# Soyuz Spacecraft: From The Time The Astronaut Hits The Ejection Button Until Landing

A plot point in a TV show I watch involves an astronaut abandoning the ISS in the Soyuz. How long will it take him, from the time he hits the “Eject” button (or whatever) until he lands?

Three hours and 23 minutes. Most of this time is spent moving slowly away from the ISS (at a relative speed of about 4-5 miles per hour); presumably they want to be far enough away from the ISS before firing the re-entry rockets, and the first thrusters they fire can only give them so much velocity.

But if you are going to abandon the ISS and you don’t care about damaging it by firing the retro rockets too close, you could do the whole thing in just under an hour.

3 minutes for undocking
3 more minutes to drift 20 meters
15 seconds for a separation burn
2 hours 20 minutes to drift 20 km
4 minutes 21 seconds firing the retro rockets
and then about 49 1/2 minutes to touchdown
total time 3 hours 23 minutes

you could do this…
3 minutes for undocking
then just go ahead and fire the retro rockets for 4 minutes 21 seconds
and then about 49 1/2 minutes to touchdown
total time 57 minutes

I don’t get it. Is the OP talking about breaking away from a space station in a re-entry vehicle and landing it? Or abandoning the vehicle, and somehow losing enough seed and altitude until a few wisps of his ashes eventually make it back to earth?

I think so, yes

It’s very doubtful that such a scenario would be a plot point in a TV show. But if you have an answer for that interpretation, I don’t see the harm in posting it.

ETA: @Boyo Jim; forgot to refresh. Again …

It seems pretty clear to me he’s talking about entering ISS’s Soyuz lifeboat and pushing the “Launch lifeboat back to Earth” button.

As an aside, I suspect that the show referred to in the OP is

Last Man on Earth,in which a character does climb into a capsule from on board the ISS and hits “eject”. The capsule that was shown on that show didn’t quite look like a Soyuz to me, but I could be wrong (there was a lot going on during the part of the episode when the capsule was shown, so I’ll admit to not paying 100% attention.)