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Soyuz (Russian: Союз, English: Union) is a spaceship used by the Russian Federal Space Agency. It was used to carry people to and from the Salyut Space Station, Mir Space Station and the International Space Station.
The Soyuz spacecraft has three parts:
- A round orbital module
- A small reentry module
- A service module with solar panels
The orbital module is also called the Habitation section. It has all the equipment not needed for reentry, such as experiments, cameras and cargo. It also contains a docking collar for docking to space stations. It does not come back to earth.
The reentry module is used for launch and the journey back to earth. Half of it is covered in heat protection tiles. It comes back to earth.
The service module has solar panels. It contains systems for temperature control, electric power supply, long-range radio communications and radio telemetry. It does not come back to earth.