente se droule
normalement avec l'OSP, la bouteille du compartiment ZSP est vente (et vice versa) [1].
2. Le systme de parachute secondaire (ZSP)
Le systme de parachute secondaire ZSP ( ) permet au
Compartiment de Descente (SA) d'atterrir en toute scurit en cas de dfaillance du
systme de parachute primaire (OSP).
Il est constitu de deux parachutes de tirage (VP) et d'un parachute de freinage (TP), qui
sont identiques ceux de l'OSP. En revanche, pour des raisons d'encombrement, le
parachute principal (OP) a une voile plus petite de seulement 590m [2].
Le ZSP est stock dans un compartiment hermtique l'extrieur du SA (fig. 1.2). Du fait
de sa voile plus petite, la vitesse du SA lors de l'atterrissage avec le ZSP est de 9,51,5m/s
[2]. L'ouverture du ZSP est commande par le systme de commande AKSP s'il dtecte une
vitesse de chute suprieure 18m/s.
Le compartiment du ZSP possde galement un ballon pour assurer la flottaison du SA en
cas d'atterrissage [1].
3. Les moteurs d'atterrissage en douceur (DMP)
Le Compartiment de Descente (SA) du vaisseau Soyouz descend dans l'atmosphre la
vitesse de 7,61,5m/s quand il utilise le parachute primaire (OSP) [2], et la vitesse de
9,5m/s avec le parachute secondaire (ZSP).
A cette vitesse, le contact avec le sol est supportable par l'quipage, mais particulirement
violent. Le SA est donc dot de moteurs d'atterrissage en douceur DMP (
) qui permettent d'amortir le choc. Ils fonctionnent indiffremment que
l'atterrissage ait lieu sur la terre ferme ou en mer (voir la vido 4).
Les vaisseaux Soyouz de premire gnration (11F615) possdaient quatre DMP,
numrots D1 D4. Il s'agissait de moteurs propergol solide 11D830 fournis par le MKB

Sur les vaisseaux de deuxime gnration Soyouz T (11F732), deux moteurs DMP
supplmentaires ont t ajouts pour augmenter la fiabilit. Les six moteurs, qui sont
maintenant des 11D839, sont rpartis en deux groupes de trois, de part et d'autre du SA.
Lors d'un atterrissage nominal avec le parachute primaire, seuls quatre DMP sont allums,
et permettent d'abaisser la vitesse du SA 2m/s [1]. Les deux derniers moteurs ne sont
utiliss que dans le cas d'un atterrissage avec le parachute secondaire, afin d'amortir le
surplus de vitesse.
Sur les vaisseaux Soyouz TM (11F732A51), le principe reste le mme, ceci prs qu'une
nouvelle version des DMP est utilise, les 11D839M, toujours fournis par le MKB Iskra. Ils
dveloppent une pousse de 375kgf.s [3].
Lors de l'atterrissage du vaisseau Soyouz TM-25 avec Vassili TSIBLIEV et Aleksandr
LAZOUTKINE, le 14 aot 1997, les moteurs DMP n'ont pas fonctionn, et l'quipage a subit
un violent choc. Le SA a t dform, et si un troisime cosmonaute avait t prsent, il
aurait pu tre bless.
Sur la version Soyouz TMA (11F732A17) introduite en 2002, quatre DMP classiques sont
conservs, mais deux autres sont remplacs par une version modifie. Ces nouveaux


moteurs, appels DMPM, peuvent fonctionner selon trois modes distincts, car ils sont
spars en deux sections :
- la section n1, au centre, dveloppe une pousse de 85kgf.s,
- la section n2, en priphrie, dveloppe une pousse de 195kgf.s.
Ainsi, selon le type d'atterrissage, la pousse fournie est module en allumant la section
n1, la section n2 ou les deux sections. Les diffrents scnarios sont lists dans le tableau
1. Dans tous les cas, les quatre DMP classiques sont allums systmatiquement.
Scnario d'atterrissage
Nombre de
Section des
DMPM sollicite
Avec OSP
Avec ZSP Dploiement complet de l'OSP
0 ou 1 2
2 ou 3 1 et 2
Non-dploiement de l'OSP 1 et 2
Tableau 1 : Sollicitation des DMPM en fonction du scnario d'atterrissage.
4. Les couchettes Kazbek
Dans le Compartiment de Descente (SA), les cosmonautes sont installs dans des
couchettes individuelles de type Kazbek-U, fournies par la NPP Zvezda. Elles sont quipes
d'un amortisseur qui permet de rduire l'effort sur le corps du cosmonaute lors du contact
avec le sol.
Dans la couchette, le cosmonaute doit adopter une position replie, impose la fois par
les dimensions rduites du SA et par la ncessit de se protger contre la forte
dclration lors du contact avec le sol.
Pendant le lancement et le vol en orbite, les Kazbek-U sont en position non arme afin de
maximiser le volume habitable du SA. Lors de la descente dans l'atmosphre, quand
l'automatisme AKSP mesure une altitude infrieure 5,5km, il envoie la commande
d'armement des couchettes.
Cet ordre a pour effet de relever la couchette, ce qui permettra l'amortisseur de remplir
son rle lors du contact avec le sol. Comme on le voit sur la figure 4.1, la couchette KazbekU est galement quipe d'une poigne bleue qui permet d'utiliser le canal de secours du
systme de communication Rassviett.

La couchette Kazbek-U est quipe d'un logement moul individuellement pour chaque
cosmonaute. Cette personnalisation permet de s'assurer que le corps du cosmonaute
pousera parfaitement la forme de la couchette, ce qui assure une protection optimale
contre le choc de l'atterrissage.

A partir de la version Soyouz TMA (11F732A17), dveloppe spcifiquement pour

admettre des cosmonautes ayant des mensurations plus varies, la couchette Kazbek a t
agrandie de 50mm [4]. Cette nouvelle version est baptise Kazbek-UM.


Hauteur debout jusqu' 182cm

de 150 190cm
Hauteur assis
jusqu' 94cm
de 80 99cm
Largeur de la poitrine
de 96 112cm
Pas de limite
Masse de 70 85kg
de 50 95kg
Tableau 2 : Limites imposes par les diffrentes versions de la couchette Kazbek.
Afin d'accompagner ces relaxations sur les paramtres physiologiques des cosmonautes, le
systme d'amortissement a t modifi. Il comprend maintenant plusieurs positions : lger
(), moyen (), semi-lourd () et lourd ().
5. Le systme de commande (AKSP)
Le systme d'atterrissage KSP est command par l'ensemble AKSP ( ),
constitu d'un capteur baromtrique et d'un altimtre.
L'AKSP est arm automatiquement par la commande SEPARATION gnre au moment de
la sparation des trois compartiments, avant la rentre dans l'atmosphre. Si, pour une
raison ou une autre, l'armement automatique n'est pas ralis, l'quipage peut le faire
manuellement (sur le Soyouz TM, c'est la commande ASP en position F1 sur le pupitre KSPP) [1].
Il mesure la pression atmosphrique en temps rel et donne l'ordre de largage du
couvercle du compartiment du parachute primaire (OSP), ce qui initie sa squence de
dploiement. Le capteur baromtrique est redond (BBR-1 et BBR-2).
Il est associ un chronomtre, redond trois fois (PVM1-1, PVM1-2, PVM1-3), qui lui
permet de calculer la vitesse de descente aprs le dploiement thorique de l'OSP. Si,
pendant une priode de mesure t=551,5", l'lvation de la pression atmosphrique est
infrieure p=54mmHg, l'AKSP en dduit que la vitesse de descente est infrieure
18m/s, et que l'OSP est correctement dploy et assure sa fonction [1].
En revanche, si l'AKSP mesure une lvation de pression de 54mmHg pendant une priode
infrieure t=551,5", il en dduit que le Compartiment de Descente (SA) tombe trop
vite, et donc que l'OSP n'est pas dploy correctement. Il met donc la commande ECHEC,
qui initie le dploiement du parachute secondaire (ZSP) [1][2].
Le capteur baromtrique est fourni par la socit Aeropribor-Voskhod (anciennement
OKB-133), base Moscou. Peu d'informations ont t diffuses sur l'historique de ce
capteur, dont il semblerait que quatre versions se sont succd dans l'histoire des Soyouz
[5] : SVsRT-1, SVsR-4, BB et BB-2 (ce dernier ayant t dvelopp pour la version Soyouz
TMA [4]).
Nota : l'histoire officielle de la RKK Energuia voque aussi un commutateur BKSP du Soyouz
TM qui, sur Soyouz TMA, a t spar en deux systmes distincts, le BLSP et le BKPSP. On
ne connait toutefois pas le rle prcis de ces matriels, si ce n'est qu'ils contrlent les
moteurs DMP et l'altimtre Kaktus [4].
Kaktus est un altimtre rayons gamma (GLV, - ) dont le rle
est de dclencher l'allumage des moteurs d'atterrissage en douceur (DMP) quand le
Compartiment de Descente (SA) atteint l'altitude de 80cm. Il est fourni par le TsNII RTK de
Il est constitu d'un metteur, avec une source de Csium 137 (137Cs) qui rayonne dans
toutes les directions, et d'un rcepteur qui capte une petite partie (10-8) de l'nergie
rflchie par le sol [6].


Lgende : - ; -- ;
1, 2, - ; - ; ;
- ; -
Crdit : TsNII RTK.
L'utilisation des rayons gamma est rendue indispensable pour satisfaire la double exigence
de prcision et de polyvalence que doit avoir le systme Kaktus. Pour ne citer que deux
exemples, un systme ondes radio ne serait pas suffisamment prcis, et un systme laser
ne fonctionnerait pas en cas de nuages [6].
A un certain moment, le Kaktus a t remplac par un version amliore Kaktus-1V. A
partir de Soyouz TMA-M (11F732A47), la version embarque s'appelle Kaktus-2V. Il est
dvelopp par le TsNII RTK dans le cadre d'un contrat sign le 3 septembre 2009 avec la
RKK Energuia [7].
Sa principale diffrence par rapport Kaktus-1V est dans le traitement de l'information,
qui est maintenant numrique [6]. De plus, il prend en compte la vitesse de descente du
SA, ce qui lui permet d'adapter sensiblement l'instant d'allumage des DMP [3]. Le Kaktus2V a t test en mode tlmtrie sur les vaisseaux Soyouz TMA-08M et Soyouz TMA-09M
[7][8], et sera mont en srie partir du vaisseau Soyouz TMA-16M.
L'utilisation du Csium 137 ne pose pas de problme de radioprotection pour l'quipage,
qui n'est pas atteint par les rayons gamma grce une couche de protection place autour
de la source [6]. En revanche, le problme se pose pour les quipes de rcupration
(FPSU), qui sont exposes la face non protge du Compartiment de Descente (SA) aprs
son atterrissage.
Afin de limiter l'exposition des personnels des FPSU, un bouclier de protection est plac
devant l'metteur du systme Kaktus. Au cas o le SA atterrirait dans une zone habite, un
affichage permet d'avertir d'ventuels riverains qu'il est dangereux de s'approcher de la
face infrieure du vaisseau.
Le systme d'atterrissage KSP est arm par la commande de sparation des
compartiments du vaisseau Soyouz, qui intervient environ 130km d'altitude. Si
l'armement n'est pas effectif, l'quipage a la possibilit de le confirmer manuellement.
Quand le SA arrive l'altitude de 80km, le plasma qui se forme autour de lui empche les
communications radio, et ce jusqu' l'altitude d'environ 40km. Cette phase dure environ
quatre minutes [9].
Quand le capteur baromtrique mesure une pression atmosphrique de 133mmHg, qui
correspond une altitude de 10,5km, l'AKSP lance la squence d'ouverture de l'OSP. C'est
l'instant H0.
Le couvercle du compartiment de l'OSP est ject par les boulons pyrotechniques,
entranant avec lui les parachutes de tirage qui se dploient, et extraient le parachute de
freinage. 16,5 secondes plus tard, le parachute de freinage est largu, ce qui entrane le
dploiement du parachute principal, qui prend trois secondes.
Le SA est alors en configuration dite asymtrique, car le parachute principal est ancr sur
son flanc. A l'altitude de 6,5km, l'AKSP commence calculer la vitesse de chute. Si elle est


suprieure 18m/s, il en dduit que le parachute principal ne s'est pas dploy, ou ne

s'est pas dploy correctement, et il met la commande ECHEC (aller en 6.2).
Si la vitesse de chute est infrieure 18m/s, l'AKSP considre que la descente est
nominale. A l'altitude de 5,5km, il ralise un certain nombre d'actions :
- il largue le bouclier thermique afin d'allger le SA et de dcouvrir les moteurs
d'atterrissage en douceur (DMP) et l'altimtre Kaktus,
- il ouvre la soupape BARD,
- il largue les capots de protection des hublots
- il fait passer le parachute principal en configuration symtrique,
- il arme les couchettes Kazbek,
- il gonfle le ballon de flottaison,
- il vente la bouteille de gonflage du ballon de flottaison du ZSP.
Le largage du bouclier thermique initie un ordre d'ventage du peroxyde d'hydrogne des
rservoirs du systme SIOS, afin de ne pas mettre en danger les quipes de rcupration.
Le vaisseau entre alors dans la phase finale de la squence d'atterrissage. A l'altitude de
80cm, l'altimtre Kaktus envoie l'ordre de mise en service des moteurs DMP, et l'inhibition
du largage manuel du parachute principal est dsactive. Le risque est que, aprs
l'atterrissage, le SA soit tran sur le sol par le parachute. Il est donc important de donner
la possibilit l'quipage de le larguer ds que possible.
C'est aussi 80cm d'altitude que l'ordre de mise en service du systme de ventilation SDV
( ) est envoy.
Le contact avec le sol est dtect par le capteur de choc UD ( ), qui
provoque l'apparition d'une alarme sur le pupitre du vaisseau. L'quipage commande alors
la rupture de l'une des suspentes du parachute principal [1].
Pression atmosphrique
Sparation des compartiments du vaisseau
Armement de l'AKSP
10,5km 133mmHg
Mise en service du capteur baromtrique BBR-1
Mise en service des chronomtres PVM1-1, PVM1-2 et PVM1-3
Largage du couvercle du compartiment OSP
Largage du parachute de freinage (TP) de l'OSP
Arrt des chronomtres PVM1-1, PVM1-2 et PVM13
Le parachute principal (OP) de l'OSP est compltement dploy
6,5km 335mmHg
Mise en service du capteur baromtrique BBR-2
Mise en service des chronomtres PVM1-1, PVM1-2 et PVM13
Dbut de la mesure de la vitesse de descente
H1+55" 5,5km
Fin de la mesure de la vitesse de descente


Largage du bouclier thermique
Ouverture de la soupape BARD
Largage des capots des hublots
Passage du parachute principal en configuration symtrique
Armement des couchettes Kazbek
Pressurisation du ballon de flottaison de l'OSP
Eventage de la bouteille du ballon de flottaison du ZSP
Mise sous tension de l'altimtre Kaktus
Mise sous tension du capteur UD
Apparition de l'alarme ATTERRISSAGE sur le pupitre
Arrt des chronomtres PVM1-1, PVM1-2 et PVM1-3
Allumage des DMP
Ouverture de la soupape de respiration
Tableau 3 : Squence d'atterrissage avec l'OSP [1].
6.2 - Atterrissage avec le ZSP
Si l'AKSP calcule une vitesse de descente suprieure 18m/s, il en dduit que l'OSP n'est
pas fonctionnel et commande le largage de son parachute principal. Il envoie ensuite
l'ordre de largage du couvercle du compartiment du ZSP, ce qui provoque le dploiement
des parachutes de tirage, du parachute de freinage et, in fine, du parachute principal.
La squence est ensuite la mme qu'avec l'OSP. Les actions qui, avec l'OSP, sont ralises
5,5km d'altitude le sont ici 3,5km d'altitude.
H2 = H1+55"
5,5km Fin de la mesure de la vitesse de descente, mesure
infrieure 18m/s
Largage de l'OSP (considr comme non oprationnel)
Largage du couvercle du ZSP
H2+13" 4km
Largage du parachute de freinage du ZSP
H2+27" 3,5km Largage du bouclier thermique
Ouverture de la soupape BARD
Largage des capots des hublots
Passage du parachute principal en configuration symtrique
Armement des couchettes Kazbek
Pressurisation du ballon de flottaison du ZSP
Eventage de la bouteille du ballon de flottaison de l'OSP
Mise sous tension de l'altimtre Kaktus
Mise sous tension du capteur UD
Apparition de l'alarme ATTERRISSAGE sur le pupitre
Arrt des chronomtres PVM1-1, PVM1-2 et PVM1-3
Allumage des DMP
Ouverture de la soupape de respiration