Maksim Suraev is a Colonel in the Russian Air Force and a Test Cosmonaut. Suraev was born on May 24, 1972 in Chelyabinsk, Russia.
He graduated from the Kachinsk Higher Military Aviation School for Pilots in 1994 specializing in Command Tactical Fighter Aviation. Serving as pilot-engineer and pilot-engineer-researcher, Suraev logged more than 700 hours on the L-39 and Su-27 aircraft. He is a Class 3 Air Force Pilot. Suraev then attended Military Air Force Engineering Academy, N.Y. Zhukovskiy graduating in 1997 with a specialty in Aeronautical Engineering and Armament Studies, Tests and Application.
In July 1997, Maksim Suraev was selected as Cosmonaut Candidate. He completed two years of basic training starting in 1998 and being qualified as a Test Cosmonaut in 1999, entering International Space Station Training in 2000. Working at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Suraev performed ISS specific training and also served as GCTC’s Director of Operations-Houston at Johnson Space Center from 2001 until 2002.
He completed survival training for emergency Soyuz landings in 2004 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. In 2005, Suraev was assigned to the ISS-15/16/17 group and began mission specific training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center.
He was preliminary assigned as Expedition 15 backup crew member along with Nicole Stott and Tim Kopra. They conducted a winter survival test in January 2006. In May, Suraev was moved from Expedition 15 to a backup position for Increment 17 and the prime crew of Expedition 19 to begin training for that flight.
In 2007, Maksim Suraev received a law degree from the Russian Academy of Civil Service. Later in 2007, having completed and passed training for Expedition 19, Suraev lost his spot on the prime crew and became a backup before being assigned to the Expedition 22 prime crew in 2008. He was Soyuz TMA-12 backup commander being present for the launch in April 2008.
Later in 2008, crew spots were moved again and Suraev was appointed to the Expedition 21 crew and Soyuz TMA-16 with a backup position on Soyuz TMA-14 with Shannon Walker and Space tourist Esther Dyson.
Training for the TMA-16 mission, Suraev was joined by his Flight Engineer Jeff Williams for Soyuz flight testing in March 2009. In September, the team was joined by Guy Laliberte for final pre-flight tests which were completed with excellent results by all three of them.
Blasting off on his first flight after years of being transferred from one crew to the other, Suraev launched with Williams and Laliberte on Soyuz TMA-16 atop a Soyuz FG rocket on September 30, 2009. Arriving at ISS two days later, the crew members joined Frank DeWinne, Roman Romanenko, Robert Thirsk and Nicole Stott completing the Expedition 21 crew. Briefly overlapping with the Soyuz TMA-14 crew, Laliberte spend ten days in space, returning with Gennady Padalka and Mike Barrat in October 2009.
In November, ISS was visited by Space Shuttle Atlantis performing the STS-129 mission. Atlantis delivered Express Logistics Carriers 1 and 2 to the Station along with an S-band Antenna Sub-Assembly. Three EVAs were performed before Atlantis undocked taking Nicole Stott back to Earth as part of the final crew rotation performed by the shuttle.
Expedition 21 continued until November 2009 when DeWinne, Romanenko and Thirsk departed the Station. Only Williams and Suraev remained aboard ISS being the last time that only two people were manning the Station. They were joined by Oleg Kotov, Soichi Noguchi and Timothy Creamer in December to top up the Expedition 22 crew. In January 2010, Suraev and Kotov performed a 5-hour 44-minute EVA to complete the integration of Mini Research Module 2.
Space Shuttle Endeavour visited ISS in February as part of the STS-130 mission that delivered the Tranquility Node Module and the Cupola that were installed aboard ISS and outfitted as part of three spacewalks.
Returning to Earth on March 18, 2010, Suraev and Williams had one empty seat inside their Soyuz which remains the last time this has occurred.
Prior to his landing, Suraev was assigned to the prime crew of Expedition 33/34. In June, he was again excluded from the mission as part of a new mission plan. Later, Suraev was appointed to Expedition 36/37 with Luca Parmitano and Karen Nyberg. The team started training in 2011 and went through Soyuz and ISS specific training as well as emergency water landing training performed at the Training Center of Emergency Situations Ministry, Noginsk. On December 15, 2011 it was announced that Suraev would be replaced by Fydodor Yurchikhin.
Subsequently, Maksim Suraev received a spot on Expedition 40/41 launching on Soyuz TMA-13M serving as commander of the ship that will take him and Gregory Wiseman and Alexander Gerst to the Space Station. Suraev will serve as ISS Expedition 41 commander.
Overall, Suraev spent 169 days and 4 hours in space.
Maksim Suraev is married to Anna Alexandrovna Suraeva (nee Khorokhordina). They have two daughters, Arina and Ksenia. In his free time, Suraev enjoys SCUBA diving, fishing, sports and reading.