Russia's Manned Soyuz Space Capsule Explained (Infographic) by Karl Tate, SPACE.com Infographics Artist, Russia's workhorse Soyuz spacecraft have been flying for nearly 45 years, ferrying first cosmonauts into orbit, then branching out to launch NASA astronauts and spaceflyers from many countries on trips to the International Space Station.

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S73-27666 (May-June 1973) --- A close-up view of the Soyuz spacecraft which was part of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project exhibit at the 30th International Aeronautics and Space Exhibition held May 24 -- June 3, 1973 at the Le Bourget Airport in Paris, France. The ASTP exhibit was co-sponsored by the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

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This view of the Space Shuttle Atlantis still connected to Russia's Mir Space Station was photographed by the Mir-19 crew on July 4, 1995. Cosmonauts Anatoliy Y. Solovyev and Nikolai M. Budarin, Mir-19 Commander and Flight Engineer, respectively, temporarily undocked the Soyuz spacecraft from the cluster of Mir elements to perform a brief fly-around

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Soyuz spacecraft assembly. The Orbital module is at the top, the Crew capsule in the middle and Service module at the bottom. The first two modules are covered with thermal blankets.

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A Soyuz spacecraft lifts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, at 10:54 p.m. (CDT) on April 26, 2003

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NASA | International space station in orbit / photographed by approaching space shuttle /sadly now a historic image from the non austerity years of NASA's golden years

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The Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft is seen after being rolled out by train to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Sunday, May 13, 2012. The launch of the Soyuz spacecraft with Expedition 31 Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Sergei Revin of Russia, and prime NASA Flight Engineer Joe Acaba is scheduled for 9:01 a.m. local time on Tuesday, May 15. Photo Credit (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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It launched under a different name and was not officially disclosed until almost two decades later, but Russia's first Soyuz spacecraft lifted off into history 50 years ago Monday (Nov. 28).

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