Fyodor Yurchikhin is a Russian Cosmonaut and mechanical engineer. He was born on January 3, 1959 in Batumi, Georgian SSR.
Yurchikhin graduated from high school in Batumi in 1976 and entered the Moscow Aviation Institute. He graduated in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering specializing in space vehicles. After graduating, Yurchikhin worked at the Russian Space Corporation Energia. He worked as a flight controller at the Russian Mission Control Center Moscow. Also, he held the positions of engineer, senior engineer, and lead engineer. Later, he became the lead engineer for the Shuttle-Mir and NASA-Mir programs. In 2001, Yurchikhin received a master's degree and defended his theses at the Moscow State University of service.
Fyodor Yurchikhin was selected as Cosmonaut candidate in 1997 and completed basic training and evaluations in 1998 & 1999. In November 1999, he was qualified as a Test Cosmonaut. He entered specific training for the International Space Station.
In 2001, Yurchikhin transferred to NASA's Johnson Space Center to begin training for a flight on the Space Shuttle. His first space flight was STS-112 aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis.
The mission to the International Space Station began on October 7, 2002 and is also known ISS Assembly Mission 9A. Atlantis delivered the large S1 starboard truss segment to the Space Station that was installed during the mission. Atlantis also delivered the Crew Equipment Translation Aid (CETA) Cart to the Space Station as well as internal cargo. Three spacewalks were required to install and outfit the S1 truss segment on the Station. Atlantis returned to Earth after a 10-day 19-hour 58-minute flight, making 170 orbits.
In 2004/2005, Yurchikhin trained as a backup crew member for ISS Expedition 13 and in 2005/06 as backup Commander for a Soyuz mission to ISS. In April 2006, he began training as a prime crew member for ISS Expedition 15 during which he served as ISS Commander and Soyuz Flight Engineer.
ISS Expedition 15 was his second space flight and his first long-duration mission. Yurchikhin launched aboard Soyuz TMA-10 with Soyuz Commander Oleg Kotov and Spaceflight Participant Charles Simonyi on April 7, 2007. They docked with ISS two days later and started a mission dedicated to ISS assembly and utilization.
Expedition 15 was comprised of Yurchikhin, Kotov as well as Suni Williams, for the first part, and Clay Anderson, for the second part. Over the course of Expedition 15, the Space Station's truss segment was expanded when STS-117 and STS-118 delivered the S3/S4 and S5 Truss Segments. In addition to spacewalks performed as part of the shuttle missions, the station crew stepped outside three times to outfit the exterior of ISS. Two were Russian-based EVAs performed by Oleg Kotov and Fyodor Yurchikhin to perform tasks on the Russian Segment.
Also, Yurchikhin stepped outside with Clay Anderson to perform a US-Stage EVA to reconfigure the station's ammonia cooling system and set up external equipment on the USOS. During Expedition 15, Yurchikhin logged 18 hours and 44 minutes of EVA time. The mission of Soyuz TMA-10 ended on October 21, 2007, bringing Kotov and Yurchikhin as well as spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor back to Earth.
During the deorbit phase, the Orbital Module failed to separate from the Soyuz Entry Module, causing the vehicle to perform a ballistic re-entry with larger forces acting on the vehicle that made a safe landing 340 Kilometers short of the planned landing site.
After returning to Earth and completing post-flight operations, Yurchikhin began training again. His third spacecflight started on June 15, 2010 with the launch of Soyuz TMA-19M. Yurchikhin served as Soyuz Commander and launched with NASA Flight Engineers Shannon Walker and Doug Wheelock. The crew served on ISS Expedition 24/25, completing a five-month flight to the Space Station.
Station Builders - Expedition 15 Crew
Yurchikhin during his Exp. 15 US EVA
The increment was once again dedicated to ISS assembly and utilization. Over the course of the mission, Yurchikhin performed two spacewalks, one with Mikahail Kornienko and one with Oleg Skripochka, to deploy and retrieve experiment payloads and perform maintenance on the exterior of ISS. The EVAs had a cumulative duration of 13 hours 10 minutes.
The Expedition 24/25 mission ended with a safe landing of Soyuz TMA-19 on November 26, 2010 after 163 days in orbit.
On his three flights, Fyodor Yurchikhin logged 370 days 20 hours and 14 minutes in space. He has a total EVA time of 31 hours and 54 minutes on five career spacewalks.
Foyodor Yurchikhin has been selected as Soyuz TMA-09M Commander to fly to ISS for another long-duration mission to serve as Flight Engineer on Expedition 36 and Commander of Expedition 37.
Fyodor Yurchikhin is married to Larisa Anatolievna Yurchikhina and has two daughters. His hobbies include collecting stamps and space logos, sports, history of cosmonautics, and promotion of space. He also enjoys reading history, science fiction and the classics.